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Famous Shaved Iced Dessert Shop 冰館 ICE MONSTER on Yongkang street in Taipei Taiwan closes!!

  • K K Jan 20, 2010 06:25 AM
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http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiwa...

Sadly the owner seemed to have trouble making alimony payments to his wife, and as of 1/18/10 this legendary shop has closed.

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  1. Horrible news. I used to live right off of Yong Kang St. and would stop by Ice Monster all the time. I wonder what the chances are of it coming back in the future? All those Japanese guidebooks are going to have to remove their entries on Ice Monster. :(

    1. YOu mean I can't take visitors for the Din Tai Fung/Ice Monster double feature any more?!?

      2 Replies
      1. re: tastesgoodwhatisit

        The shop got completely gutted of its interior as I understand it.

        Website http://icemonster.com.tw/main.htm
        has an external link to a PDF file in Chinese, a legal/press statement by the lawyers that pretty much confirm the closure and the fallout between the former husband and wife team.

        The thing about Yongkang street is that it is prime real estate for tourists and pretty much most or all businesses there are foreign visitor friendly.

        I'm sure you can find as good if not better shaved ice with fruit elsewhere, maybe for a bit cheaper. Shihlin Night Market has a few fruit based drink and dessert shops (20 to 30 years old) that should be a decent substitute, but I don't know how English friendly they are.

        I suppose you can take your friends to beef noodle soup, pho, or Tu Hsiao Yeh Tainan Peddler Noodle after a few shots of DTF xiao long bao! Or do a XLB crawl... DTF, then Gao Ji, then that other place further down.

        1. re: K K

          By the way, does anyone know if that father and daughter duo is still selling the thick green onion pancakes around the corner on the other side of Ice Monster? Imagine walking from DTF to Ice Monster and then to the end of the block - not only is there a stand that sells pretty tasty popcorn chicken, but this father and daughter duo is set up like ten feet away from it.

      2. It's re-opening, according to the China Post, under a new name and new management, but in the same location.

        16 Replies
        1. re: tastesgoodwhatisit

          Thanks for the update.

          According to some online journals, the grand opening is today in Taipei (June 12), under the name 永康十五 (Yong Ha Shih Wu or Yong Kang 15). Apparently the former Ice Monster boss Mr Lo will provide some technical guidance, but he will not be involved any further beyond that.

          What's interesting is that since the closure of Ice Monster, foot traffic has dropped so much in the area (assuming folks leave after eating at DTF and Tu Hsiao Yeh) surrounding businesses have been singing the blues. There was a mention on youtube about the thick scallion "clawed" pancakes that HK foodie mentioned (I suspect it was them) who were also crying for the re-opening of Ice Monster so they could get more business. Of course the bad economy is also to blame (not entirely due to IM closing).

          1. re: K K

            I was on yongkang street today and just happened by the grand re-opening right as they were starting business for the day. The whole corner was jammed with people, and it was quite a scene. I didn't want to wait in line to try it out, but the scallion "clawed" pancake across the street was pretty good, especially with the basil and egg added, so I hope their business picks back up.

            1. re: Condimentality

              Yeah I saw the local Zhong Tian news report (we get the same day broadcasts on a local cable channel in Northern California), the line was around the block. The new restaurant has vague opening hours from 2 pm to 9 pm, and I suppose were trying to handle scale, so they will need more time. I guess people expected it to be as good as IM due to some sort of local hype, but in fact many say the new place does not taste the same. If anything probably felt jilted by the price, and would be willing to pay less than NT$150 for a bowl of mango shaved ice.

              1. re: K K

                Yeah the news stations were out in full force. In fact, you might have seen me :P

                The hours are definitely vague, as I went by there again last night around 5:30 to get some food (temporarily staying very closeby) and I hoped to try it out and avoid the line because it was absolutely pouring down rain. It was closed, though.

                I agree with those who say that the price of the original was pretty extreme for what, to me, is pretty much the same shaved ice that you can get anywhere on the island. I still would give it another shot, though. Still, the area is really nice, so it's a shame that the closing of the original IM hurt the business of the less well known places on Yongkang.

                1. re: Condimentality

                  Can you give me some idea of exactly where the clawed pancake vendor is with respect to the iced dessert store and the name of the place? I'm trying to imagine how to "walk there", as I may be in that area again end of the year. I'll likely default back to Tu Hsiao Yeh as I can't get over that bowl of noodles.

                  By the way, the 2009 Beef Noodle Soup festival brochure has a strong recommendation for a place called Cheng's Vietnamese Noodle Store (Cheng Ji Yuer Nan Mien Chir Guan) at No 6 Ln 6 Yongkang St. It has been open 30 years. Apparently Joan of HungryinTaipei has reviewed it, as Thanh Ky

                  http://hungryintaipei.blogspot.com/20...

                  1. re: K K

                    More online reports indicate that IM's former signature mango shaved iced cost NT$120, but YK15 is now charging NT$160. The management defended that they use premium quality mangoes and offer a two person portion worth in an order. But if you go to a local market, you can likely buy 6 great tasting mangoes for NT$180 (no shaved ice to go with it of course). Either way, YK15 is expected to make US$3333+ a day...much like IM, if they can ramp up properly. I can only imagine what kind of rent they have to pay.

                    Apparently YK15 has a nearby competitor 芋頭大王 (Yu-toh / Taro King) that charges only NT$50 for a large bowl of mixed fruit shaved ice. If you get to try this place, please let us know.

