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Apr 24, 2006 04:36 PM

Taiwanese shaved ice / delis in Bay Area? East Bay?

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Does anyone know where I can get the Taiwanese shaved ices? It comes with toppings like peanuts, red beans, mango pudding, barley, rice balls, condensed milk, etc. Mmmmmmm....they are sooo tasty. In Los Angeles, they're all over Monterey Park. The only place I've seen it here is at 99 Ranch, but I'd like to find a Taiwanese deli that serves them.


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  1. They're served at the plethora of pearl milk teas places around the Bay Area. Almost all the Tapioca Express or Quickly locations will have shaved ice during the summer, so if you can't find some now, just wait a month and you shouldn't have any problems.

    1 Reply
    1. re: PekoePeony

      I'm not just looking for shaved ice. I want the toppings that go with it, like I listed. I've been to pearl houses and they usually only offer sugary syrup or maybe some fruit/red bean toppings. I want the real deal with the peanuts, barley, rice balls, etc.

    2. I have a feeling the really good ones are still in Southern Cal. :-(

      I like the red bean shaved ice at Joy in Foster City, though it doesn't come with all the other toppings you described. While it is just condensed milk and red beans, the shaved ice texture is superb. Joy does have a sister restaurant with the same Chinese name but I believe they have a different English name. I want to say it is called May's in English but I can't confirm, and it should be in the Fremont/Newark area.
      They should also offer shaved ice.

      You might be able to get a slighty more decent version at Ten Ren Tea Station, at the Lion Plaza on Cedar Blvd in Newark (off 880 & Mowry). That Ten Ren cafe is owned by the group who runs a chain of them in Southern California (San Gabriel (on Valley Blvd), Hacienda Heights, Las Vegas, Irvine, though overall it is not of the same Southern Cal quality. Last I went, their mango shaved ice was still very nice.

      2 Replies
      1. re: KK

        Thanks for the heads up. I go to the Ten Ren Tea Station in LA all the time when I'm down there. I just knew it as "The Tea Station" as my friends call it. :-) It's close to what I'm looking for but yeah, their shaved ice is still missing those key ingredients that I like. :-(


        1. re: KK

          "Joy does have a sister restaurant with the same Chinese name but I believe they have a different English name. I want to say it is called May's in English but I can't confirm, and it should be in the Fremont/Newark area."

          KK, please focus! This is a very important piece of information.

        2. I've also been able to find a similar dish to Taiwanese shaved ices at singaporean/malaysian restaurants. At the hawker centers in those countries, you can get a dessert called ice kacang. i find ice kacangs to be remarkably similar to taiwanese shaved ices with red beans, condensed milk, grass jelly, corn, jack fruit, as well as sweet rose syrup.

          3 Replies
          1. re: huckleberry

            Yeah, even Filipino restaurants offer halo-halo, with similar toppings, mostly fruit based.

            Where are the Taiwanese delis????

            1. re: Vee

              There really aren't any, at least not in SF. Even outside of SF, the pickings are slim compared to LA. I've been trying to find respectable oyster pancakes, oyster noodles, and breakfast for years. And forget about trying to find a Taiwanese meatball.

              1. re: nooodles

                Wow, that's terrible. I'm telling my Taiwanese friend that she needs to open up a place in the Bay Area. :-)

          2. 168 restaurant in Richmond off of Pierce street has them. Quickly cup in Hayward might have them. They're located across from Chabot college. They're newly opened and I've yet to tried them yet.

            Tapioca Express Union City by Marina Foods definately has them. With all of the latest toppings, such as yam tapiocas, small little jellies, fruits and various beans.

            Also, Banyan Tree restaurant in Pleasant Hill has similar dessert, in my mind they have the best because the shaved ice is pillowy soft! The only draw back is you don't get to choose the items and it doesn't come with brown sugar syrup.

            4 Replies
            1. re: theSauce

              Oh great! Thanks...I'll definitely check them out.

              1. re: Vee

                Your best bet is Tapioca Express (they have couple different types of custard pudding. Yum!). The only draw back is the ice is sometimes a bit more like crushed ice then shaved ice (due to dulled blade). You will notice it if you're a shaved ice freak, otherwise you probably won't notice it.

                I'll try out Quickly cup in Hayward and report back some times.

                1. re: theSauce

                  Chunks? Ugh. I'm not a shaved ice snob, but ice chunks don't belong in shaved ice. I may end up going to Sinbala after all, since it sounds like the same chain down in LA and I like their ices. But I'd like to hear about Quickly when you get the chance.


                  1. re: Vee

                    No, no, I don't mean chuncks. I meant if the blade is dull then the ice is not pillowy soft, but it is still very good shaved ice.

            2. check out Sinbala at Homestead and Hollenbeck in Cupertino. Their shaved ice is made with black sugar syrup and toppings, although not a huge selection, has a selection of condensed milk, tarot, grass jelly, tapioca, barley, red beans, mung beans...etc.

              4 Replies
              1. re: xiong xiong

                Thanks...I'll first check out 168 and Tapioca Express since they're closer to me. :-) But I'll keep in mind Sinbala. Is this a chain? I think there's one down in LA too.

                1. re: Vee

                  Hmmm how did I forget Sinbala? :-/

                  The one at Homestead and Hollenbeck has a similar menu to the one in Arcadia in Southern Cal. They also sell Taiwanese sausages to go. Sadly quality is again not the same.

                  Just like Tea Station....something about Southern Cal franchises not making the cut when they move north!

                  1. re: KK

                    Here's a link to your post a year ago on Sinbala and other Taiwanese spots.


                2. re: xiong xiong

                  I didn't know there was a Sin Ba La in the Bay Area. They have two L.A. area branches, in Arcadia and Rowland Heights. I wonder if the Cupertino branch has the Taiwanese sausage like Arcadia and Rowland Heights, since that seems to be their signature item.