We all grew up with cendol and ais kacang. These old school icy treats have never let us down when we needed something to cool down during sweltering hot days. Those who aren’t fans of the traditional dessert would opt for something a little fancier like the Japanese kakigori.
‘Kakigori’ literally means ‘shaved ice’ and it is one of the most popular treats to beat the hot and humid weather in summer. According to “Makurano-soushi”, an old book written in the Heian period between the 8th to 12th century, kakigori was a special dish eaten during the summer seasons but only served to upper-class noblemen. It was made using ice reserved in ice chambers since winter.
The most typical type of kakigori flavour is matcha topped with ‘kintoki’ (brown beans cooked with sugar that are usually mistaken as adzuki beans). Red kakigori is called ‘ichigo miruku’ (strawberry milk) — another mandatory flavour in most Japanese dessert cafes. And since its popular presence in Malaysia, the Japanese shaved ice desserts have taken a local approach with familiar flavours like Horlicks, Milo, durian and teh tarik.
And with the weather expected to be hotter in the few weeks, you can always find a reason to chill with the different varieties of kakigori available in KL. Here are a few places to get your fix of kakigori.
(Featured image: heartpatrick)
Kakigōri is the first cafe of its kind to open in Malaysia, with an outlet in the Taman Paramount neighbourhood. It has since ventured out to several locations including The Gardens Mall, Pavilion and Tropicana Avenue. It’s known for its naturally-derived artisanal flavours and a theatrical presentation – a heap of shaved ice topped with thick gooey sauces. Kakigōri has ten signature flavours with seasonal renditions including the latest Sakura version, introduced from time to time.
Soy-based kakigori is all the rage in the recent months since the opening on Soylab in December 2018. This new dessert café in Damansara Uptown serves everything related to soybean including soy pudding, souffle pancakes and its signature kakigori. First-timers should try the ‘Soy Nice’ that comes with boba, red beans and crushed peanuts, topped with a shaved soy ice and homemade syrup. (Credit: @madebymichkim)
Softsrve also serves the famous Japanese kakigori apart from its famous ice creams. It offers four premium shaved ice flavours including matcha, hojicha, strawberry and yoghurt, drizzled with a decadent caramel sauce. If you’re not sure on what to order, the matcha is always a great choice. Since you’re at it, give their smores toast and soft serve ice cream with seasonal flavours a try.
Miru focuses on Japanese desserts like Shibuya honey toasts, matcha lava cake, waffles, and of course, kakigori. The shaved ice flavours include strawberry cheesecake as well as something old-school, combining Horlicks and Milo. Miru has recently introduced the brown sugar pearl series with its latest Brown Sugar Fresh Milk Kakigori topped with boba, which is available in its two outlets in Uptown Damansara and Pavilion KL. (Credit: @albeee_t)
Like Miru, Mykōri is another Muslim-friendly dessert cafe that specialises in fusion shaved ice in various flavours like Chocolate Banoffee and Popcorn kakigori. Each bowl of kakigori comes with a generous amount of thick sauces as well as fresh fruit and chunks of cake – so you can expect texture and crunch in every spoonful. Mykōri also serves Kenko kakigori, which is pretty much like your chia breakfast bowls but made with shaved ice.
The Uji-Matcha kakigori in Nippori comes highly recommended. It is served with milk espuma that blends with the strong earthiness of green tea. If you’re not a fan of matcha, go for the extra indulgent Banana Chocolate kakigori. This quaint café located inside the Heritage Lane in Empire Damansara is where you can find delicious home-style Japanese food as well as its cute tatami seating.