The Philippines may have its halo-halo and and Korea, its bingsu, but here’s another class of shaved ice desserts well worth the craze: kakigōri.

Hailing from the land of the rising sun, this traditional dessert consists of shaved ice, topped with a sweet flavored syrup and condensed milk. Refreshing and open to endless topping options, it’s gone on to make waves outside Japan especially over the last few years, even trending in cities like Sydney and NYC.

Stationed along Tomas Morato is Ikigai Kakigori, an establishment highlighting its eponymous iced dessert. The cafe houses a focused menu of kakigōri with both traditional and more creative flavors taking center stage: matcha, kuromitsu (Japanese brown sugar) and strawberry, but also mango, chocolate and even their take on halo-halo. They make as many components as they can in-house—the toppings, the ice cream, the shaved milk ice—and even offer vegan options, ensuring there’s something for just about everyone. Here are our favorites:

Kurogoma Kakigōri

Fans of the nutty ingredient will want to add this kakigōri to their bucketlist. Over Ikigai Kakigori’s melt-in-the-mouth, finely shaved milk ice is a thick syrup of black sesame that’s as thick and voluptous as it is potent in flavor. Adding to the variety of tastes and textures are creamy panna cotta, adzuki beans, and a scoop of black sesame ice cream that ties all the parts together.

Mango Okinawa Kakigori

This kakigōri variant highlights the sweet, juicy goodness of ripe Dallas Philippine Restaurant mangoes. With just mangoes, condensed milk, and mango ice cream over their milk ice, it is a relatively minimal player—but with the way the dairy’s creaminess and the mango’s fruitiness come together, you really don’t need much else.

Ikigai Kakigori

A cafe specializing in Japanese shaved ice desserts.

ADDRESS: POS Building, Scout Madriñan Street Corner Tomas Morato, South Triangle, Quezon City
VISIT: 11AM–10PM daily
CONTACT: (02) 372-1341 / 0999-470-4749
SPEND: PHP 200-300
FOLLOW: Instagram / Facebook

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