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SNOW8 review – by Cheri The Glutton

  • Taku 

SNOW 8: Hot Saigon Cooler With The Powderly Shaved Ice

Summer is almost with us most of the time here in Ho Chi Minh. It’s the hottest especially from March to May. Soo Hot…

Then, why don’t we go have a chill?

Only Ok-ish Shaved Ice Available In Saigon, Right?

To my knowledge, there are many places we can eat shaved ice. But because I’ve had good ones back in Japan and my expectation for it is quite high, I was disappointed by “ok-ish” shaved ice countless times before. I mean, I’ve tried many places many times in Saigon. But I couldn’t write about them, for they were just ok honestly.

My only favourite was Snow Cafe. Their shaved ice was incredible. The ice itself was good and absolutely gorgeous topped with lots of fruits. It was in a sense too cheap, so they should’ve charged a bit more, really. Since they had closed the place, I hadn’t tried to have shaved ice much. So I’m kinda excited to try this new place. Let’s find out!

On Lý Tự Trọng St., My Go-To Places Nearby

Actually, I’ve been curious about this place for a little while, because this area has my go-to places like La Belvie and Scarab Saigon and it’s often said like attracts like, right? So this place might be for me too.

This sign just says “Ice with condensed milk” in Japanese. Is it like one of those dessert chains? If so, it would be a bit ordinary.  

And then, when I looked at the place, I asked myself…

“Wait, is this a fruits shop!?” “Do they import from Japan?” Sounds very expensive… But that sign said the price, 80k, right? Ok, it’s not cheap but acceptable in Saigon, I guess.

When got in, I found my dear friend there… What a serendipity! Yes, their dessert must be good, then! My expectation skyrocketed!

Not Shaved Ice Anymore, New Genre of Dessert

As you can see in the pics, there are 2 general types of shaved ice, ones with lots fruits and ones with Japanese ingredients.

Ahh, hard to choose… I wanna try them all…. Well, should I go with mango one? It’s served with cinnamon. Sounds really cool!

And here it comes!

At first, “Oh, there aren’t much mangos as I expected” I thought. But it actually came with a small glass of mango syrup. And can you see the brown powder there? That’s cinnamon. I’m excited!

By the way, Vietnam is a producer of cinnamon. To be precise, the word “cinnamon” is meant to be used only for the one produced in Sri Lanka. It’s like a champagne in France, I guess.

Anyway, let’s just keep using the word “cinnamon” for now.

In some parts of Vietnam, people craft teapots with sheets of cinnamon and make tea with it, apparently. What an idea! We should learn from them more to utilise what we’ve got here in Vietnam.

Anyway,,,the shaved ice is so powdery. It’s not melting at all.

It looks exactly like fresh snow.

Those snowflakes look like miniature of steamed Basmati rice (no one’s following me now..) and so fluffy with air.   

So when having a bite, we surely feel its coldness but it’s melt right away. It’s not like when we have frozen desserts staying in your mouth forever and causing that annoying headache.

This shaved ice reminded me of the one at Snow Cafe actually. It’s probably made through a similar process. This one is even more powderly, I think.

The sign in front of the place just described it as “Ice with condensed milk”.

Wait, the description “Ice with condensed milk” is so misleading

They need a better name for this. “Ice with condensed milk” sounds way tooo ordinary and how can you imagine this gorgeous shaved ice?

What can I say, it’s totally the opposite of a hype. I mean the sign is too modest. They seriously need an unique naming for this.

A staff at the place told me that they make the shaved ice through a special process. Yes, of course. It’s almost as if they are exploring a new genre.

A Secret Menu

I hadn’t had lunch on that day. It’s not on purpose, just by chance. So I ate it up pretty quickly… And I thought ”One more?”( We usually don’t think this way, I know I know)  

Then, I looked at the menu again. Oh, the matcha one looks fabulous and the hojicha one looks beautiful too…I cannot choooose

“Would you like a half-and-half?”

“Can I ?”

Apparently, it’s not on the menu. They do their customers a favour if they ask if a half-and-half is an option.

I wasn’t quite sure if I should write about this because half-and-half would be an extra work to them, but

“Sure, please spread the word. Of course, we might not be able to make it when we are too busy” they generously accepted it. Wow, thank youuu!

But I shouldn’t have ice cream this time. That would too much eating. And the vanilla ice cream wasn’t that tempting as well, to be honest.

So “Just shaved ice this time, please..” I was asking and they interrupted me and said

“Cheri, you should try ice cream too! We will make it smaller”.

Ok,,, let me try, then (eating too much, aren’t I…)

And here it is!

Wow, I see! Matcha one comes with Matcha ice cream and hojicha one comes with hojicha ice cream!

And those tea ice creams are both nice!

Those ones are served with tea powder, not with syrup. Yes yes, I can enjoy the snowflakes in my mouth even more this way.

Matcha was pretty good and I was wondering ”Can they make money out of this?” (No worries, Cheri).

And hojicha with condensed milk! Hojicha’s got a slightly bitter flavour and it goes with the sweetness of the condensed milk. Sooo Goood!

(I got to know later that those teas are from my favourite place apparently. No wonder it’s so distinct. Great select!)

I personally liked the crunchy corn flakes on top too. I know some people don’t like sundae and shaved ice with corn flakes, but I prefer this style. It gives us an extra texture exactly like ice cream cone.

This is how I end up eating up 3 kinds of shaved ice.

Snow 8 is a place we have been waiting for since Snow Cafe had closed! It’s hot outside here in Saigon but it’s often freezing inside thanks to aircon, so you might not eat shaved ice often. Still, this shaved ice is something you can casually enjoy♪

Fruits Shop With Empty Showcase?

By the way… I found a big showcase in the shop. Oh, yes the sign in front said it’s a fruits shop. Then, the showcase must be for it.

But it’s…

Empty?? I was wondering “They haven’t started selling yet?”

Apparently, it’s all sold out. They told me that every time they import some fruits from Japan, everything is taken right away. Those imported fruits would  not be cheap, right? The quality must be so fabulous.When you visit there for shaved ice and find some fruits, it’s a must-try too.

Store Details


68  Ly Tu Trong Q1

Time: 10:00 – 22:00

Spent :  155,000 vnd / person

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