Restaurant Review: Hobing Korean Dessert Café
Of delicate fruit, rich whipped cream, and flawlessly shaved ice that melts in your mouth. The Hobing Korean Dessert Café is the snow café to get glorious, generous and glistening bingsu.
Ice desserts have been building hype in the last year or so. You have dessert parlors of the Japanese kakigiri, Filipino halo-halo and Korean bingsu popping out here and there. Bingsu, or Korean shaved ice dessert, have hooked one too many here at PH. Notable at the Bonifacio Global City Stopover is the Hobing Korean Dessert Café, making a name for themselves with their mastery of the art of bingsu-making.
Thoughts before trying
The place was nicely inviting. Hobing sports an aesthetic that balances modern chic with warmth and comfort through a spacious, clean interior that has an overlooking view of BGC. But, on a hot Friday afternoon when I decided to visit, people of all ages pack the place, wanting to get a cool dessert fix to save them. The staff are still all smiles while delivering Korean dessert to tables though the long queues. However, the real gauge is on the food. Is Hobing merely a fancy show of snow or does it serve well?
Why it’s hot?
On the Hobing Korean Dessert Café menu are ten varieties of bingsu. The selection is exciting as it spans fruits, pastries and other sweet confections as topping to the actual shaved ice. The one that caught my eyes is the Mango Cheese bingsu (P195 – R, P310 – L) so I ordered for a regular.
Waiting for the bowl, I skim the whole room and marvel at the lively pace of things and the people themselves. Each table is evidently having their own happy time. But because the space is large and breathable, I don’t overhear the specifics of the stories of a couple and family on two nearby tables.
The comfort does not stop there. The service is just as warm. Present at the resto were the owners who put in the effort to catch up with most of the customers. Their staff follow suit as they also radiate the same friendliness to all who come to their café.
What we love?
Some restaurants get too creative (and plentiful) in their menus. Hobing is not one of them. As my Mango Cheese Bingsu arrived, it looked superb. Big, bright mango slices and cheesecake cubes overflow on top shaved ice crowned with towering whipped cream. Lavish drizzles of mango syrup grace all over along with almond slivers. Truly, the bingsu bowl appeared divine.
At the first bite, the flavors made their strong marks. The smooth, shaved ice is very rich and milky, perfectly coupled with the sweetness of the mango fruit and the semi salty-sweet cheesiness of the cheesecake cubes. The whipped cream nicely balances out these tastes that result to a greatly satisfying spoonful. The crunch given by the almond slivers is also fun and appreciated. And really huge is not an exaggeration for their servings. One person cannot finish a bingsu order unless really dessert-starved.
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On a second visit, at perhaps in any of the other Hobing Korean Dessert branches at Glorietta 7, SM Megamall and Lucky Chinatown Mall, I will not only limit my palate to one bingsu. I would want to have my take on the Strawberry Bingsu (P215 – R, P330 – L) and the BerryBerry Bingsu (P255 – R, P380 – L). One thing I regret for not ordering and would definitely get next time is their injeolmi (sweet rice cake) add-on for my bingsu. Similar to Japanese mochi and Chinese tikoy, this glutinous rice powder would complete the bingsu experience. Lastly, if I decide not to dine beforehand, I can have their tteokbokki (spicy rice cake) and rabokki (ramen plus tteokbokki) meals to ready my mouth for a heavenly dessert.
Eating out alone in this café, a 400-peso budget would be more than enough to get you their toast+bingsu sets. And because their servings are greatly generous, you can even share with a friend. But if you prefer to have your own bowls of shaved ice and maybe a tteokbokki, too, a 700-peso budget is good.
One of the best Korean desserts in the Philippines can really be found at the Hobing Korean Dessert Café. Their flagship entry, the bingsu, is nothing short of a real Korean gastric experience. As I enjoy my own bingsu bowl at the cafe, I instantly understood why the restaurant is abuzz the way it is. We are all housed in an excellent snow café, which has superb service and serves exceptionally terrific dessert.
HOBING KOREAN DESSERT CAFE l 4 out 5 l 10 AM to 11 PM l Bonifacio Global Center Stopover, Lucky Chinatown Mall, SM Megamall, Glorietta 7 l Facebook