Exploring Asian frozen treats like bingsu and taiyaki at Sweet Society

In south Louisiana, there’s plenty of snobbery around shaved ice. It’s a snoball, thank you, not a snow cone, a regional flex signaling the fine texture of the former, versus the coarse pebbles in the latter.

But there’s another shaved ice treat whose snowy properties surpass even the finest regional snoball, and that’s Korean bingsu. The delicate confection is made with shaved frozen milk, not ice, ensuring an uncanny snow-like resemblance, says Sweet Society co-owner Patrick Wong.


“Whenever that snow hits your tongue, it melts immediately,” Wong says. “Bingsu has a very light texture.”

Bingsu is one of the specialties served at Sweet Society, an Asian-inspired dessert shop in Mid City’s Electric Depot. The menu also includes photogenic Japanese taiyaki, and cool drinks like boba, milk tea and fresh fruit green teas.

As diners seek out global eats, Wong and co-founder Karen Vong say Sweet Society’s popularity has only grown since its 2020 opening.

To make bingsu, Sweet Society adds milk to a machine imported from Korea. The milk freezes inside in cylinder form, and is then shaved to a fine consistency with spinning blades.

Combined with condensed milk, flavored syrups and other ingredients, it’s served like a sundae. Order it at Sweet Society in five flavors: Strawberry, Mango, Watermelon, Oreo and Fruity Pebbles, and select from toppings like whipped cream, mochi, Pocky sticks and sprinkles. Spoon up the cool, sweet goodness, and feel the snow melt.

Vong says Watermelon is a top seller in the summer.

“We use half a watermelon,” she says. “It’s so refreshing.”

Sweet Society’s bingsu, a Korean-inspired dessert made with shaved frozen milk

Japanese taiyaki, a fish-shaped cookie pocket served with or without ice cream, is another of Sweet Society’s signature desserts.

“Taiyaki is a favorite,” Wong says. “People love to order it.”

Opt for a pastry filled with sweet red bean, Nutella, custard or cheese to enjoy solo or wedged into a dish of Japanese soft serve.

Try swirled soft serve flavors like Honeydew and Mango Dole served in a fish-shaped Japanese taiyaki cone.

Or, use one as your cone. Sweet Society’s rotating ice cream flavors currently include Mango Dole, Honeydew, Cherry Milk and Hokkaido Milk, and they look awfully pretty swirled and stuffed in an upturned fish.

Topped with Oreo, toasted coconut, sprinkles, toasted almonds, Pocky sticks or Fruity Pebbles, few desserts are as eye-catching. Find it on Instagram at @sweetsocietybr

This article was originally published in the June 2024 issue of 225 Magazine.