                    Also, while the smaller businesses were hurting, it appears to be business as usual (and even more so) for some shops

                    e.g. Sushi Yau 游壽司that apparently requires a week in advance reservation

                    http://wiselyview.net/blog/read-991.html

                    and the two beef noodle shops at Yong Kang and Lao Zhang

                    高記 (Gao Ji) around the corner from Din Tai Fung (another giant that will never fall) apparently is quite famous for zhongzi 粽子, although I have yet to try.

                    1. re: K K

                      Ok, I am only staying close to Yongkang street for another couple of days, but I keep realizing I still have more and more places to try.

                      It's obviously zongzi-mania-time around here, so I'll pick some up at Gaoji when I head down there for lunch as well.

                      I passed by Sushi Yau last night on the way to Shida night market and they are closed for the week, unfortunately.

                      I am taking a date to Hizen-Ya tonight, so I need to be careful not to eat too much at lunch...

                      1. re: Condimentality

                        I love Hizen-Ya! Let us know if you try anything else beyond tempura, sashimi, unagi over rice, grilled eel liver skewers (usually sells out by lunchtime), or the eel stuffed egg omlette. Never had their stewed or grilled fish before, heard it's also good.

                        By the way here are some more YongKang street options you may want to check out

                        阿唐燒餅鋪
                        http://0223962668.tw.tranews.com/

                        This coffee shop looks somewhat interesting
                        http://0223926652.tw.tranews.com/

                        一品山西刀削麵
                        for their tomato knife shaved beef noodle soup
                        http://0223931339.tw.tranews.com/

                        and this private kitchen 1950s style Tainan cuisine place

                        大隱酒食小隱私廚
                        http://0223435355.tw.tranews.com/

                        If you are craving ramen, a few bloggers swear by this place over Kagetsu Arashi (upstairs Taipei Breeze Center which I think is quite good

                        )

                        樂麵屋
                        http://wiselyview.net/blog/read-984.html

                        1. re: K K

                          The other place I really like is 永亨 - 無骨炸雞 which sells pretty good Taiwanese style popcorn chicken 鹽酥雞. It is located right next to 芋頭大王 (Yu-toh / Taro King) and just a mere ten feet away from Yilan green onion pancakes.

                          Here is the website: http://www.younhen.idv.tw/front/bin/p...

                          1. re: K K

                            We got tonkatsu, which was quite good but not anything truly special, a grilled 秋刀魚, which was quite good, and enough unaju to feed an army. The unaju was a huuuuge hit. I'd really like to try the eel liver skewers sometime, but we were there pretty late.

                            I moved away from that part of town on the 17th, so I didn't get to try any of your suggestions, but I'm sure that I'll be back at some point soon. I think that ramen place is on the top of the list.

                      2. re: K K

                        The clawed pancake vendor is right on the corner directly opposite from Yongkang 15. It's actually right next to the Cheng Ji Vietnamese place, and they appear to share the same "kitchen" so I'm not sure if they are related or not. This link should point right at it:

                        http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&s...

                        I have actually been to Cheng Ji (Thanh Ky) before, and really enjoyed the Pho there, so I am going to either go there or Da Yu Chirashi Sushi ( http://yuann.tw/?p=1580 ) for lunch today. I will suck it up and wait in line at YK15 to try it in the name of science and report back. I went to Little Water Buffalo (小水牛) in Yilan yesterday (pics here: http://condimentality.tumblr.com/post... ) so it will be interesting to compare the two.

                        1. re: Condimentality

                          I did have a mango ice at YK15. It was quite good. The quality of the mango was excellent and the sheer amount was absurd. There must have been close to three mangoes' worth on it. Add to that the scoop of sorbet on top, and I don't think the price is toooo unreasonable. Here are some photos:

                          http://condimentality.tumblr.com/post...

                2. re: K K

                  So I did some research and it looks like the name of the place with the thick green onion pancakes is 宜蘭蔥餅. There are many franchised locations throughout Taipei (the one I went to was on Yongkang st), but the main one is located here:

                  Address: 10091臺北市中正區汀州路3段104巷9號

                  Tel:02-23630001 or 02-23631187

                  Business Hours:08:00-21:00 everyday with a break from 12:00-13:00 (午休)

                  You can find more information on their website: http://99cake.com.tw

                  1. re: hong_kong_foodie

                    Do you remember exactly where on Yongkang Street the Yilan green onion pancake place is? I've been trying to find it with no luck.

                    1. re: Condimentality

                      Yep, just walk three blocks down Yongkang st in the opposite direction of Din Tai Fung. You will pass Ice Monster at the end of block #2 and find Yilan green onion pancake at the end of block #3. It's right below the red "Hachiban Ramen" sign and there's a big yellow banner displaying 宜蘭蔥餅 in red.

                      Here is the google map view:

                      http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&s...

                    2. re: hong_kong_foodie

                      Cool thanks. Love google maps street view!

                      Interesting, I've actually been to and ate at the Gong guan location about 2 to 3 years back, which is very close to their small night market. However the pancake was too thick for my liking, although the Yilan scallion is very enjoyable. One serving or even half a portion will fill you up quickly, which is not ideal if you are looking to sample additional things. Probably better for breakfast or nearing lunch. But absolutely more delightful than the scallion pancakes in the San Francisco Bay Area for sure. In any case I usually default to 藍家割包 when I am cruising Gong Guan area

                      http://beefnoguy.blogspot.com/2010/01...