Did Cheon Song Yi from ‘My Love from Another Star’ open a new Korean dessert café in Singapore? Nope, but Nunsongyee is still owned by Koreans.
I felt like I was in Korea while making my way to 45 Burghley Drive. Numerous uphill terrains and passing by the building of CHIJ- Our Lady of Good Counsel, which reminded me of Ewha Womans University.
Am I in Korea? Not when the humidity slaps me in the face.
Nunsongyee 눈송이 (pronounced as noon-song-yi) means “Snowflake” in Korean.
As their name suggests, their signature dessert is the Snow Flake Black Sesame 흑임자 빙수 ($18.90) and Injeolmi Bingsu 인절미 빙수 Bingsu ($14.90). Their versions of bingsu are made of milk, thus they do not use the term ‘shaved ice’.
Other desserts offered here include their Signature toast ($8.90 – $12.90) and Korean Rice Cake ($6.90 – $8.90) and beverages such as coffee, tea and smoothies.
The café has a typical Korean style with wood and earthly elements, wooden floor, tables, chairs and wooden walls finishing.
The entire area is spacious with a 50 seaters capacity, and tall ceiling that won’t make you feel claustrophobic.
K-pop music can be heard playing throughout the entire café and the menu board with both Korean and English wordings. The Koreans employ a self-service system with a buzzer that rings when your order is ready for collection.
There, the Black Seasame Bingsu ($18.90… wait that is quite expensive) came with a large scoop of red bean paste instead of the usual scoop of ice-cream. The other toppings were powdered soybean korean rice cakes, sesame powder and almond flakes.
Looks pretty much like other bingsu I ate, I thought initially.
I was actually taken aback when I first scooped into the shaved milk. Extremely soft… just like the first snow, and reminded me of the days when I first built my snowman.
No wonder it’s called Nunsongyee (Snowflake). So pure, white, soft and pillowy.
We ordered the Sweet “Ka-Rei” ($8.90) which was Korean Rice Cake with Cheese and it came beautifully plated with maple syrup drizzled on it.
Fans of tteokpokki (Korean rice cake) could now experience a sweet and savory version instead of the spicy tteokpooki that we were all too familiar with. The top layer was baked to give a golden brown crust. These bite- sized tteokpokki was soft and cheesy with a slight tinge of sweetness.
Eating rice cakes is a part of Korea’s tradition. Moreover, the grandparents of the owner Eun Jin are farmers who resides in the countryside of Icheon, Gyeonggido. They mainly grow rice grains and beans for a living, and till date, they still farm despite being 80 years old.
The Injeolmi Toast ($8.90) came with 8 equal slices, love it when I don’t have to cut it myself. It had a crispy crust with peanut powder and almond flakes dusted above.
The Injeolmi, a thin layer of mochi made from glutinous rice flour, was sandwiched in between the toast and substituted the jam that we normally used. Carnation milk was used to give it a moist texture.
If you are up for some authentic Korean desserts in a Korean café setting without the need to take a flight to Korea, this will probably be the right place to go. Good to know that Eun Jin still follows her grandmother’s recipe and imports several key ingredients directly from Korea.
Will bingsu be your destiny?
45 Burghley Drive #01-04, Singapore 559022 (15-20 min walk from Lorong Chuan MRT)
By Car: Turn into Chartwell Drive at Serangoon Gardens Way roundabout. Drive all the way straight till Burghley Drive and turn right
By Bus: Take Bus 317 from Serangoon Bus Interchange and alight at the 5th stop from Serangoon Gardens Circus
Opening Hours: 12am – 10pm (Tues-Thurs), 12pm – 11pm (Fri), 10am – 11pm (Sat), 10am – 10pm (Sun), Closed Mon
* By Daniel’s Food Diary Cafe Correspondent Nicholas Tan