A year ago, I was telling you about the Korean and Japanese-style shaved ice desserts I tried in Bangkok. Today, I am excited to share the experience of my first Korean bingsu in Germany, in the city of Düsseldorf! 🙂
Did you know that Düsseldorf has the thirst largest Japanese community in Europe (about 11 000 residents in 2008), after Paris and London? Since the 1950s many Japanese companies have settled their headquarters there, which is probably one of the reasons why Japanese restaurants and stores popped up.
What if there was a restaurant in Düsseldorf that made Japanese kakigōri or Korean bingsu desserts?!
Düsseldorf’s Japanese Quarter or Japantown is located around the street “Immermannstr.”. Although I’ve been to Düsseldorf multiples times over the years, I’ve only recently explored that part of town. A few months ago, after trying one of the city’s ramen restaurants, the thought crossed my mind… what if there was a restaurant in Düsseldorf that made Japanese kakigōri or Korean bingsu desserts?! (both are shaved ice desserts). My online search was fruitful: Café Namu has been making bingsu since April 2017! 🙂
Testing Korean bingsu at Café Namu, Düsseldorf
I was back in Düsseldorf a few weeks ago and was able to test bingsu in Café Namu! I loved my last bingsu at Wicked Snow in Bangkok so much, that I was afraid the ice wouldn’t be as fine. My worries disappeared after the first spoonful: the ice could not have been any more light and fine! 🙂
For those who are not familiar with bingsu: this is a delicious Korean dessert made with shaved frozen condensed milk (or artificial milk snow, depending on the equipment used!) and traditionally served with a sweet red bean topping, soft rice cakes and cereal powder (this combination is referred to as patbingsu). More modern bingsu have toppings such as fruit, matcha, cheesecake, chocolate…
I hesitated between ordering a mango bingsu or red bean bingsu, and finally opted for the braver red bean option! It was very good! My bowl of “milk snowflakes” was also covered with a very fine tasty powder. I enjoyed the different flavours: the slightly sweet cooked red bean topping, the roasted soybean powder topping and the milk ice itself! The texture was perfect too!
Café Namu is run by a Korean couple who operated a similar café in Korea before moving to Germany. Their café is one of two places in Germany that makes bingsu! (Café Gong Gan in Berlin is the only other place I know of, but I have never tried it).
My exploration of Düsseldorf’s Japanese Quarter
After my initial glimpse of the Japanese quarter in Düsseldorf, I made a mental note to explore it more deeply upon a future visit.
When travelling abroad, I always like to check out supermarkets and local markets, on the lookout out for products that I don’t know. Japan is definitely on my list of countries to visit some day, but until then, the best I can do is to check out the Japanese stores and bakeries in Düsseldorf! 🙂
So I recently explored Immermannstr. , Klosterstr., and surrounding streets & particularly enjoyed visiting Asian supermarkets (Tains Asiamarkt, Shochiku & Dae-Yang), which had an impressive selection of products, that would be hard to find elsewhere in Germany.
Düsseldorf Tourism: www.duesseldorf-tourismus.de