Monday, May 2, 2016

First Bite: Ikigai Kakigori Café

Bingsu has been popular in Manila last year when Café Seol Hwa made such an impact to the foodie community (especially to those struggling to survive from the summer heat). Since then, several bingsu restaurants popped literally everywhere.To spice things up, a Japanese shave ice concept came to Manila--Ikigai Kakigori Café. Since we were already around the area, we decided to drop by after Kozui Green Tea. (Yes, it was right after wolfing down a bowl of soft serve ice cream simply because we were really melting that day.)

Hello, Ikigai Kakigori Café.
The quaint looking café has a very Japanese vibe with its adorable façade and decors. The restaurant itself is cramped and could sit a maximum of 10-12 diners, sardines style. Moving around the restaurant was barely possible when we were there. Anyway, on to our orders.
One thing I love about these looloo foodies is that they are game to try anything. We got our orders down in less than 2 minutes. We got the bestsellers Matcha Kakigori (PHP190 | PHP250), Mango Kakigori (PHP180 | PHP240), Kuromitsu Kakigori (PHP180 | PHP240) and Strawberry Ichigo Kakigori (PHP210). 
Service was quick and first served was Strawberry Kakigori. 
It didn’t look as appetizing as the ones I'd get from bingsu places like Hobing or Seol Hwa but it was spot on with the milkiness of the shaved ice. The strawberry chunks were a bit mushy and covered in milk and sweeteners but still delightful to munch on. This was the best one we had at Ikigai.
The Matcha Kakigori was served next and it came with matcha ice cream, adzuki, shiratama (mochi) and extra matcha syrup. 
It was quite plain and needed more matcha syrup (more than what was given as extra) especially for hardcore matcha lovers. I liked the shiratama and adzuki though as it added a different texture to the bowl of shaved ice. The matcha ice cream was pretty good too.
The Mango Kakigori was forgettable. It wasn’t flavorful enough and there were not enough mango bits.  I also didn’t really like it with nata de coco and cashews. 
Kuromitsu Kakigori was also just so-so for us. The ice was not as milky as the strawberry kakigori’s and the brown sugar syrup just reminded us of taho without soy. I liked the houjica ice cream though which had a nice earthy taste. The adzuki also added texture to the dessert. I didn’t get a shiratama but J mentioned that he didn’t like the taste of the brown coating of the mochi. 
I thought that this place would make me forget my bingsu loves—Seol Hwa and Hobing but it just made me appreciate the two BGC locals even more. Would I go back? Maybe when I’m near the area. But I would not head to Quezon City just for this. 

First timers, get Strawberry Kakigori. (Or Matcha but ask for more syrup!)

Ikigai Kakigori Café is located at Ground Floor, Pos Building, Scout Madriñan corner Tomas Morato Avenue, Tomas Morato, Quezon City.

Ikigai Kakigori Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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