Sherman's Food Adventures: Sweets & Beans

Sweets & Beans

All aboard the Bingsoo train!!!  Yes, that is right, yet another Korean Bingsoo joint.  I know it is not unique to Vancouver, but it just seems to me that we get into these trends so quickly (like poke).  The latest to join the party is Sweets & Beans Cafe located right underneath Oyama Sushi on Kingsway in Burnaby.  Now, unlike the rest of the Bingsoo spots in town, Sweets & Beans offers hot savoury food as well as brunch (and of course coffee too).  Hence the "cafe" in the name.  I originally checked it out in the Summer and once recently to try at least one of their non-sweet options.

My first visit was after a meal just above at Oyama Sushi.  We earmarked Sweets & Beans for dessert as we walked past it after parking our car.  This was still in the Summer, so we got both the Mango and Strawberry Bingsoo (in large).  Both were comparable to most of the other spots in town in terms of size and presentation.  Due to the overload of condensed milk and toppings, the whole thing was a mess with things leaking off the side.  I thought the mango was a touch less ripe, but it didn't matter to me since I like it a big tangy.  There was plenty of it since it was layered in the middle and bottom as well.  The strawberries were more ripe, hence it was sweeter.  Mind you, it could've been due to the melted ice cream too...  The snow itself was fluffy and light while not overly sweet.

For the kiddies, they wanted the Oreo Bingsoo which wasn't exactly photogenic.  Personally, I prefer the fruity bingsoo options over chocolate ones.  However, if you love Oreo, I can see the appeal.  This was loaded with Oreo cookie dust throughout.  Hence, with the bingsoo acting as the "creme filling", it ate pretty much like an Oreo, but less sweet.  On my second visit, we went for another non-fruit bingsoo in the Red Velvet.  This was loaded with firm and crunchy chocolate wafers (due to the cold bingsoo), dark chocolate shavings and cocoa powder.  Yes, this was certainly chocolatey and surprisingly not overly sweet.  The snow was super cold, so it was a bit dry to start.  It did start to melt, where it became softer.  On top, the 2 pieces of red velvet cake were a bit mealy, but moist and just sweet enough.

Onto one of their brunch items, we had the Maple French Toast with sweet berries, Maple syrup, raspberry sorbet, mint and fresh whipped cream.  Surprisingly, this was not as sweet as it sounded.  Some might want more syrup, but this was perfect in my opinion.  The toast itself was lightly crispy on the outside while soft on the inside.  I would've liked to see more egg soaked in as well as some sort of custard filling.  But it was still good for what it was.  Lastly, we tried their Chicken Wing Tower soaked in "marine" sauce.  I wasn't exactly sure what a marine sauce entailed, but it was a bit spicy and vinegary.  There was a dusting of spice which was definitely impactful but the meat itself needed more salt.  Although the exterior was crispy, I found the batter to be too dense while the skin wasn't fully rendered.  The meat was juicy though. In general, Sweets & Beans is a worthy addition to the bingsoo scene and offers up something different in brunch as well as more coffee options.

The Good:
- Competitive bingsoo
- Large space
- Brunch options

The Bad:
- I wasn't a fan of the wings


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