Sweets @ Minatoya みなと屋 (Tokyo, Japan)

March 27, 2019 in Japanese

I honestly enjoy kakigori (shaved ice) hunting when I am in Japan. Just the ice alone makes a huge difference. So besides Mamatoko, the other kakigori shop that I went during my February 2018 trip was Minatoya.

Tucked inside Sasazuka’s shopping arcade, Minatoya was a 5 to 8 minutes walk from Sasazuka station. Besides kakigori, the shop also sold takoyaki. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to try the latter as I only prepared sufficient stomach space for kakigori. Oops. And from the menu (pages 1, 2), I ordered:-


1) Kakigori #1, ¥900 (above) – Cacao, カカオ.

2) Kakigori #2, ¥1000 (above) – Mont blanc, おいもんぶらん.

3) Kakigori #3, ¥850 (above) – Kumquat (kinkan) milk, 金柑ミルク.

4) Kakigori #4, ¥900 (above) – Pistachio milk, ピスタチオミルク.

The ice at Minatoya was really light and fluffy. I mean… Although the cookies were placed in the middle of my cacao kakigori, the cookies came out clean and dry. Now, that’s really impressive cause it’s despite a ‘mountain’ of shaved ice layered over it. The brown stain (as pictured) was only there because I scraped my spoon against the cookie.

And having tried 4 flavours, I recommend ordering the ones which have milk. I especially liked the mont blanc-kakigori. Though one should also try ordering their signature pumpkin (かぼちゃ) kakigori which has drizzled caramel sauce too. I meant to, but I got distracted by the seasonal flavour (kumquat milk).

2 Chome−41−20 Sasazuka, Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan (東京都 渋谷区 笹塚 2-41-20 岡田ビル 1F)
+81 3 6383 3120, Website, Tablelog
Overall: 7
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 7
Mon – Tues, Thur – Sun : 11:00 – 19:00
Ambience: 6
Value: 7
Service: 7
* Closed on Wed

Sweets @ Mamatoko 氷舎 (Tokyo, Japan)

January 19, 2019 in Japanese

After having my first good shaved ice (kakigori) at Asakusa Naniwaya, I made it a point to visit at least 1 (reputable) shaved ice shop every time I was back in Japan. And for my February 2018 trip, I managed to visit 2. Yeah! One of which was Mamatoko. I was pretty excited about Mamatoko because it appeared on instagrammer @little_meg_siu_meg‘s feed. I even took down notes of what to order based on her raves. Though one should also note the flavours were seasonal.

After alighting at Nakanoshimbashi metro station, it was a 10 minutes walk to the shop. And thankfully, there wasn’t a queue. Probably because it was winter and the fact that I reached at a non-peak timing of 3pm.

And one shouldn’t be surprised at how small the unit was. Upon entering, a table (for 4) was on my immediate right while 5 counter seats were in front of me. And the owner took orders from customers through the opening on a wall which separated the kitchen her working space and the dining area. And unfortunately for me, the owner couldn’t speak English and her menu was in Japanese. The regular items were written on a chalkboard while seasonal flavours were updated on their Instagram. I struggled a fair bit, but I managed to order:-

1) Kakigori #1, ¥850 (above) – Soy sauce, brown sugar, milk and sake lees cream (お醤油黒糖みるくに酒粕クリーム). Ordered from the regular menu because of @little_meg_siu_meg‘s recommendation, this was an interesting combination of soy sauce and sake lees.

2) Kakigori #2, ¥900 (above) – Edamame rare cheese (枝豆レアチーズ). A seasonal flavour. And of the few variations offered with edamame, I intentionally chose ‘rare cheese’ cause I was curious about it.

3) Kakigori #3, ¥1000 (above) – Light brown miso with walnuts, milk, brown sugar syrup and roasted soy (kinako) cream (白味噌くるみみるくに黒蜜きな粉クリーム). Another seasonal flavour. Ordered because I wanted to try roasted soy (kinako) cream.

I regretted not doing my homework before visiting Mamatoko. I assumed the owner would understand some English but I was caught off-guard when she couldn’t. And because of our language barrier, I couldn’t customise my shaved ice since I couldn’t interpret the menu, and thus not able to order the add-ons. I ordered my shaved ices merely by pointing to its respective name on the menu.

I definitely recommend Mamatoko for shaved ice. I am certainly not an expert in this field, but the shaved ice was exactly how a good shaved ice should be. The ice was needle-thin and dissolved immediately in my mouth. It was almost like eating water. Flavoured water. Ha.

3 Chome-7-9 Yayoicho, Nakano, Tokyo, Japan (東京都 中野区 弥生町 3-7-9 メゾンモンターニュ)
Overall: 7
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 7
Mon – Tues, Thur : 14:00 – 19:00
Ambience: 6
Sat – Sun : 13:00 – 18:00
Value: 7
Service: 7
* Closed on Wed, Fri

Sweets @ Asakusa Naniwaya 浅草浪花屋 (Tokyo, Japan)

March 4, 2017 in Japanese

Shaved ice (kakigori) hunting has since become a must in my trips to Japan. And this time, I was off to Asakusa Naniwaya. Better known as 浅草浪花屋.

浅草浪花屋 is a 10 to 12 minutes walk from Asakusa metro station. I took the metro a lot during my trip in Tokyo. Got to stretch my dollar worth since I purchased the metro pass lah. Keke! One may also visit Sensoji (Asakusa Kannon Temple) before heading over to 浅草浪花屋 since it’s a mere 5 minutes walk from each other.

The shop space was divided into two. The front half served as a waiting space for customers who were buying the fish-shaped cake with red bean filling (taiyaki). Whereas the second half was for dine-in customers who were there for the shaved ice.

Unfortunately, there wasn’t any English menu. Yes, only Japanese menu. On my first visit, I ordered by showing an instagram picture. And on my second visit (a few days later), I ordered by repeating what I overheard (others had ordered) during my first visit. Keke:-

1) Kakigori #1, ¥780 (above) – The top layer of white bean paste wasn’t too sweet. In fact, I was surprised at how well the ensemble of white bean paste, uji matcha and azuki bean purée came together. I haven’t quite tried a lot of white bean paste dishes. And it certainly helped that its visual was great.

2) Kakigori #2, ¥750 (above) – And this was ordered simply by saying “Kiwi.” Keke. During my first visit, I overheard a couple ordering this. And I was interested to try it after hearing them gushing over it while eating. And this didn’t disappoint. Hidden within was what tasted like frozen yogurt. A very refreshing dish. I easily finished this on my own. A must try.

I noticed 浅草浪花屋’s shaved ice melted faster than expected although it was winter. And the top layer of ice (above the hidden filling) collapsed while I was working my way halfway through the mountain of ice. Am not sure if it’s a good or bad since it could mean they skillfully layered the ice without it being too heavy or they didn’t pack the ice tightly and properly so that it could hold on its own.

But I enjoyed my shaved ice, nonetheless. Certainly worth the detour (since one is walking away from Asakusa metro station) after visiting Sensoji.

2−12−4 Asakusa, Tokyo, Japan (東京都 台東区 浅草 2-12-4)
+81 3 3842 0988, Website, Tablelog
Overall: 6.5
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 7
Mon, Wed – Sun : 10:00 – 19:00
Ambience: 5
Value: 7
Service: 7
* Closed on Tues