Caffebene: Oh My, Bingsu
Caffebene is the largest coffee house chain in Korea, yet we didn’t see any of its stores around during our trip to Seoul a few years’ back. Or maybe we did come across it, but it didn’t register on our mind. (We tend to be pretty “lost” whenever we travel for the first time to a country.)
Thanks to a Groupon voucher from my sister-in-law, we had the chance to try out the one and only Caffebene in Singapore. We were searching for something quenching after a satisfying brunch at Kim Dae Mun. What fits the bill better than an icy treat? So off we went to VivoCity!
It was perhaps a mistake to drop by on a Sunday though. We almost had to forsake our plans as the cafe was packed to the brim and there was a never-ending queue at the ordering counter. Apparently, the cafe is a favourite with both the young and the old. There were families, couples, big groups of friends as well as ah gong just chilling out with ah ma.
Fortunately, we got ourselves a table after waiting for a while. Our orders took relatively long to come which was understandable given the crowd and the time required to make each bingsu.
While waiting, I began wondering how Koreans enjoy their bingsu. Is it from the top-down or from left-right? Here’s what I found from a clip on YouTube:
Our bingsu before we mix everything up:
A Green Tea Tower Bingsu for me because I like the alluring taste of green tea. Beneath the heap of whipped cream was a scoop of green tea gelato. Surrounding them were various kinds of nuts (walnuts, macadamia nuts, almond flakes…). All these were on a bed of green tea flavoured ice shavings. I was worried that the bingsu would be too sweet for my liking but thankfully, everything blended in just right. Good to the last drop without feeling jelak.
A chocolate fanatic, hubby had the Chocobene Bingsu. This is the most popular bingsu in the store followed by the Green Tea Tower. One reason probably was the adorable bear head (vanilla gelato) sitting atop the brownie cubes. Another reason, I presumed, was the additional scoop of chocolate gelato buried inside the coco pops and koko krunch. Together with the chocolate flavoured ice, the Chocobene could truly send one into euphoria.
We concluded it was smart of Caffebene to include gelato in the bingsu so that it wouldn’t turn watery and bland after the ice shavings melted.
Besides these, there are four other bingsu flavours on the menu: coffee, cookies & cream, strawberry and of course, the original (pat bingsu). The bingsu comes in two sizes, namely S (single) & D (double). What we had was S. Take note that the ice shavings in the bingsu here are coarse like our ice kacang. If you prefer fine ice shavings, order the Snowflakes instead.
Caffebene sells alternative desserts such as waffles and thick breads as well. There is a food display at the entrance if you know not what to order. The drinks menu has some interesting lattes, such as sweet potato latte and misugaru (Korean traditional grain powder) latte.
We will definitely be back to try out other items on the menu!
Address: VivoCity 1 HarbourFront Walk #02-150, Singapore 098585
Access: Harbourfront Station on the North-East Line/ Circle Line