Fred Chen saw the Taiwanese snow-like shaved ice dessert (bào bīng) craze sweeping through Los Angeles and realized that Orange County did not have this. He started Snow Station back in 2012 with soy-based ice cream and shaved snow for those with a vegan or lactose-intolerance lifestyle. Later, he branched out on his own along with partners John Bui and Bee Lee to open Snow Heaven in June 2016. Even as we now enter the winter season and after only being open for 6 months, Snow Heaven has developed a following of loyal South Orange County foodies.
The interior has a light, ethereal feel coupled with Hello Kitty. It is very inviting and friendly. You order at the counter and can watch them “make snow” right in front of you. The machines are just like the ones you would use to make shaved ice. The difference is that Snow Heaven mixes the flavors right into the ice.
Let’s take a look at some of their snowy sweet menu items:
Tropical Paradise Snow ($8.25) is made with passion fruit and coconut ices topped with lychee, kiwi, jackfruit, and drizzled with honey. The dessert is so light; just like snow. The passion fruit ice has a strong passion fruit flavor and tropical feel. The coconut ice is creamy, but the coconut flavor is a bit subtle compared to the passion fruit. The fruit toppings add texture and freshness. Rating: 4.4/5
Crepe ($5.95) is filled with the ice cream and toppings of your choice. I went with the Nutella ice cream topped with whipped cream, fresh berries, and drizzled with chocolate sauce. This is a great dessert with a French flair. The Nutella ice cream matches perfectly with the crepe. The ice cream is Asian-style, almost like ice milk, so it is light but rich with Nutella flavor. The berries add a refreshing texture and tangy flavor balancing perfectly with the chocolatey flavor of the ice cream. Rating: 5/5
Slush Snow ($8.25) is strawberry lemonade topped with strawberry snow. This tastes best if you mix the snow into the lemonade. The creamy flavor balances the slightly sour flavor of the lemonade turning it into a strawberry lemon cream smoothie. It is refreshingly light and tangy. Rating: 4.5/5
Snowball ($7.25) is Bubble Gum and Strawberry Cream Cheese Ice Creams topped with Green Tea Snow, rainbow mochi, and raspberry sauce. The color choices here are just crazy which will be right up the alley of young children with green, blue, pink, purple, orange, and red. Looks like something Hello Kitty would order for dessert to share with her friends. Even as an adult and graphic designer, I love crazy flavors and colors. This brought me back to my childhood as well. The green tea snow is light and has a subtle green tea flavor. The bubble gum ice cream tastes like pure bubble gum, the flavor you get when you have the first good chews of a bubble gumball. The strawberry cream cheese ice cream tastes like a light strawberry cheesecake. But I think the best part is the soft, pillow-like rainbow mochi. I’ve never had mochi this soft before with such a soft chew. Rating: 5/5
Taiyaki Fish Waffle Ice Cream ($4.50, +$.35 for red bean inside the cone) is a sweet waffle cone served warm with your choice of ice cream and toppings. I chose Nutella ice cream topped with caramel. This is perfect for winter as the cone is served warm. The ice cream texture works perfectly with the waffle. It is also a great for the kids as it is in the shape of cute fish. Rating: 5/5
Even though we are heading into winter, we all still have cravings for icy desserts. Snow Heaven is ready to make your next snowy creation!
- Purchase a drink in a 32 oz. mason jar for $6.50 and bring it back for $3.65 refills.
Atmosphere: 4 out of 5 stars
Décor: 4 out of 5 stars
Service: 5 out of 5 stars
Food: 5 out of 5 stars
For more information:
22367 El Toro Rd.
Lake Forest, CA 92630
Hours: Daily from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Parking: Free parking in the Stater Bros. Plaza
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