Last week, Food Escape was invited to try one of the newest and hottest Taiwanese desserts cafe in Pantai Indah Kapuk area called SnowBowl Cafe. The cafe has been operating since February 2014. Being a fan of Taiwanese desserts myself, I spotted this cafe way back on January when it was still not opened yet but promised myself I would visit this place as soon as I could. 
The cafe is easily spotted from the main street, thanks to the festive snowy decorations including the all-white theme and clear glass surroundings. I didn’t expect the cafe to be like THAT, I mean, I expected something more casual like usual Taiwanese desserts places. There are two floors for dining areas, and we were seated on the first one. Everything is decorated in white and some hints of blue, but everything really resembles winter atmosphere including the snowflakes wall stickers and so on. My initial reaction was “SO BEAUTIFUL!” and honestly, I am truly impressed by how passionate the owner must be to be able to create such atmosphere.

The second floor is about the same with the first one, and it can be reserved for birthday party, arisan, meeting or gathering. The nicest thing is that you’ll get one floor for yourself with free room charge, free karaoke with sound system, and also free charge of projector, screen and laser pointer for meeting purpose. How cool is that?
The main dishes of SnowBowl Cafe is the Taiwanese desserts, but everything there is handmade, cooked daily and served fresh. All the ingredients are chosen carefully and processed with the purpose of making delicious yet healthy desserts, and it claims to put no additional preservatives, colorings and flavorings. We had the chance to meet and talk to the owner, Mr. Johnsen Tannato, and thanks to him, we understand more about the benefits and the background of Taiwanese desserts, the real ones that Taiwanese people eat for the sake of health, not precisely a “dessert”. He himself likes Taiwanese desserts very much (also his child), and because he is concerned about the desserts that he finds here (which use loads of sugar and milk, risking people to develop Diabetes), he tried to create the real Taiwanese desserts that he enjoys in Taiwan, a healthy, natural, and delicious ones.

The most outstanding difference between SnowBowl Cafe and other places like this is the ICE. Here, the ice is called “snow ice” because it truly resembles snow, soft and smooth. Not only that, all the ices served here have their own flavors because they are made from real fruits or beans into ice then shaved by hands manually. 

7 variants of the snow ice: Green Tea, Taro, Grass Jelly, Mango, Soya, Pineapple, and Plum ice. Toppings are available from beans to pudding, Q ball to ice cream, you name it. But according to Mr. Johnsen himself, it is recommended to choose the selections from the available menu because the each ice already has its own flavor, adding unsuitable toppings may result in not-so-delicious bowl of dessert. Makes a lot of sense.

Because the selections are quite a lot, as usual, the bowls are named by alphabets and numbers (A01 etc). I managed to try quite a lot of types, so I put the code in the menu name 🙂
SnowBowl Taro Ice (D05) IDR 28K
Taro ice with caramel pudding, Q ball, red bean and pearl. The taro ice didn’t really have distinctive taste, but the texture was very soft and fragile, just like the real snow! Interestingly, the snow ice itself already has sweetness so even though the toppings were not as sweet as in other places, this bowl still rocked! The pearls were very chewy and not sticky, so much love! 

SnowBowl Mango Ice (D17) IDR 32K
Mango ice served with mango pudding, fresh mango, passion fruit popping boba, and rainbow jelly. Since mangoes are seasonal fruits, good and sweet ones were not available during our visit so it was replaced with a scoop of mango ice cream. The mango snow ice was sooooooo good that it was hard to stop eating it. Honestly, it was like I was eating frozen mango juice or something. The passion fruit popping boba complimented the mango ice very well, and yeah, fruity desserts are always my choice compared to milky ones.

SnowBowl Green Tea Ice (D13) IDR 36K
Green Tea ice served with matcha ice cream, grass jelly pudding, Q ball, and pearl. This was very good but sweeter than the other bowls because of the ice cream.

SnowBowl Plum Ice (D22) IDR 32K
Plum ice served with lemon jade jelly, passion fruit popping boba, rainbow jelly and nata de coco.

