Who said summer was long gone? It may be January but there is no snow outside my window! Hurrah, Winter has not officially come or it decided to skip over. Either way, no snow means I can happily eat ice cream as a replacement for not being able to taste the white fluffy snow!
Head on over to Grace Street for a taste of winter through their famous shaved ice dishes. The texture of the ice will feel the same as the snowflakes that fall down during the cold Winter nights! However, the taste will be much more prominent and delicious — depending on what you choose!
I ordered the classic black sesame shaved ice, “The O.G.” This is different than the shaved ice from Caffe Bene or Paris Baguette. The ice is denser and has a fluffy texture, which allows you to imagine eating snow. When you first get the dish, the mountain of ice will feel overwhelming but once you take a bite, you’ll notice how light and creamy the ice is while harboring actual black sesame flavor, instead of just ice. My problem with shaved ice is whenever I order one from any cafe the ice is always unflavored and just plain ice. The flavor comes from the topping and the excess syrup; however, the shaved ice here has taste making the ice the highlight of the dish not the toppings. The O.G. was perfection because the shaved ice itself was delicious but the addition of the toppings made it much more heavenly. The red bean and mochi were an excellent pairing for this dish and the mochi was perfectly made — not too hard to chew. Combining the red bean and mochi in one spoon reminded me of the red bean mochi ice cream that I would buy in the Korean supermarket every weekend during the summertime. Lastly, the strawberries allows for the fruit lover to enjoy the dish without regretting too much in not ordering an actual fruit-based shaved ice.
Fun fact: Before this cafe became a bustling and trendy spot for college students and young adults, it was mostly a to-go cafe to purchase Korean donuts (hodduk). Now, they transformed it into a sit-down, chill, and relaxing spot where one can catch up with their co-workers, friends, and families. The menu has become much more extensive, offering a variety of drinks and desserts not only limited to hodduk but also open to waffles and shaved ice.
However, longing for hodduk, I decided to stick with their original dish. Hodduk is Korea’s famous fried donut with cinnamon filling on the inside. To savor the taste of the melting cinnamon filling, it is important to eat this when it is hot or else the filling will harden and feel more like toffee than syrup. Grace Street adds creamy vanilla ice cream which is a perfect partner for the doughnuts. Try a scoop of hodduk and vanilla ice cream and your mouth will explode of happiness!
For those who miss the late night hodduk stands of Seoul and the bustling energy of the youth, visit Grace Street! In no time you may even become a regular!
Address: 17 W 32nd St New York, NY 10001