Last September, I paid a first visit to Fluff Ice, a shop in Monterey Park that specializes in something that isn't ice cream, isn't yogurt and is not your typical shaved ice. Instead, it's a dessert that's more on the creamy side and will remind you of fresh, newly fallen, fluffy snow; hence, Fluff Ice. You don't believe me? That's what I got from the sign below.
Before I even saw the sign, I walked into a space that was dominated by the company's signature colors of blue, green and white.
On the counter, you can check out the various cup sizes for your fluff ice. At the register, you can take a look at the Fluff Ice Menu. Basically, how it works is that you choose 1 of 8 flavors to start with. However, between you and me, sometimes there's a secret flavor or two that is off menu. Just ask the guy or gal behind the counter to see if you can score whatever Owner, Matthew Hui, has been experimenting with in the kitchen.
Once you choose your flavor and size, you can choose two toppings that are included in the original price; however, you'll have to pay extra for the premium toppers. Don't feel that you miss much by opting out of the premium toppers because some of the regular toppings include things like red bean, egg pudding, lychee jelly ~ all of which are just as good. After that, your choice of either condensed milk or chocolate syrup is poured on your Fluff Ice, also included in the price, and you're ready to go.
If you can't make up your mind, check out the Favorite Combos board to get some ideas. Perhaps, the Peach Me! Combo with peach fluff ice, lychee jelly and condensed milk is your thing. If not, how about the Mango Madness Combo with mango fluff ice, mangoes, mango pudding, mango jelly and condensed milk. There are four other combos to choose from so I'm sure you'll be able to find something to your liking.
Unlike typical shaved ice that is usually made by putting ice into a machine, fluff ice is done a little bit differently. I don't really know the details, but the ingredients for all the various fluff ice flavors are frozen into cylinders and then there's a machine where that ice cylinder is pushed down and in the process "fluff ice" comes out the other end into the waiting cup. You can get an idea of what I mean by taking a look at the photos below.
At the time of my visit, Matthew was able to give me small samples of all the flavors he had on hand which included Thai Iced Tea, Taro, Strawberry, Chocolate, Peach, Kiwi and Original. Unfortunately, he didn't have any Green Tea, which apparently is a favorite among his customers. I pretty much liked everything I tasted, except I didn't really taste that much kiwi in the kiwi flavor.
My favorite was the Thai Iced Tea and with the addition of the condensed milk, it tasted even more like I was eating a Thai Iced Tea instead of actually drinking it.
I was also able to try a couple of their Premium Toppers, which you can actually just order by themselves if you were so inclined. First, there was the Pink Honey Boba, which is actually just boba soaking in honey. Then there was their Popping Strawberry and Passionfruit Boba, which I just tried for the first time a few weeks before at a yogurt shop. If you've never had them, once you take a bite, you'll know why they are called Popping Boba.
After all that sampling, I was ready for my own full size Fluff Ice. I was feeling a bit lazy, so I decided to pick a combo. I went for the Pretty in Pink Combo that had Strawberry Fluff topped with Strawberry Pink Boba and Condensed Milk. Matthew personally put mine together. Thanks, Matthew!
Overall, Fluff Ice has made me a fan. In fact, I've been back a few times and even brought friends specifically to try Fluff Ice. What I like is the creamy texture that isn't ice cream or yogurt. I don't know how that creamy texture has come about, but all I know is that it works for me. I also love the variety of Fluff Ice flavors that are available and know that there are still more to come ~ something to look forward to. While I'm normally an ice cream fan(atic), Fluff Ice has definitely given my favorite dessert a run for its money.
500 N Atlantic Blvd
Monterey Park, CA 91754