If patbingsoo were good for you, I’d eat it three meals a day, seven days a week. It’s that good (see my previous ode to bingsoo).
So there’s this little place in Sinchon called 호밀밭 that always has a line out the door and around the corner. I took this picture more than a month ago when I was first exploring the area. When I posted it, I wrote:
I passed by this place while walking back towards campus, and noticed the incredibly long line stretching out the door and around the corner. If it’s a 빙수 (ice, fruit & red bean dessert) place like I think….I’ll be back.
Well, I finally got a chance to go back! After an afternoon of shopping at the recently renovated Central City shopping center, which is linked to the Express Bus Terminal subway station and the higher-end Shinsege department store, my classmate and I headed back to Sinchon to meet her husband for dinner. They treated me to 삼겹살 (samgyupsal, or pork belly) and I promised to take them out to dinner if they visit Los Angeles or Chicago.
The 고기집 (gogi jip, a barbecue restaurant) we ate at is just down the street from the bingsoo place, and none of us had tried it yet, so we decided to wait in line after dinner to see what all the hype is about.
The line was about as long as pictured above, and it took us half an hour or so to get inside the cafe. As it turns out, the length of the wait is solely due to the limited seating inside. They don’t take your order until you have a table because the bingsoo is prepared so rapidly. There are 4 or 5 varieties of bingsoo to choose from, all of which come with red beans on the side; the ones I recall are green tea, milk, mixed fruit, and strawberry (when in season). We decided to share a green tea bingsoo and a fruit bingsoo.
The bingsoo was well-worth the wait. What sets 호밀밭 apart is the ice. It’s really finely shaven — true “shaved ice”, unlike some places — so it just melts in your mouth and goes really well with the milky flavored syrups. Though the bingsoo is really simple, it’s pure deliciousness. I think we all preferred the green tea one to the fruit bingsoo, and all it was comprised of was ice and green tea-flavored syrup! And the red beans and mochi were great additions, as always.
Yes, I’m a little red-faced because we had some soju with dinner…
Anyway, 호밀밭 is reasonably priced compared to other bingsoo places, making it even more appealing to dessert-seekers. Their bingsoo options ranged from 6-7,500 won, which hits the middle of the price spectrum from what I’ve seen so far. Needless to say, I can’t wait to go back!