If it were possible to live on desserts, I would. So it was a delightful surprise to discover a new sweet treat, hiding in plain sight at the dessert-heavy intersection of Forbes and Murray.
Cool Ice Taipei is a Taiwanese casual café that moved into the tiny slot vacated by Pamela's. Its menu offers a couple dozen entrees (dumplings, noodle bowls, hot pots, salt-and-pepper chicken) and a handful of appetizers (marinated egg, fried squid balls). There are also plenty of libations, including: green and black teas, bubble teas, milk teas, fresh fruit juice, milkshakes and smoothies.
But it was the curiously named "snow ice" that drew me in. This is a Taiwanese dessert in which milk, flavorings and fruit are mixed together and frozen into a block. That block is then "shaved" into fluffy flakes that are piled up and topped with fresh fruit.
From a dozen choices (including taro, Oreo, red bean, strawberry), I ordered "milk and mango." Although the dish is sometimes called "shaved ice," the effect is of a shaved milkshake, not an ice-based snow cone. It was like eating a bowl of sweet, milky mango-flavored snowflakes — at once creamy and airy, with the satisfying sensation of quickly melting in the mouth.
A serving of snow ice ranges $6-8, but the portion is more than enough for two. Or, like me, you can eat it all yourself.
5813 Forbes Ave., Squirrel Hill. 412-521-8989