Tuesday, April 7 2020


Carving a niche in sweet tooth cravings

Update: June, 29/2015 - 15:14
Most popular: Patbingsu - a light South Korean shaved ice made from milk.

Tapping into a Vietnamese penchant for all things Korean, POW POW Snow serves desserts that have high school and college students knocking on its doors even before they open. Annalise Frank reports.

When the recently opened ice cream eatery POW POW Snow makes its patbingsu - a light South Korean shaved ice that uses milk - it creates a small chamber of snowy winter in the Ha Noi heat.

The only thing I could fault POW POW for after trying a bowl of its patbingsu - they call it Pow Snow - was that they didn't have a human-sized vault where you could play in the ice cream snow yourself. Make ice cream snowmen, etc.

Owner Kim YongJae, 37, pours pure milk into a snow machine imported from South Korea. Within a minute, white snowflakes begin to drop from the top of the machine down into a metal bowl.

I ordered the granola Pow Snow - POW POW's most popular item - on a server's recommendation. It was original vanilla snow, topped with sweet adzuki bean paste, cashews, a powder made from 17 different grains and sweetened condensed milk. The snow was extremely light and gone all too quickly, but the flavours mix together perfectly. Salty and sweet, gritty and smooth.

Just right: Waffle topped with ice-cream.

Though Pow Snow was what drew me to it, POW POW serves a lot more: waffles with ice cream and toppings, soft serve cones, smoothies, salty snacks and even beer. They also have A&W root beer floats - an American treat I've found myself craving in Ha Noi but unable to find until now. The simple combination of root beer and vanilla ice cream creates a unique, frothy milkshake that's gone too soon - like the snow.

Scoops: Two young women share a bowl of ice cream to cool off in the Ha Noi summer heat. — VNS Photos Thai Ha

The second time I came I shared a chocolate Pow Snow with banana and a waffle with cinnamon ice cream and banana with a friend. Pow Pow uses ice cream from Fanny for its waffles and smoothies.

POW POW Snow opened its doors in April. Now it's open for service from 10am and 11pm. It aims for imported Korean dessert excellence at lower prices, and attracts mostly high school and college students. The decor is K-Pop fused with old American diner. The white booths, white walls and metal stools on the first and second floors add a cold element that enhances the ice cream experience on hot days. The third floor has more of a Korean style. It houses several separated glass booths, with cushions planted around the floor surrounding low tables in each one.

State of the art: A modern ice-making machine at POW POW.

Jae came to Viet Nam three years ago to work in construction. But a year ago he met a Korean dessert cafe owner, and started thinking about opening up his own place. He wanted to serve traditional Korean flavours in a way that would please Vietnamese consumers.

"Vietnamese like dessert and the snowflakes are similar to Vietnamese dessert," Jae said. "Vietnamese really like Korean things."

Now, the dream has come true. Vietnamese youngsters come to rap on the doors to POW POW early in the morning before it opens, craving that ice cream fix - even at breakfast time. — VNS



Add: 166E Doi Can St, Ba Dinh District

Tel: 01263021903

Price: VND15,000 – 100,000

Comment: Scrumptious, well-made desserts in a funky setting

Open from 10am to 11pm

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