Food and Drinks

Shaved ice desserts are hotter than ever. Here are five to try this spring

When the weather is warm and sunny, you’ll be craving ice cream.

Try these lighter shaved ice alternatives instead of heavy ice cream tubs or metal scoopers.

Iced desserts like these are popular in Asia, where the humid summers can be brutal.

While this list is international, don’t worry – you can make these desserts at home with just the right equipment. They are also widely available in restaurants that specialize in their respective cuisines.


This icy dessert, which originated in South Korea, has been a hit on TikTok. Bingsu, which is mainly made of milk and pillowy shards of ice, is usually served with sweet-flavoured rice cakes and ice cream. Green tea, strawberry, and red bean are popular flavors. Bingsu tastes best on hot days. Other favorites include rockmelon, watermelon, and other summer fruits. Look out for its distant relative, ‘kwacha,’ in your next TikTok Scroll. Instead of shaving ice, this treat uses whole cubes. You can find heaping servings of bingsu near Strathfield Station in Sydney.


Often confused with bingsu, kakigori comes from the neighboring country of Japan. It is made in Japan with just water and ice, making it a refreshing treat. Most commonly, they’re topped with condensed milk and matcha powder. They are also built in large mounds. Kakigori is often served with fresh fruit, mochi balls, and other toppings.

Ais kacang

This Malaysian dessert is literally translated as ‘bean-ice’. This chilled treat is also known as ice making or ABC. It was created to satisfy sweet cravings and quench thirst. This chilled treat is commonly made with beans, coconut milk, creamed corn, and tapioca pearls. The earthiness of beans compliments the sweet Southeast Asian flavors to create a balanced and soothing sweet treat.


The national dessert of the Philippines is this rainbow-coloured sweet treat. This dessert is called a mix-mix,’ which encourages you to mix the different colors and textures. Recipes will vary depending on the region and family, but common ingredients include evaporated Milk, Ube Ice Cream, Leche Flan chunks, Pandan Jelly, and, of course, shaved Ice. Western Sydney is the place to go to taste authentic halo-halo. Calli’s Grill, Rooty Hill, offers a family-sized portion that you can enjoy all by yourself. We won’t be judged.

Ice Gola

Iced gola, also known as ice pops or ice cream sticks in India and South Asia, is a popular street food. They’re often mistaken for icy pops because they are served on sticks, but they’re actually made from shaved snow. These colorful treats, which are made with a hand-operated compressor and drenched in sugar syrups and a variety of flavors, can be enjoyed quickly and easily during an Indian summer.

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