Ice, ice, baby

Sunday, August 12th, 2007 | All Things, Eats

Sunday brunch in New York City is almost never a simple affair. At most places around town, getting a simple plate of eggs and toast between 11AM and 1PM is nearly impossible unless you’re willing to invest in some significant wait time.

I do love brunch, though, and every once in a while, I make the attempt. SYB had gamely spent his entire morning on line for tonight’s Shakespeare in the Park tickets – the streak is alive! — so really, the eggs seemed like the least I could do in exchange for my seat.

After six hours of waiting on the sidewalk outside the Public, though, he didn’t seem much in the mood for another line. Unfortunately, at 1PM, all the East Village hipsters were just starting their days. Even Veselka’s line stretched down the block. Pretty quickly, we assessed that our prospects might improve if we were willing to expand our search to even less-traditional brunch spots. Although newly opened (and newly reviewed) restaurant Setagaya also proved too popular for us, we eventually found our way to its nearby (less authentic?) ramen rival, Momofuku. (Hey, at least Chef Chang has a sense of humor about it.)

Ah, I do love that place. Maybe because of its hot new competition, we were able to find seats right away. Within fifteen minutes, we were happily slurping away at steaming bowls of the signature Berkshire Pork ramen.

To cool things off a bit, I brought SYB to Otafuku on East 9th, where just a couple of weeks ago, I discovered that this place wasn’t just about the octopus balls (takoyaki).

Shaved ice is a treat popular in Southeast Asia: in Hong Kong, it’s “bao bing”; in Korea, pat bing soo.” Malaysians refer to it as “ice – or ais – kacang,” or simply “ABC” (air batu campur). I like to think of it as the Asian version of a snow cone, though the consistency is a little different: a mound of thinly flaked (not crushed) ice, topped with combinations of ingredients like condensed milk, chopped fruits, sweet corn, grass jelly, or here at Otafuku: green tea syrup and sweet red beans. (Strawberry and melon flavors are available, too.)

Otafuku shaved ice

Otafuku shaved ice

In Japan, the snack is called “kakigoori”, and in summer months, the stands pop up all around the country.

Ubiquitous fro-yo chain Pinkberry even has a version made of a “bed of shaved ice, mixed fruit + pillows of mochi, gently kissed with sweetened condensed milk, all hidden beneath a top hat of plain pinkberry.”

Ooh!

There are 4 Comments ... Ice, ice, baby

H20Buffalo
August 23, 2007

Dudes, I must implore you to try the ABC and another brown but delicious shaved ice who’s name I can’t recall. It’s available at Sanur in Chinatown. Sanur is a Malaysian restaurant my mum loves for its authenticity. The ABC and brown shaved ices are better than Otafuku even! Try it. It’s on the corner of Doyer and Pell. (18 Doyer Street)
So good.

vipnyc
August 24, 2007

Good tip — thanks, H20Buffalo!
Singapore Cafe at 69 Mott has a version, too. We should do a tour.

H20Buffalo
August 24, 2007

Let’s try a 3am tour if that’s ok with you!

vipnyc
August 24, 2007

I’m sure we could find something in K-town

Go for it ...