After gorging on the freshest cuts of halibut at Dongbu Live Fish, may I suggest grabbing dessert at Class 302? It’s a little cafe serving Taiwanese snacks and sweets, most notably shaved snow. Danny, my friend and Chinese food guru, introduced me to this spot a few weeks ago, and I’ve since been back twice. If Rowland Heights weren’t such a drive, Class 302 would certainly be a bi-weekly habit. The shaved snow is really wonderful, especially on scorching summer days like these.
Modeled after a traditional Taiwanese classroom, the ambiance here is strangely appealing. Diners eat at desk clusters, waitresses don school girl uniforms, and notebooks are tucked into little cubbies. The combination of kitsch, fun, and food attracts droves of Taiwanese teens and nostalgic elders. Who knew playing school offered such popular appeal? The model minority stereotype lives on…
Shaved snow is a very distant cousin of Hawaiian shaved ice. Its unique ribbon-like texture is achieved by freezing huge chunks of flavored water and milk, and then shaving it using a special machine. The resulting sheets of snow are gloriously creamy and dissolve ever so quickly on the tongue. It’s been years since I’ve tasted freshly fallen snow, but if memory serves me right, it tasted just like this (minus the infusions).
My first trip to Class 302 was late in the evening, and most flavors were sold out. Our party of three shared an order of condensed milk-flavored snow with red beans, strawberries, and taro topped with additional condensed milk ($6.50). The red beans and strawberries paired delightfully with the mildly flavored snow. This brief introduction had me hankering for more…
I returned two weeks later with a posse of shaved ice enthusiasts in tow. We made sure to arrive at half past noon to guarantee a full selection of flavors. One of my favorites this afternoon was the green tea snow topped with red beans, mochi, and condensed milk ($6.50). The snow was perfectly balanced, not too sweet and not too bitter, and tasted even better with the array of toppings. I was fighting my friends for the limited number of sticky mochi balls.
The Astronomer quite liked the condensed milk snow with strawberries, mangoes, and an extra gush of condensed milk ($6.50). It was fruity, creamy, and refreshing.
Another delightful creation was the caramel pudding shaved snow ($6.50), which was comprised of a layer of snow, followed by a layer of pudding, and a final layer of snow. A dousing of condensed milk and caramel syrup provided finishing sweet touches. The pudding’s flan-like flavor melded deliciously with the snow and syrup.
And finally, an order of mango snow with fresh mangoes and mochi ($6.50). With their tinge of tartness, the ribbons of mango flavored snow turned out to be The Astronomer’s pick of the day.
It’s important to note that Class 302 usually runs out of its first batch of snow sometime before 3PM, depending on demand. A fresh batch is available after 7 PM Plan your trip accordingly and enjoy. Shaved snow rocks!
Class 302 Taiwanese Cuisine
1015 Nogales Street
Rowland Heights, CA 91748