SnowBowl Grass Jelly Ice (D) IDR 36K
Grass Jelly ice served with matcha ice cream, grass jelly pudding, Q ball and pearl.

Pineapple Ice

Soya Ice

Taro Ice

Out of 7 ice flavors, my favorites are the plum ice, followed closely by mango ice. The plum ice especially, it was surprisingly good! Normally I am not really a fan of plum fruit, but this version was very nice, with balanced sweetness and sourness, so refreshing! All the ices were really soft and rich in flavors. For the grass jelly ice, I tried the one with matcha ice cream, and I think it was a big mistake because once I mixed everything altogether, the whole bowl tasted matcha, so I hardly tasted any grass jelly flavor of the ice. But of course, there are other topping selections that go well with the grass jelly ice that are non matcha related, so next time I will make sure I order those ones!

Beside desserts, SnowBowl Cafe also serves some Taiwanese street snacks and heavier menu such as rice, noodle or pasta dishes.

Popcorn Chicken (S01) IDR 28K
This comes in 2 modes: Original or Spicy, and we chose the original one. Although the appearance wasn’t really extraordinary, surprisingly it was super delicious. The chicken pieces were soft and deep-fried until crunchy. I especially appreciated this because I didn’t feel thirsty afterwards, unlike some fried chicken in other places.

Taiwan Sweet Potato Stick (S02) IDR 20K
A must order whenever we go to Taiwanese street food places, this was exceptionally great! I hate to say this, but it seems like my heart is already sinking too deeply to this cafe. The sweet potato sticks were sweet but not overly sweet, and they were fried so well! Just YUM! And… they used the plum powder as seasonings (see that reddish orange powder sprinkled on the sticks?), seriously it’s a super duper perfect combination.

Grilled Chicken Chop
This is one of the most popular menu amongst the main course selections. Basically a chicken thigh fillet grilled and served with brown gravy and potato wedges. The chicken was nice but grilled too much so I could taste some bitterness. The meat was still tender and juicy, though, so I think the problem was the fire/heat concentration, not the timing. The gravy sauce was just like what I love, not too thick but not runny either, only the taste was too salty for me. The star of the dish was the potato wedges, which were cut in really big chunks but so well-fried!

Fried Noodle Tom Yam (F03) IDR 30K
As fried noodle, it was standardly nice, but couldn’t taste anything about tom yam.

Nasi Lemak with Prawn Sambal (F13) IDR 35K
Didn’t try this one, but I was told this was very tasty and surprisingly fulfilling! Seriously, the prawn sambal looked so tempting.

French Fries (S03) IDR 15K
Okay, you might think it’s just a french fries, but it is not. I ordered this for my 4 years-old nephew, who eats french fries like there is no tomorrow. But sometimes he is kinda picky, especially when he meets wavy ones. But this one was sprinkled with tasty seasoning powder and he was hooked, in the end finished two plates by himself. Need I say more?

FYI, this SnowBowl Cafe is totally unrelated to another Snowbowl, which I spotted in Lippo Kemang and Lotte Shopping Avenue. The other Snowbowl is (I think) Korean cafe which serves coffee and Japanese-style shaved ice (kakigori). I tried that once in Lippo Mall Kemang, was unhappy with the ridiculously expensive prices and standard coffee. 

If you think that PIK has enough Taiwanese desserts cafes spread around the area, please don’t. I was thinking that SnowBowl Cafe is *just* another one, but after I tried myself, I know that it is different. So why don’t you give it a try and start eating delicious Taiwanese desserts in healthier, better way? 😀
THANK YOU SnowBowl Cafe for having us!

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SnowBowl Cafe
Rukan Exclusive Blok A No. 16
Pantai Indah Kapuk (PIK)
Jakarta Utara 14460
Ph. +62 21 3318 2079
Free Wi-fi: Available
Opening Hours: Mon-Thu 09.00 – 24.00, Fri-Sun 09.00 – 01.00