Shaved ice is a classic Taiwanese dessert in the summer. One of the best known places in Taipei is called Ice Monster.
For around $5-$6, you get a HUGE bowl of shaved ice with your choice of toppings. I heard the mango one was incredible (with chunks of sweet, fresh mango on top). I did not hear of this until after I had visited Ice Monster, so I did not order that dish. If I ever go again, I would definitely try it. The Taipei Times has an interesting article here that talks about how the owner, under the pressure of difficult business and tough financial times, developed the mango shaved ice that shot business off the ground.
Anyway, I didn't try the mango. Instead, I ordered the mochi shaced ice.
It was still incredible! It had mochi balls of all different shapes and sizes, and even a huge flat mochi pancake on top. The dish also had sweet red bean topping (azuki) and condensed milk. It was really good! The various mochis had subtly different texture and flavors, so it was fun to try them all. Some were really chewy ("Q" in Taiwanese), while others were softer and sweeter. Over all, they complemented the azuki and condensed milk perfectly. The portion size is generous, and I shared one with my mom. We could have easily shared with a third person.
Ice Monster is located at 15 Yongkang street. Right off of Ding Tai Fung (original), not too far from other good places to eat. Apparently, one of the famous beef noodle restaurants is also on this street. The original Ding Tai Fung is also nearby.
15 Yong Kang St., Da'an
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