The recipe for bingsu, Korea's beloved shaved ice dessert, used to be simple.
A little bowl of shaved ice, red beans boiled in sugar water, a little bit of condensed milk and maybe some fruit or ice cream heaped on top.
That was before the Park Hyatt Seoul debuted the first so-called luxury bingsu three years ago, to spectacular sales and a frenzied following.
Competing Seoul hotels promptly entered the fray with spoons blazing.
With bingsu now at the top of every hotel restaurant's summer agenda, the battle to come up with the most luxurious, inventive, delicious variation of the dessert has gotten more intense this year.
Here are the hotels that are currently winning the war.
Park Hyatt Seoul
This Gangnam luxury hotel started it all.
In 2010, the hotel dreamed up a sweet pumpkin bingsu, made with a base of dunggulle tea made from the dried root of Solomon's seal, and an omija bingsu using shaved frozen berries.
While most bingsu in Korea is made with frozen ice, the hotel debuted bingsu with a frozen milk base, and found that customers loved the change.
They bought an expensive shaving machine in 2011 and also ordered traditional Korean pottery known to keep cold food insulated longer.
Seoul's bingsu fanatics promptly fell in love with the new menu.
The hotel's berry bingsu in particular came as a shock.
The combination of blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, black currant compote with handmade dark chocolate, whipped cream, pistachios and mint created a completely new taste.
The hotel became mobbed at meal times and on the weekends, and raked in several hundred thousand dollars of profit in a season, to the amazement -- and likely some envy -- of its competitors.
Since that memorable debut, the Park Hyatt has had to top its own bingsu menu each year.
In 2012, it introduced a peach bingsu and a chocolate bingsu.
And this summer?
The Bingsu Colada, made with pineapple, coconut chips, caramel sauce and macademia nuts, is new to the menu. Another new addition is the Tirami Bingsu. It's made with mascarpone cream, espresso sauce, Kahlua, Amaretti cookies and almonds.
Despite the new dishes, the Berry Bingsu remains the hotel's most popular.
Park Hyatt Seoul, 606 Teheran-ro, Gangnam-gu, Seoul; +82 2 2016 1205; bingsu prices start at ?33,000 ($29) a bowl
Intercontinental Seoul Coex
The effort that the Intercontinental Seoul Coex has put into its bingsu menu has been extreme.
Since the beginning of the year, the hotel's top chefs have created approximately 30 variations of the dessert, presenting a different version each week for tastings and deliberation.
From this process, a final three bingsu have ended up on the menu.