[Updated] Bing Bian is closed.
Selling cold desserts should always work in hot hot Singapore, and what’s more with the sudden popularity of Taiwanese shaved ice and glass jelly desserts. Bing Bian 冰变 with the tagline “an affair with ice” is another Taiwanese-style shaved ice dessert place that has gained some notice recently. (Read: Blackball at Star Vista)
I am a huge fan of Taiwanese desserts, and that includes all kinds of ‘chua bing’ (shaved iced “Hong dou! Da hong dou! Yu tou. Chua chua chua…”), taro balls and beancurd. So I am VERY particular when it comes to yu yuan (taro ball) desserts. Just feel like flying over just thinking about it. (Read: Dong Qu Fen Yuan at Taipei and Anping Bean Jelly at Tainan)
The owners Boon Tuck and Gary said that they loved the yu yuan in Jiufen so much that they wanted to recreate it. I am amazed with the amount of effort and time they put into R&D, because they did not simply just buy off any recipe with money, but learnt to make it through months of experimenting.
The Yu Yuan series ($4.90 per owl) comes with shavings of different flavours such as soya, peanut, sesame, taro, green tea and red bean.
The interesting thing is most shops would shave the ice on the spot, while theirs is already shaved, flavoured and placed into containers. Yes, you order them as you would an ice cream, in which the ice would be scooped and placed into a bowl. Fascinatingly, the shaved ice still remains smooth and not-clumpy.
Perhaps it was because I am too used to the traditional Taiwanese style of desserts, Bing Bian’s version caught me by surprise. While their yu yuan actually tastes quite close to the ones I had in Taiwan, the entire combination felt let down by some of the ingredients and flavours. I really feel to do this well, every single ingredient has to be spot on.
Which is why I feel they should focus on their Fruit Series ($4.90) which is so much better, and more unique to them. The Calamansi Ice is very refreshing, slightly tangy and provides a ‘kick’ you would need for a lethargic afternoon, coming topped with fresh calamansi, fried cranberries, jelly and almond flakes.
My foodie friend Melody loved the Mango Ice Set, especially the ‘mango pops’ that creates a, well, popping sensation as you ‘play’ with them in your mouth.
Many people sweat too easily, and main relieve is to hide at some air-conditioned mall and grab an ice-cold drink or dessert. I think Bing Bian has what it takes, after some refinement and perhaps focusing on more real-fruity desserts. Who knows, if shaved ice is going to be the next Singapore food craze?
To cater to the lunch time crowd, Bing Bian has just introduced local Nasi Lemak bento sets which include Chicken Rendang ($5.90), Mutton Rendang ($6.90), Beef Rendang ($6.90) and Fish Sambal ($5.90).
Moreover, there is a special “3 Free 1” promotion where you can purchase 3 Combo meals and get 1 set free, or 3 Ice sets in which 1 dessert comes free. (Till 29th Jan, weekday after 6pm)
Bing Bian 冰变 An Affair With Ice
Millenia Walk 9 Raffles Boulevard #01-105 (Promenade MRT) Singapore 039596, Tel: +65 6337 1391
Opening Hours: 11am-9pm (Mon-Sat), 11am-8pm (Sun)
Also at: Peace Centre #01-39/43 Singapore 228149 (Dhoby Gaut MRT) Tel: +65 6338 9475