Popular kakigori cafe from Tokyo is now in Singapore serving shaved ice with pistachio raspberry, strawberry shortcake & more for a limited time only

by Christabel Tan

I started craving kakigori, or Japanese shaved ice, after watching the live-action Netflix series Kantaro: The Sweet Tooth Salaryman a few years ago. Since then, I’ve only ever tried kakigori twice; once at a hidden izakaya in Somerset, and the other at a chain cafe in Kuala Lumpur.

Unfortunately, cafes specialising in kakigori, are few and far between in Singapore.

But starting today (24 February) till 9 March 2023, you and I can indulge in all the kakigori we want at Sakanoue Cafe and its pop-up in Isetan Scotts Supermarket.

sakanoue cafe
Photo: @azuki.ann/instagram

Unlike Korean bingsu, kakigori consists of shaved ice (not milk) flavoured with syrup, and finished with cream or espuma. It’s also structured like a parfait, offering different flavours and textures with every mouthful.

With two outlets in Japan, one in Yushima, and the other in Asakusa, and queues that can go beyond four hours (especially in the summer), it’s safe to say that Sakanoue Cafe is a reliable go-to for those craving something sweet, light, and icy.

Photo: Isetan Singapore/facebook

As part of Isetan Singapore’s Sweets Fair, which features delightful snacks and sweet treats imported from Japan, Sakanoue will be trialling their signature kakigori for just two weeks — and who knows? They might even open a physical cafe (please do!) on our shores in the near future.

Photo by Confirm Good

All kakigori is priced at S$13, with just three flavours in the current menu line-up.

sakanoue cafe
Photo by Confirm Good

Keep it classic with the Strawberry Ice Cake, which looks just like a strawberry shortcake. The combination of sweet and sour strawberry syrup, freeze-dried strawberries, and delightfully light fresh cream espuma was, to put it simply, divine.

sakanoue cafe
Photo by Confirm Good

The best part? It wasn’t too sweet or cloying — my colleague and I finished the entire thing without any difficulty.

Photo by Confirm Good

If you can appreciate sake, look no further than the Sake Cream & Cherry Blossoms kakigori, which consists of cream infused with sake lees (a by-product of the sake brewing process), sakura-flavoured white bean paste, sakura leaf powder, and edible dried sakura as a garnish (it tasted like a salty sour plum with barely any sweetness).

sakanoue cafe
Photo by Confirm Good

This was certainly an acquired taste, with its unique yeasty (cheesy and bread-like, even) notes, but I actually enjoyed it, despite the sake cream having a curd-like texture, making it a lot less creamy and silky than its strawberry counterpart.

Photo by Confirm Good

The most adorable of the lot is, of course, the Anko, Cream and Panda, which simply comprises sweet red bean paste, fluffy fresh cream, and strawberry and cherry-flavoured domyoji (sakura mochi). It may look too cute to eat, but don’t wait too long while taking photos, because kakigori tends to melt very quickly!

sakanoue cafe
Photos: Sakanoue Cafe

Once these three flavours sell out, you can look forward to the following:

  • Blue Cheese Red Beans Paste: blue cheese cream and syrup, cheese chips, sweet red bean paste, raw honey from Yamanashi, rum-soaked raisins
  • Pistachio Raspberries: fluffy pistachio cream made with high-quality Italian pistachio, raspberry syrup stewed in wine, raspberry pearl chocolate, crumble cookies
  • Matcha: matcha espuma and syrup, sweet bean paste

Exciting, right?

An array of decadent desserts and kakigori await at Isetan Scotts (for a limited time only), so what are you waiting for? Head down ASAP before they sell out!

Sakanoue Cafe
📍 Basement 1, Isetan Scotts Supermarket, 350 Orchard Road Shaw House 238868
📅 24 Feb to 9 Mar 2023
🕒 10am–9pm (Daily)

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I would gladly desert you for dessert.

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