A popular Asian dessert comes to Sparks.
WRITTEN BY GERALDA MILLER
PHOTOS BY ASA GILMORE
A creamy, fluffy, frozen dessert that’s well known in Southeast Asia and popular in the Bay Area now is the highlight of the offerings at a Sparks restaurant that just opened last fall.
Ken Vong and David Tran, owners of Siu Korean BBQ and Asian Express, said they had tried snowflake in several Northern California cities and thought it would be an uncommon addition to their menu.
“We found it quite interesting and thought we should bring it to this town and share it with the guests,” Tran says. “People who’ve been to Asian countries say, ‘Oh my God, you’ve got this?’ We’re the only ones who have it right now.”
Snowflake is a hybrid of ice cream and shaved ice. Milk, water, and flavoring are frozen into cylindrical blocks using a special freezer. Vong says they will start out offering only four flavors: taro, coconut, mango, and mate. The flavored blocks are sliced with an ice shaver into thin ribbons that melt in the mouth.
“We continue to experiment with other flavors,” Vong says.
Reminiscent of the days when it was a big treat to have a waiter deliver an ice cream sundae to the table, presentation is everything with snowflake, Tran says. A mound of thin ribbons of creamy, flavored ice is topped with fresh fruit or tapioca pearls, called boba, which burst with flavor when bitten. A drizzle of condensed milk or chocolate, strawberry, or caramel sauce also can be added.
For another cold summer treat, Asian Express also offers bubble tea, which is a refreshing, iced oolong or jasmine tea filled with flavored, popping boba.
Whether you’re dining in the formal Korean BBQ side of the restaurant or the faster and more casual Asian Express side, Vong and Tran believe snowflake is the perfect cold dessert to cap off a hot summer day.
Geralda Miller is a freelance writer who still remembers the first time she tried, and enjoyed, the taste of popping boba.
Siu Korean BBQ and Asian Express
754 N. McCarran Blvd., Sparks • 775-502-3222 • Siukoreanbbq.com