Attention all vegan and lactose-intolerant friends – I have some good news for you. You can get vegan soymilk soft-serve in Taipei!
Located in a quiet alley near Zhongxiao Fuxing intersection, Mini Bean is a cafe that focuses on offering natural, healthy, environmentally friendly, vegetarian soymilk-themed cuisine. Mini Bean’s creative and delicious dishes include several types of specialty soymilk and soy-based dishes, as well as super special soymilk soft-serve ice cream! They only make soft-serve on the weekend and quantities are limited. Normally they sell out by 6:00 pm. I came here two or three times before I finally succeeded in getting my hands on this elusive treat!
Aside from soft-serve ice cream, soymilk and smoothies, Mini Bean also offers sandwiches, quiche, and various other treats and light meals.
This is the soymilk soft-serve and smoothie menu. The smoothie flavours are creative and healthy and made me really curious – I especially wanted to try the beetroot and purple sweet potato options! But I came here especially for soft-serve, so I didn’t order the smoothie this time. Today they only had original soymilk soft-serve, no black bean or black sesame flavour, so my choice was very simple!
Original soymilk soft-serve, $155 NT. Sprinkled with kinako (toasted soybean powder) and topped with a crunchy, salty pretzel stick. It’s pricey, but the portion is very large, and it’s delicious and healthy and made with all-natural ingredients. Soymilk is naturally low-fat and high-protein, and Mini Bean doesn’t add a ton of sugar – it’s about the same as a cup of regular sweetened soymilk from a breakfast shop. This is probably the healthiest, most low-calorie soft-serve ice cream in Taipei!
Besides the pretzel stick, the soymilk soft-serve also has a layer of croutons underneath it. I think they’re made from Mini Bean’s house-made soymilk bread.
The crunchy croutons contrast with the soft ice cream, emphasizing its creamy texture.
The croutons are plain and unflavoured. The mild toasty flavour makes the ice cream taste sweeter. This pairing uses contrast instead of added flavourings, so the natural taste of the soymilk isn’t covered up by the taste of added sugar. As the ice cream melts it turns into thick, rich soymilk, and the croutons soak it up and become soft and chewy. It reminds me of a classic “soymilk + cruller” breakfast. Delicious!
My friend ordered the beetroot smoothie, so I took the opportunity to try it! The dark crimson beets dyed the soymilk a beatiful magenta colour. The smoothie is much bigger than the soft-serve, but it’s $20 NT cheaper. It tastes very natural and refreshing, with very low sweetness. Because it contains a lot of ice, the soy and beet flavours are fairly diluted, so it tastes lighter than the other flavoured soymilks.
Mini Bean has enough tables and chairs to seat 10-20 people. It’s neat and clean with simple, attractive decor and good natural light. The windows overlook the park across the street. It’s a very relaxing, comfortable little place.
Mini Bean | 迷你豆
Address: No. 16, Lane 4, Alley 251, Zhongxiao East Road Sec. 3, Da’an District, Taipei
MRT: Zhongxiao Fuxing Station, Exit 1
Hours: Wednesday to Monday, 8:00~20:00