If you get the chance to stop over in Taipei for a mere 36 hours, with all kinds of mouthwatering foods flooding the marketplace, what are those must-eats you can very well kick yourself for missing?
Alongside Taipei 101 and The National Palace Museum, Ice Monster has made its mark on the 36 Hours in Taipei, a thrill-packed list that tells you, a traveler, about all the must-dos and must-eats in Taipei within a 36-hour stopover. See full write-up by Edward Wong at The New York Times.
Formerly located on Yongkang Street for untold years, the once cramped little open-air shop was capable of attracting more than 3,000 tourists daily! Just a couple of months ago, the shop moved to Zhongxiao East Road, enjoying a much bigger air-conditioned business space. And the waiting line during the business hours still forms quickly and trails long as it did in the old days.
Ice Monster is known for its Mango Avalanche, widely known as mango shaved ice. You might think the combination of fresh fruits and ice is ho-hum. Nothing of the sort, I promise. Actually, it’s extraordinary!
Ice Monster’s Mango Avalanche is made of fresh big chunks of mango, mango ice cream, milk pudding, condensed milk, and finally, shaved ice. The word “finally” I used here is tricky as you might think that Mango Avalanche is prepared in that sequence of ingredients. The fact is, Mango Avalanche is made in the reverse sequence. First, the shaved ice goes into the bowl, then a thick spray of condensed milk is infused around the ice cumulus a couple of times, followed by a heavy layer of milk pudding, and another dense blanket of mango ice cream, all to be topped off by a rich overlay of tumbling big chunks of fresh mango. The way yummy things get stacked up here are quite eye-popping. But what about taste?
A native Taiwanese, I’ve got countless bowls of shaved ice under my belt since my kiddy day. And there was a time when the words “shaved ice” crossed my mind, they conjured up nothing uncommon except ordinary shaved ice. To me, a shaved ice was a shaved ice was a shaved ice and little else. But here, I tell you, the shaved ice cooked up by Ice Monster is a different story: the contrast it produces is as pronounced and awakening as a sharp bend at the end of an otherwise straight dull highway. Mango Avalanche has a dainty-soft-smooth texture punctuated with a subtly tangy yet boldly sweet flavor that only chunky mango cuts could possibly give forth. The serving is insanely tasty if not heavenly soothing. The instant you send a scoopful into your mouth, you’d feel a sensation of bliss and gratification as all your taste buds have fired up!
If you’re running on a tight schedule, suggest that you swing by the shop at noon because the waiting line tends to be relatively shorter than it is at nightfall. And if lining up seems inevitable, don’t fidget, stay gracious. All it takes is 20-30 minutes before you move to the front. Not too bad a sacrifice if you consider how ravishing you’re going to look once you get your loaded bowl and start indulging yourself.
If waiting is not your cup of tea, no problem, as Ice Monster thoughtfully gives away free berry-flavored popsicles to those waiting and griping inwardly. That’s one clever sales gimmick for you!
(Look at this most enviable monster scene! Any retailer would kill to own a spending mob like this bunch. See? They don’t even mind pigging out on their hoofs. You simply can’t beat Ice Monster in its money-spinning power.)
Open hours: 10:30-23:30 / Mon-Sun
Address: 1F., No. 297, Sec.4, Zhongxiao E. Rd., Da’an Dist., Taipei City 106, Taiwan
Price: Mango Avalanche NT$ 180 (US$ 6)
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