City Guide Review: Sulbing (Busan)

Photos and Review by Andrew Cheng, ETA ’12-14

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City: Busan (부산)
Restaurant Name: Sulbing (설빙)
Food Served: Dessert
Restaurant address: 부산광역시 중구 광복로 54-2 / 54-2 Gwangbok-ro Jung-gu Busan, Korea

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Directions: The original Sulbing is located at the midpoint of Nampo Station and Jagalchi Station in the lively Nampo shopping district. From Nampo Station (남포역) exit 7, turn left and head up the street. When the road splits at a three-way intersection, bear left and you’ll see Sulbing on the second floor, above a Lacoste shop. There are many other locations in Busan (Seomyeon, Haeundae, PNU), Changwon (Sangnam, Yongho, Palyong), Seoul (Gangnam), Daegu, Cheonan, Suwon, and Cheongju.
Cost: 4,500 won – 12,000 won
Payment: Cash or credit card

Sulbing is cozy and comfortable, but always bustling and busy, and for good reason. It’s the traditional Korean dessert of bingsoo (빙수), but with shaved milk instead of shaved ice and generous heapings of injeomi (인절미), sticky rice cake with sweet bean powder over it. Service is fast. You can also order sweet toast with injeolmi and any number of drinks, ranging from standard coffees and lattes to special traditional Korean teas.

Service is fast and the environment and bathrooms are clean. Free wi-fi and free complimentary green tea (chilled or warm) for all guests! Though not quiet, this cafe is easily a perfect place to chat with friends and chill for an afternoon or evening.

I recommend the milk-red bean sulbing (밀크팥설빙); although it doesn’t come with the sweetened condensed milk, with such a huge scoop of sweet red bean, it doesn’t need the added sugar. Shaved frozen milk, injeolmi, red bean, topped with dried jujubes: it’s authentic and delicious, even on a wintry day.

I also recommend honey butter toast, served with ice cream to counter the warm, gooey bread-cake. With a friend, conquer the sulbing+toast combo and finish with green tea.

If you get other sulbings, like original injeolmi or cheesecake, you can ask for an extra tumbler of condensed milk to satisfy your cravings. New on the menu: dessert porridge, in red bean or sweet pumpkin flavors.

Atmosphere (Out of 5)
4- Can be crowded or loud, but the original store in Busan has three floors, so there’s plenty of room.

Service (Out of 5)

Food (Out of 5)
5- Sweet, traditional, authentic, a gem of Busan/Gyeongnam.