I was looking at my blog stats and it looks like my readers really likes desserts! So I had to share one of my favorite dessert places: Cloud 9. I haven’t been back since my first visit due to logistical reasons, but if I’m ever in the area, I will eat a ton of snow ice. You will too.
*Note: I’m trying out a bigger images for this blog post so please let me know if you like it or prefer the smaller image I’ve been using for the past posts!
I found out about Cloud 9 by pure accident. I was heading towards Broadway street via Belmont and the playful looking sign caught my eye. I then read the window glass that said, “Joyfully serving Taiwanese snow ice, bubble tea.” My immediate reaction was, “GTFO!! NO WAI~!” (Translation: Get the eff out! No WAYYYYY!)
As you can see, I ran in. They have games for customers to play with. Scrabble, anyone?
The place is spacious and the lights have a fun, translucent multicolored design.
There’s plenty of space to wander around in. Plus, it’s quite welcoming. I mean, I ran in.
On the wall, there’s an easy to understand ordering system. Pick snow ice, pick sauce, pick toppings = done.
There’s four kinds of snow ice you choose from. Mango, green tea, vanilla, and strawberry. For those wondering, snow ice is like shaved ice, however, the texture and flavors of the ice are done differently. Instead of plain frozen ice with toppings to flavor it, the flavors are infused into an actual ice block and frozen. When you pick a flavor, there’s a different block of ice they shave from. When they shave the ice, a special machine is used to achieve a fluffy and melt in your melt sensation of the ice versus a typical ice shaving machine you would buy in a store.
There’s also drinks on the menu. Notice the bubble tea? They serve the REAL Taiwanese bubble tea, with real tea and boba. Bubble tea originated from Taiwan so this is great news to bubble tea enthusiasts. While I did not try it, the next time I come back, I’ll be ordering a large beverage. Note that the real bubble tea is not that fruit shake that 99% of places serve. The guy serving me mentioned that they’ll be serving the ‘regular’ fruity bubble tea that everyone keeps requesting.
Here’s the snow ice in action. It’s a bit different than normal.
The guy making the snow ice is actually the son of the owners. We had a great time chatting up bubble tea and the snow ice. So if you see him, say hi! I forgot his name, but he was really friendly! He gave a lot of great information about what they’re selling.
Here’s the snow ice and what it looks like with the machine. The guy was telling me that their snow ice machine and freezer is actually from Taiwan. Wow, that’s dedication to a quality product.
At this point, they’ll ask you what sauce/drizzle you want and the toppings. They have regular sauces that you’ll probably find familiar and toppings, though, I recommend trying to get toppings you might get in Taiwan.
I chose mango snow ice with red bean topping and the regular sauce. I forgot what sauce I got, but it’s a typical Taiwanese topping+sauce combination. I heard a Taiwanese guy orders the same exact snow ice every time he comes in, never deviating. Hard. Core. Now that’s homesickness for you. Feeding the need.
As you can see, it’s quite big and looks messy, maybe even unappetizing. I assure you, it is not. If I correctly recall, this was a small order! It was delicious and satisfying. With every order of snow ice, you get a hole punched in a Cloud 9 card. When you attain 8, you get the 9th one free!
Each bite was soft and fluffy, with a hint of mango and a bite of sweet red beans. A delightful dish that disappeared quickly despite the cold weather outside. Rain or shine, hot or cold, you have to drop by Cloud 9 for a taste of heaven.
604 W. Belmont
Chicago, IL 60657