Oct 18, 2011

Luck Starting Pavilion 幸發亭


Luck Starting Pavilion is an old shaved ice cream parlor nestled in the Shi Lin Nightmarket in an alleyway close to the Giant Fried Chicken and the Theatre. Shaved ice cream is an ingenious blend of the deliciousness of both creamy sweet icecream and crunchy yummy shaved ice. They take their own blended block of ice cream and shred it up into pillowy layers of shaved ice cream. It has the flavor of ice cream with the texture like layers of shaved ice, but much softer. Everything on the menu is under 100 NT. You must give this unique dessert a try when you visit the Shi Ling Nightmarket.

Address:  台北市安平街1號
                  No. 1, Ānpíng St, Shihlin District
Phone #: 02-2883-1123
Business Hours: N/A
Website: N/A
Accepts Credit Cards: no
Price Range:   $
Attire: casual
Good for kids: yes
Take out: yes
Waiter Service: yes
Outdoor seating:  no
Alcohol: no


Food Quality: 4 out of 5
Decor:  2.5 out of 5
Service: 2.5 out of 5
Overall: 3 out of 5
Recommendation: A "must visit" store in Shi Ling Nightmarket

The tables are old, the seats are very retro restaurant style. The space is small, and the restrooms are dirty enough to make a french girl hold in her pee. The decor and the service here are very minimal, and it explains the low prices they offer despite a probably high cost in rent. This is the OG shaved ice cream store in Shi Ling Nightmarket and nobody does it better. The steady flow of customers is a testament to their product and the envy from the copycat shaved ice cream store is enough to hint that this Lucky Starting Pavilion is either doing something right or just plain lucky. I was told that this was a must go place when I first visited Shi Ling, and cautioned about copy cats, so make sure the store you see matches up with the picture on the profile. You will not be disappointed. You also need to go knowing how to decipher a Chinese menu because you don't want to end up getting the wrong item. To be safe, go with one of their recommended items which have a "thumbs-up" sign next to it on the menu.
 One of my favorite thumbs up shaved ice cream is the Green Tea and Red Bean shaved ice cream. They have a pillowy layered green tea ice cream mound paired with sweet and popping sweetened red bean. If it couldn't get more diabetic, they drizzle condensed milk over the whole thing. For a measley cost of 70 NT, you get a ridiculous mound of frozen treat. This is enough to share between two people and I totally recommend this flavor. I have tried other ones and they just don't live up to this one. This item has a big old thumbs up next to it on the menu. If you feel adventurous and choose an item that isn't recommended...
You might end up with a sad pile of this and be left crying in your pudding. It's just a condensed milk shaved ice paired with low quality flan drizzled with some simple syrup. It's not that great an item. Try to stay away from this one.

After reading all the items on the menu, the safest one is the Green Tea and Red Bean shaved ice cream. The seasonal ones like the fresh strawberry or fresh mango shaved ice cream seems to be promising contenders for my taste buds, but I have yet to try them. But this really is an iconic frozen treat that should be given a try. It's not as futuristic as dippin' dots, but its like Apple versus Acer. There's a certain charm in Taiwanese products.

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