Watermelon bingsoo, with shave ice, condensed milk, and candy toppings
Summer is officially here, and even if the experience is going to be a bit different this year, it won’t be for a lack of frozen desserts.
I went with a young family to try Bing Haus, expecting to dig into a little soft serve and rolled ice cream, and we were not disappointed. However, the real star of the Kearny Mesa shop’s signature dish: bingsoo (sometimes spelled bingsu).
4425 Convoy St Ste 216, San Diego
The rolled ice cream came out first. It’s made by spreading a thin layer of flavored cream over a supercooled plate, then using a spatula to scrape it into small rolls of fresh ice cream, which may be dressed with sauces or toppings, such as a coffee rolled ice cream topped with sliced banana and heath bar crumbles ($6.50). The kids enjoyed watching their rolled cookies and cream ice cream being made, almost as much as they enjoyed eating it.
Rolled cookies and cream ice cream with chocolate syrup, whipped cream, and cookie cereal toppings
I didn’t tell them about the bingsoo, partly to surprise them, and partly because I didn’t know quite how to explain it. It’s a variation on the Korean dessert patbingsoo, which is shaved ice topped with fruit, condensed milk, candies, and red beans. Bing Haus serves this original dessert for $12.
But for $11.50 I couldn’t resist the watermelon bingsoo: the same shaved ice and condensed milk construction, but topped with melon balls, Fruity Pebbles, and gummy-like mochi candies, and served within a hollowed out watermelon half shell. (Another option builds the same style dessert out of a honeydew).
Bing Haus, a stylish dessert shop on Convoy
The undeniably photogenic treat arrived at our table with a side dish: soft serve ice cream, a swirl of vanilla and cookie monster (chocolate in flavor, but with a bright blue color). The kids immediately took notice, forgetting their rolled ice cream, with its whipped cream and drizzle of chocolate syrup.
Beneath the melon balls, the shaved ice was unflavored except for the splashes of condensed milk, but between the fruit, cereal, and chewy mochis, there was plenty of sweetness to go around. We did lose more than a few of the melon balls to gravity — prying one loose could cause a Jenga-like avalanche to roll off our table — but when we got near the bottom of the watermelon shell we were rewarded by a small treasure trove of mochi and pebbles, buried within the slush of condensed milk and ice.
Swirled soft serve ice cream, served as a side dish with bingsoo
Soft serve is the quickest and cheapest of the frozen dessert options here (starting at $3), and at least one of the kids preferred it to both rolled ice cream and bingsoo. But our small party spends enough pandemic time and meals together that we were willing to share.
Bing Haus is a stylish little shop tucked away in a Convoy Street shopping strip, and seating diners at every other booth, it can’t fit too many parties at once. So bring friends and family you don’t mind sharing with, because rolled ice cream and soft serve might be something you can eat on the street or in the car on the way home, but that melon bowl bingsoo is something you’ll really need to eat on premise, a fun excuse to get out of the house this summer.