Our Coldest, Creamiest, Coolest Shaved Ice Desserts To Take On The Heat
With the temperature still getting hotter each day, you’ll definitely want to cool down and reward yourselves with a sweet, refreshing treat. While Filipinos’ favorite halo-halo is always top of mind, there’s a whole range of shaved iced desserts from all over Asia that you’ll definitely want to try. Here’s a list of our favorites from around the metro.
Belgian Breeze at Lugang Café
Located at Level 1, Main Mall, South Arcade of SM Mall of Asia +(63) 906 2176216; 2/F The Block SM North Edsa +63 (2) 332 - 8725 / +(63) 915 7469693; Skypark, Level 5, SM Aura Premier (632) 519 5663 / +(63) 906 4555873; Glorietta 2, G/F, The New Ayala Center (632) 403 3303 / +(63) 906 4555879 ; F Fashion Hall, Bldg D, SM Megamall +(63) 915 1742243 / (632) 631 6436; Level 1, Pedro Gil Wing, Robinsons Place Manila +(63) 995 7564734; Ground Floor, O'Square, Greenhills Shopping Center +(63) 906 2176217
At Lugang Café, the iced dessert to order is the Belgian Breeze. This tall tower of icy-creamy goodness is covered with various beans, and has tapioca, black pearls, mochi, and sweet pineapples at the bottom of the bowl, smothered in condensed milk. If you’re in the mood for some ice crunch, then you should go to Lugang and order this right away. Good for up to six people or more, this Taiwanese shaved ice dessert can cool off your entire barkada!
Kakigori at Ikigai Kakigori Café
Located at 305 Pos building, Sct. Madriñan St, Diliman, Lungsod Quezon, Kalakhang Maynila (02) 372 1341
This traditional Japanese shaved ice dessert that’s sold everywhere in Japan is flavored with syrup. Similar to snow cones, this refreshing summer treat has a much smoother consistency with popular flavors like strawberry, cherry, lemon, green tea, and sweet plum. The ice is so fine that you can’t even tell that it’s there. The traditional way of making kakigori is by using a hand-cranked machine to spin a block of ice over a shaving blade.
Ichigo means strawberry
At Ikigai Kakigori Café, order the Ichigo Kakigori made with milk ice, topped with fresh strawberries, drizzled in condensed milk, and crowned with a scoop of rich, smooth vanilla ice cream. The strawberries are delightfully fresh, and the milk ice feels more like a milkshake due to its creamy consistency.
Kuromitsu means Black Honey or Japanese sugar syrup
Another favorite is the Kuromitsu, a multi-layered dessert composed of milk ice, decorated with some red beans, hojicha ice cream or roasted Japanese green tea, and three mochi pieces at the bottom, plus brown sugar syrup to add some sweetness. The syrup is pretty strong, so we advise that you don’t put a lot of it to avoid overpowering everything else.
Bingsu at Snowbing
Located at Upper Ground Floor, Main Building, SM City North EDSA 02 3728333; Fourth Floor, Trinoma Mall ; Level 5, East Wing, Shangri-La Plaza
Bingsu is a popular Korean shaved ice dessert made with a range of toppings such as fruit, condensed milk, fruit syrup, and red beans, to name a few. At Snowbing, the bingsu is different because instead of just ice, they use milk ice so as not to water down the creamy sweet goodness.
Go to Korean chain Snowbing for a cool taste of the Tropical Fruit bingsu made with milk ice, topped with some sliced kiwi, melon and watermelon balls, sliced grapes, and whipped cream.
For those who want something rich and hearty, the Apple Crumble is the one for you. Composed of milk ice, apples, graham crackers, topped with whipped cream and drizzled with caramel sauce, it’s essentially apple pie in the form of a cool dessert. A spoonful of this takes you to apple pie heaven!
Matcha Green Tea
If you love matcha, this dessert’s got your name on it. The creamy matcha milk ice is topped with red beans, three pieces of mochi on the side, topped with green tea ice cream and two pieces of green tea KitKat. This bingsu will put you in a state of peace in the middle of the summer heat.
Snowbing’s Cheezy Mango is made with milk ice, chunks of sweet mangoes and cream cheese, topped with vanilla ice cream, and sprinkled with Biscoff biscuits. This bingsu is part cheesy, part fruity, and totally awesome. No wonder it’s their bestselling dessert.
Halo-Halo, Mais con Yelo, and Ginumis at Milky Way Café
Opened in December 2002, this nostalgic crowd favorite offers an international menu reminiscent of hotel coffee shops, but without the 5-star prices. Aside from their savory dishes, customers should never miss out on the Filipino shaved ice desserts like Halo-Halo, Ginumis, and Mais con Yelo.
Whether eaten for dessert or any time of the day, this local shaved ice classic never disappoints. Layered with preserved fruits, leche flan, ube, pinipig and milk, this true favorite reminds diners that there’s no school like the old school.
Looks can definitely be deceiving with this seemingly simple dessert. Layered with sago, gulaman, topped with panutsa or palm sugar flavored ice cream, sprinkled with pinipig and coconut cream, the strength of the layers of sweetness will make your sweet tooth thank you with every bite.
Mais con Yelo
Like the name states, there’s nothing complex about Mais Con Yelo. They place corn at the bottom, then add shaved ice, and drizzle a lot of milk, and there you have it! But underneath it all lies a deceptively simple, yet absolutely delicious treat that’s quite filling as well.
It’s fun to eat these shaved ice desserts. Not only do they give you a different experience from having ice cream, but you get a bite out of every ingredient inside, from the ice to the fruit to the beans and milk. Plus, you also get the pleasure of mixing all of the ingredients yourself. Talk about having fun under the sun!
Photos by Chris Clemente