Taiwanese desserts are Popping Up Everywhere in Malaysia!
Ok, I get the jiff… Dessert houses are now a dime a dozen! In fact, every little corner, you’ll spot one… especially around Petaling Jaya SS2. So what makes Isenbin different from the rest? Read on… J
Coined from the Mandarin language of ‘I Love Fresh Ice’, Isenbin is the newborn of three young owners who went all the way to Taiwan to bring us Master Chef Yu’s concept of healthy homemade desserts! Isenbin mollycoddles its guest with finely shaved flavored ice and topped with various beans, root dumplings and jellies. I was there one fine Sunday afternoon and found the place packed with diners of all ages! Apparently there is no age barrier for desserts or food for that matter!! J
The whole dessert house is spacious and dressed in warm wood with some metal and plastic. Posters of their specialties are plaster artfully to compliment the settings. Warm and comfortable, Isenbin already scored a plus point in décor and spaciousness.
At Isenbin, you place your order and pay for it at the counter. You will be given a number tag and the orders are then delivered to your table. Easy peasy…
Life is Short, let's eat Desserts first!
Usually I will start off with savory food, followed by dessert but this round, I am starting off with desserts.
Isenbin menu is split into four sections – Isenbin Classic, Isenbin Memorables, Isenbin Original and Isenbin Selection. Classic and Memorables showcase Taiwanese desserts while Original features Taiwanese drinks and Selection showcase Taiwanese ramen.
Did you know that grass jelly is made from a plant called Mesona Chinensis, a member of the mint family? Boiled for hours with other herbs, the wobbly jelly has a lot of health benefits like easing heartburns, stomach pain, nausea and indigestion!
As we had a big group, we put in our orders with various toppings and flavored ice to try out what Isenbin has to offer. First up was Grass Jelly Ice and Grass Jelly topped with Red Bean, Lotus Seed and Oee. The dessert portion is huge and priced at RM6.50 with three toppings of your choice, I must say… this is really value for money at the size of the portion. Even my foodie friends were amazed at the portion compared to its other competitors!
The shaved grass jelly flavored ice melted at first contact of the mouth while the toppings provided textures and other flavors to jazz up the ice. Red beans and lotus seeds are cooked till soft but retained its shape. Pillows of Oee (boiled root dumplings like yam, sweet potato or even green tea) added a chewy texture to the dessert. Pour cream all over for a creamy taste or simply enjoyed it like I did without the cream!
Peanut Ice and Grass Jelly with Matcha Oee, Peanuts and Pearls (RM6.50) is a combination of shaved peanut ice and grass jelly topped with green tea dumplings, creamy boiled peanuts and chewy black pearls.
I adored this combination as I loved the peanut aroma and flavors! Green tea dumplings helped to lighten up the nutty flavors while the creamy soft peanuts added a luscious bite to the shaved ice. The soft peanuts reminded me of my mom’s sweet peanut soup. The pearls are also decent as the chewy balls are very delightful to ‘play around in one’s mouth’!
I am a sucker for lemons…somehow that doesn’t sound quite right… hehehe! Lemon Jade Jelly (RM5.50) featured Ai Yu jelly topped with shaved ice and flavored with lemons. Again, portion is huge!!
The gorgeous wobbly golden jello is one easy and light dessert to savor if you like lemons like me! It was not too sour nor too sweet, so the balance of the sweet and sour is just perfect for me.
Soya Ice and Grass Jelly with Matcha Oee, Red Bean and Glutinous Rice (RM6.50) was decently matched. I do like the soya ice a lot and I thought the glutinous rice seemed to go quite well with the soya flavors. I would order this soya ice with yam or sweet potato chunks and the glutinous rice again.
Check out some of the available toppings… 14 choices that is!
Isenbin also served a hot soya pudding with various toppings. We had a Hot Peanut Douhua (RM5.50) topped with Oee (additional charge). The hot soya pudding textures were not soft or smooth enough but the flavors were quite lovely and fragrant. The soft peanuts make another appearance here simply because I love them… hehehe.
We also had another Soya Ice and Grass Jelly with Green Bean, Barley and Oee (RM6.50). Similar to the earlier soya series but with different legumes and grains. I preferred the earlier combination.
What on earth is covermilk? Curious, I asked one of the owners who explained that covermilk is milk mixed with some extra ingredients to give it a different taste. Apparently, covermilk is very popular in Taiwan but this is the first time I hear or taste it. We sampled the Covermilk Fresh Tea and Covermilk Black Tea (RM5.90) which comes in layers.
So how does covermilk taste like? A hint of saltiness shapes the covermilk undertone. My verdict? Both teas are taken over by the covermilk. I tasted more milk than tea so if you like milk… you’ll like this one! I really think it’s just getting use to the taste of the covermilk. I did spy a few tables having this and they seemed to be enjoying it.
Covermilk Winter Melon Milk Tea (RM5.90) fared better than the earlier ones. According to Merryn, she loved this one a lot. It had just the perfect balance of sweetness according to her!
I loved the Isenbin Enriched Chocolate (RM5.90)! Chocolatey and creamy, this one was indeed one ‘happy’ drink for me… J
We also had Ice Blend Matcha Red Bean (RM5.90) which was an icy concoction of thick matcha drink topped with creamy red bean.
I came here to savor the desserts but I got more than just that! Isenbin is proud to present their latest addition of ramen noodles to the dessert and drink menu.
Talked about a great bowl of noodles, the Braised Beef Noodle Soup (RM9.90) got some many thumbs up from everyone that day! Tweaked from a Taiwan recipe, the ramen was delicious and quite QQ while the broth was amped up with beefy goodness with a hint of chili.
Served with slices of beef, braised bean curd and egg and some greens, the noodles were really a bowl of wonder. The ramen was so good, our foodie gang quoted that this bowl alone warrants a return! Considering the price tag, I thought that the ramen rated way above its price. Must-try!!
There is a simple non spicy version of Ramen Noodle Soup (RM8.90). This bowl fared decent with the addition of soft braised radish and chunks of chicken. It’s also something for anyone who prefers a simple bowl of warm and comfort.
Another ramen worth mentioning is Spicy Ramen Noodle Soup (RM8.90). Don’t be fool by this innocent looking broth as it packed quite a punch. I tasted a peppery heat and was quite addicted to the broth after a few spoonfuls. Loved the ramen noodles!!
Ok, this is Not just another dessert house! Yes, there are a few quirks and norms but the plus points outdo the ordinary. Taste, portion and price in desserts seemed to pull in the plus points while the scrumptious oodles of ramen takes the cake in Isenbin!
Psst… I heard their Three Cups Chicken is fabulous! Looks like I will have to come back and judge that for myself. J
(next to Eu Yan Sang or opposite Wong Kok)
5, Jalan SS2/67,
Petaling Jaya, 47300
Petaling Jaya, 47300
GPS : N03 07.227' E101 37.266'
Business Hours : 11am - 11pm Daily