As of late, Korean desserts have been all the rage among Singaporeans with a number of such cafes having already been opened here for some time now, plus come on, who can honestly deny a cool, icy dessert on an ever so sunny day in Singapore? I know I can't, and Nunsongyee is definitely an ideal place to beat the heat!
Just a couple of bus stops down Serangoon Gardens is the Burghley Lifestyle Hub, in which Nunsongyee lies. The name of this simple Korean cafe stands for 'snowflake' in Korean (duh) and it is mainly popular for its shaved ice, also known as bingsu (or bingsoo, however you'd like to spell it).
There are a variety of flavours categorized under 'snow flake bingsu' (S$12.90 - S$15.90) such as traditional ones like injeolmi (rice cake) and patbingsu (red bean), as well as oreo, choco-banana and cheesecake, and 'premium bingsu' (S$18.90) such as strawberry, black sesame and Snow White (cheese and white chocolate). There are other Korean treats like specialty toasts (S$8.90 onwards) and Korean rice cakes (S$6.90 onwards) that vary in flavours as well. Beverages (ranging from S$3+ to S$6+) such as tea (refillable!), coffee, smoothies and canned Korean drinks are available too if you need something to drink, otherwise water is free for all.
The injeolmi bingsu (S$14.90) consists of soy powder, almonds and pieces of Korean rice cakes atop a generous serving of very finely shaved ice. A small cup of condensed milk is provided with every bowl of bingsu to be poured over the dessert for extra sweetness. I personally felt that it was necessary to pour the entire cup because that way it was easier to mix everything together with the ice, and just because I prefer my desserts sweet.
Once mixed, the injeolmi bingsu was ready to be devoured. We quicky dug into the bowl and I have to say that it was reaaaaally good. I felt that everything worked so well together, with the milk contributing to the overall sweetness. There was a balance of flavours and textures from the crunchy almonds and chewy rice cakes. When you scoop out a spoonful of all the different ingredients together, the result is a mouthful of delight!
Moving on to the glorious looking Snow White bingsu (S$18.90), which comprises of two of my most favourite things on earth: cheese and white chocolate, along with macadamia nuts and a scoop of vanilla ice-cream! I know... What? Sweet and savoury? Do they even compliment each other? I was very keen to try this out! I did do a bit of research on cheese bingsu before coming to Nunsongyee but could only find those with cheesecake chunks, and I like that the one here makes use of shredded cheese, because it just sounds more true to what they describe the dessert to be.
I must say that I personally did enjoy the Snow White bingsu. The first scoop that entered my mouth was met with the divine taste of cheese... However, with subsequent scoops, I must say that probably due to the milk, the taste of the cheese became less strong, which was much of a relief to one of my friends who doesn't fancy eating cheese, but like the injeolmi bingsu, it boosted the overall sweetness of the bingsu. I wish that the white chocolate could be more apparent or generous in serving because it was extremely subtle to me. Something I found unnecessary was the macadamia nuts, because it frequently foreshadowed the taste of the other ingredients, so I feel that this dessert could do with less or no macadamia nuts at all to allow people to truly taste the main flavours of the Snow White bingsu. The ice-cream, on the other hand, was sweeter and milkier than the average vanilla ice-cream, which I thoroughly enjoyed.
Overall, I really liked the two flavours of bingsu, and I was especially impressed by how fine and smoothly shaven the ice is. I must admit that despite my love for the ingredients of the Snow White bingsu, I preferred the injeolmi bingsu more because I felt that everything went so well together, maybe because the soy powder mixes well with the milk as compared to cheese, but nevertheless I'd still be more than game to order the unconventional savoury flavour again the next time I return.
I highly recommend coming to Nunsongyee with a group of friends because I felt that one bowl was big enough to be shared among 2-3 persons. Each dessert may seem pricey, but when you split the bill, it's still pretty affordable. You can expect queues on weekend evenings (although this may not be the case all the time), so do not dawdle and drop by too late - this is a perfect cafe to cozy yourself in on a typical hot day in Singapore afternoon after all! Do bring sufficient cash along though because this cafe unfortunately only accepts cash. Fret not if you have an overdose of desserts because there's a trampoline park next door to burn off all the excess gains. :P
Burghley Lifestyle Hub
45 Burghley Drive #01-04
Closed on Mondays
Turn into Chartwell Drive at Serangoon Gardens Way roundabout
Drive all the way straight till Burghley Drive and turn right
Take Bus 317 from Serangoon Bus Interchange and alight at the 5th stop from Serangoon Gardens Circus
(Information taken from Nunsongyee's Facebook page)
Ambience - 7/10
Food Quality - 8/10
Value for Money - 7/10 (when shared among friends!)
Overall Experience - 8/10
Perfect For - Hot Afternoons, Big Groups
Nearest MRT - Lorong Chuan