There is no shortage of dessert options, the most obvious being "slush ice" (kakigori), a snow cone that comes with choice of 13 syrup flavors (all homemade), including mung bean, litchi, banana, honeydew, and taro. "Taiwanese shaved ice" is a bit more complex. Patrons select four of 34 toppings that encompass fresh fruits (cantaloupe, kiwi), puddings (chocolate, almond), beans (red, mung), jellies (mango, lemon grass), peanuts, corn, condensed milk, six types of dried plums, longan sweet rice, barley, and so forth. Shaved ice can become a meal in itself — albeit a strange one.
Could these soy substitutes con a carnivore? Never. But vegetarians and vegans will deem it close enough, and most folks should appreciate it for what it is: fresh, flavorful, healthful Chinese food at an excellent price. And those who find faux protein not to be their cup of tea might very well discover that bubble tea is. Shing Wang brings yesterday's American-Chinese cuisine into the realm of relevant 21st-century dining. The torch has been passed.