The most recently added location of Sul & Beans in Main Street Cupertino has quickly gained popularity on social media, leading some to wonder if the newest addition to the franchise is really as good as it seems. To test this theory, El Estoque paid Sul & Beans a special visit to review some of their most popular items: the injeolmi bingsoo, fresh strawberry bingsoo and the choux cream toast.
Injeolmi Bingsoo (인절미 빙수)
Rating - 8/10
Price - $9.95
The injeolmi bingsoo’s unique nutty flavor is an enjoyable contrast to the sweetness of the strawberry bingsoo. The layer of bean powder topping provides an enticing crunch that pairs well with the subtle sweetness of the milky shaved ice. Topped with soft, chewy injeolmi (Korean rice cake) and nuts, the overall dish is satisfyingly flavorful. Scoops of the soft shaved ice bear a resemblance to fluffy snow, yet those who enjoy the satisfaction of the shaved ice dissolving in their mouth and eat too eagerly will momentarily find themselves with brain-freeze. Mixing the bean powder and toppings into the rest of the dessert evenly spreads out the flavor throughout the bowl, at the cost of ruining the aesthetic presentation. Even after mixing the shaved ice, the unmistakable shaved ice puddle at the bottom of the bowl cannot be found with the injeolmi bingsoo.
Fresh Strawberry Bingsoo (딸기 빙수)
Rating - 7/10
Price - $10.95
The strawberry bingsoo is served with a beautiful presentation – fillets of strawberry layered artfully over a mound of shaved ice. Along with being aesthetically satisfying, the dish also offers an addictingly sweet flavor, in part due to the condensed milk. While initially overwhelming, this sweetness is cleverly offset by the natural tartness of the strawberries. Since the condensed milk and overall strawberry flavor seem to penetrate the ice below regardless of mixing, it is advised to eat the dish in a top-to-bottom style. While the strawberry bingsoo also includes an injeolmi topping, this injeolmi is harder than that of the injeolmi bingsoo, and so the texture is not as pleasantly chewy. Another thing to note is that strawberry bingsoo seems to melt faster than its injeolmi counterpart, possibly because of the water from the strawberries, so the dish is best eaten quickly within three to five minutes.
Choux Cream Toast (슈크림 토스트)
Rating - 8/10
Price - $6.65
The layers of this doubledecker cream toast are joined by a soft custard center and come pre-sliced into convenient bite-sized pieces, each generously dusted with powdered sugar. The buttery and eggy undertones of the choux (French pastry dough) incorporate into a crème brûlée flavor crowned with whipped cream. The combined textures of two layers of toast complement the creamy custard and prompt you to reach for another piece, fittingly cut to Sul & Beans’s ideal of sharing the crème de la crème of desserts.
Overall Sul and Beans
Rating - 8/10
Price - $$/$$$
Sul & Beans is a cute, aesthetic location for enjoying desserts to share with friends and family. The shop’s tree decoration centerpiece, dessert display case, wooden chairs and marbled tables warrant frequent returns to enjoy a wide variety of bingsoo and toast. The shop seats both indoors and outdoors. Main Street is busy with customers of all ages and, despite high prices, the same can be said for this popular dessert shop.