Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Disappointment shaved into ice (Oh Two Five)

Oh-two-five signage

Something you might not know about me: I don't believe in the idea of perseverance and all that "The Little Engine That Could" jazz. When the going gets tough I usually give up. What I mean is - I don't like partaking in things that are difficult. Or things that I'm not particularly good at. For example... I gave up on skateboarding because I was fat and couldn't jump very high, I gave up on violin because I realized there were too many people that were better at it than me, and I gave up on grad school because my research skills are pretty weak sauce. The list goes on. Maybe this makes me sound like a failure as a person on some level, but I actually think it's a pretty good policy to go off of in general. Like restaurants. If you're going to open a new eatery, it should be innovative and improve upon the status quo. That seems reasonable right? I mean, if you're aiming for mediocrity... why bother?

When I saw "Oh Two Five" I got really excited. It's a place that serves snowflake ice in Manhattan. It's the shit my childhood was built on. It's the stuff that made me into the awkward tubby fat kid through my teenage years. It's what made me... me. The fact that it's available in the city now is incredible to me.

Snö ice?

I have to admit. The fact that they used an umlaut and called it "snö" ice seems unnecessarily stupid to me, but hey... whatever. If they're willing to shave ice that's laced with condensed milk into smooth as hell layers of sensuality then they could call it butthöle nipple ice for all I care. I'm all about the bottom line. Plus look at that poster. Giant pile of sugar, water, and milk. And strawberries too. Nature's sluttiest fruit (only fruit with exposed seeds!). I would pay a king's ransom for this shit.

Snö ice with mangoes and mochi

Too bad they basically lie to you about what you're getting. Instead of a magical mountain of creamy ice shaved finer than fart particles, I ended up with a small pile of fail. The actual ice itself didn't exactly meet the expectations set by my memory of the places in Taiwan. Ideally the dish has a consistent sweetness and possesses a milky sorbet-like texture - straddling the line between a light airy condensed milk flavored ice cream and an Italian ice. Their version is slightly tart, only mildly sweet, and somewhat thin in consistency (maybe because it was a bajillion degrees outside). Add to that the fact that they only give you a small spoonful of each topping and the final product isn't just disappointing, you almost feel cheated from the advertising. Basically they took my dangled my childhood nostalgia in front of me then proceeded to stomp on it just to mock me. Also they charge you money for this. Straight wack.

tl;dr? While I'm super amped that more and more places are pimping out snowflake ice, it's not cool if you're going to put out a substandard product. Guys, I really want to like you, so... fix your shit, stop deceiving people with false advertising, and up your game yo.

Oh Two Five
43 Bayard St, New York, NY 10013


Rodzilla said...

I've never had snowflake ice, just italian ice and snow cones.

Pretty sure I'd only be after the condensed milk though.

Anonymous said...

Nobody wants to pay for a good machine. Same experience here in Chicago.

Ben said...

That little puddle in that bowl is pathetic. Look at that miserable lump of mochi, there's only like 7 pieces.

What exactly is the difference between Xue Hua Bin (Snowflake Ice) and Bao Bing (Shaved Ice)?

Nicholas said...

Rodzilla - yeah, most people haven't which is why it bothers me when people here write about how dope this "new" shaved ice is. The stuff in Taiwan would make the new wave shops here look like shit.

Let them sort out their mediocrity before trying. As of right now, it's not good. And that's not right by me.

Anonymous - that's part of the problem (although a lot of places do a fine job of shaving the ice itself), but the bigger problem is the stingy/low quality toppings the shops pile on top + the silly combinations that the consumers make.

Why don't people realize that red bean + condensed milk is like... the only things that you need on top of ice?

Ben - lol I count more than that, but the point is well taken.

Snowflake ice is flavored prior to freezing and is shaved in sheets so that the end texture is simultaneously smoother/creamier/airier. Plain shaved ice is varied in texture. It's still supposed to be shredded finely, but the character of the dish exists in the fact that there's still a crunchiness. The flavoring/syrups are added post-grinding.

Anonymous said...

If you have not tried a great Snowflake shop, it is the difference between walking to work and driving a Rolls Royce to work. I am sorry you had a bad experience. They are great if the right person makes them. many times the maker fails to put enough fruit or other ingredients. I think that is called greed. Good luck at the next place.

Post a Comment

oh snap. I can control the text here?