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07 October 2015

Food: "Deliciously Cool" Korean Halo-halo or Patbingsu at Noonsaram Korean Dessert Cafe

Do you want to make
a noonsaram and eat it?
Olaf will not be happy
(Updated: Oct. 10, 2015) The Philippines has its halo-halo dessert (mixed together) but Korea has its own version, which is called patbingsu or red beans with ice. Pat in Korean means red beans; bing means ice and su means water.  However, red beans are not the only toppings that you can put in bingsu. The possibilities are endless just like with our very own halo-halo. The only difference with the Korean bingsu is that the shaved ice is finer. The shaved ice in our halo-halo is relatively bigger and coarser. There is also a recent trend in Korea and that, instead of using plain water to make ice, Koreans use milk so you do not need to add evaporated milk. It is already in the ice. You can simply add condensed milk, which they serve in a small cup and this can be optional depending on how sweet you want your bingsu.


On the wall of the cafe
Two of my Korean students treated me on my birthday and we went to Noonsaram Korean Dessert Café along Katipunan Avenue in Quezon City. Noonsaram means snowman in Korean. I was told that the place was new, and frequented by many Korean, Mirriam and Atenean students. Judging from the number of customers that night, bingsu may be slowly becoming a popular dessert in the city. I guess you can call patbingsu as the Korean cousin of the Filipino halo-halo. I think patbingsu will never compete with our scrumptious halo-halo because many of my Korean students also love our halo-halo. You can say that the two desserts complement each other. You can enjoy both.

I did not notice if Noonsaram do serve the traditional patbingsu so this needs verification. Nonetheless, Noonsaram sells various kinds of bingsus like Oreo bingsu, coffee bingsu, green tea bingsu, cheese bingsu, strawberry bingsu, injeolmi bingsu, pineapple bingsu, choco bingsu and milk bean bingsuWe ordered mango bingsu, cheese bingsu and injeolmi bingsu. Injeolmi bingsu is topped with glutinous rice cake coated with bean flour. Injeolmi literally means delicious in Korean. The regular size bingsu is worth 200 pesos, but some like cheese bingsu is 240 pesos and strawberry bingsu is 280. One regular size bingsu is enough for two but perhaps to some, that is just good for one. The large size is 280 pesos or up. Noonsaram bingsus may be pricier than our halo-halo but it is worth it. 

On my second visit, I ran into some of my 20-something Korean students. I asked them to rate the bingsus and they secretly said that the bingsus in Korea are better. Isn't that always the case. If you cannot afford to go to Korea and taste authentic bingsu. Noonsaram's bingsu is the next best thing.

맛있게 드세요! Massisge deseyo! (Enjoy delicious food!)


Injeolmi bingsu: one curious note, the topping was not as generous as the one that we saw on the cafe menu and flyer. I hope they either put more toppings or change the picture on the menu and flyer.
Cheese bingsu 
Mango bingsu
Noonsaram is located on the first floor, Oracle Building, Katipunan, Quezon City

REVIEW VALIDITY:  This post is valid only from October 2015 to March 2016. Our food reviews are only good for 6 months because the quality of food and services change over time. Some improve and some deteriorate.

MESSAGE FROM THE FOOD CRITICS DEPARTMENT
[1] Our food critics do not and will never do paid write-ups. They would rather drink hemlock. 
[2] We are also careful in choosing which member will do the review.
[3] Our reviewers do not know any of the owners or staff of a restaurant that we review.

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