Shari Shari Kakigori House and Brown Cafe in Serendra BGC

If your mission is to scout for IG-worthy desserts, head over to Serendra where you can kill two birds with one stone. Get your milk tea fix at Brown Café and cool down with a shaved ice dessert at Shari Shari Kakigori House. Both dessert shops are located in the same space so you can sample both even at the same time.

Kakigori from Shari Shari Kakigori House
Milk teas from Brown Cafe

Shari Shari Kakigori House

This Japanese shaved ice dessert, which is hugely popular across Hong Kong, is now in Manila! They have a large selection of flavors, but their best-sellers are the following:
  1. Matcha Cream
  2. Strawberry Special
  3. Earl Grey
  4. Mango Lassi
  5. Avocado Milk
When our kakigori was served to us, I was taken aback by how massive it was!
Whoa, that’s huge!
Their servings are really ginormous, even bigger than the servings in Hong Kong. So if you’re coming here, I’d suggest that you go as a group… That, or go hungry. If you do come with friends or family, you can order different flavors so you can try a little bit of all.
Sharing the kakigori with Jan and Japoy Lizardo. Yes, 5 of us shared because it’s really big!
How to eat a kakigori? Start from the top and work your way down. But the most important thing to do is to EAT FAST! The shaved ice melts really quickly so snap a quick pic and dig in.

This is probably the one thing that can get in the way if really enjoying this dessert. Because you have to eat it quickly, you can’t take your time to really savor it. Sure, you can still stop in between bites to swap stories with whoever you’re eating with, but only if you’re okay with eating a melted dessert.

If you love bingsu, you will also like the kakigori. However, there are a few differences between these two shaved ice desserts. While bingsus are more laden with toppings, the kakigori believes that “less is more” when it comes to toppings, and its tastiness comes more from its flavored ice and sauces, which are made fresh daily. Also, the bingsu’s ice is more solid while the kakigori has smoother, softer, and fluffier ice.

Shari Shari Kakigori House uses a special ice machine that comes all the way from Japan, and customers can watch how the staff meticulously create each kakigori and how they mold the ice carefully to give it its perfect shape and consistency. If you’re bringing kids, they will have fun watching this too!

We tried two different flavore: the Matcha Cream and one of their signature holiday flavors, the Choco Hazelnut.

The Matcha Cream with Kuromitsu is a delightful combination of shaved ice, matcha cream, kuromitsu (Japanese black sugar syrup), whipped cream, and cookies. Their matcha is sourced and flown in from Japan so you get authentic and high-quality matcha powder. The matcha flavor is light and not bitter at all.

We also got to sample their Choco Hazelnut, one of their special Christmas flavors. This is a good choice for those who like chocolate but don’t want to be overwhelmed by too much sweetness. The flavor is very light so you won’t feel too guilty indulging. However, compared to the matcha, for me, this was a bit more bland and not so memorable. The best part of this particular dessert for me was the cute little gingerbread chocolate on top which really made it more Christmassy.

They have another special flavor just for Christmas, which is the Pistachio Raspberry. We didn’t get to try this but I thought the Santa candy on top was a pretty cute touch.

Obviously, if you’re planning on getting a kakigori, the only option is to dine in since it’s definitely not a dessert you’d want to take out. The space is just small and just enough for around less than 20 customers at a time. We brought a stroller with us and opted to sit at the very end of the room so our stroller won’t get in the way. If you are coming with a child, children are very much welcome, but if you can leave your stroller at home, that might be a good idea.

This is a kid-friendly dessert place. Kids will have a kick out of the kakigori, and even Andi, who is only a few weeks shy of two years old, had lots of spoonfuls of the Matcha Cream kakigori. Yes, matcha is not exactly the first flavor you’ll think of giving your kids, but Andi really enjoyed it!

Price-wise, at PHP 300 to 380, I have to say that it’s a little expensive. It’s nice but I cannot justify the price knowing that it’s really just ice! (That rhymes) Still, it’s worth trying if you’re in the area and you’re eating in a big group.

Puff Corner (a.k.a. My husband Mike’s take):
“A small refuge for people ‘doing it for the ‘Gram,’ as the menu consists of large, showy mounds of colored ice begging to be included in a selfie. While it is nice to look at and share with others, the novelty soon wears off when you realize you just paid a bit too much for a ball of ice.”

Brown Cafe

Just next to Shari Shari is Brown Café, a highly-acclaimed milk tea brand from Thailand.

 

Its most interesting offering is its collagen-infused bubble, the first of its kind in the Philippines. Collagen is known to improve the quality of the skin, so isn’t it cool to know that you’re getting a beauty boost while sipping a delicious drink?!

“But isn’t drinking too much milk tea unhealthy?” you ask. Brown Café offers an option for low-calorie bubbles made with real tea and with no trace of artificial powdered mixes, good for those who are watching their diet.

With so many milk tea shops in Manila alone, what sets Brown Café apart? Their pearls are definitely something special! Brown Cafe makes its own bubble, using premium ingredients from Thailand, Taiwan, Japan, and Singapore. Sink your teeth into their pearls and you’ll notice its distinct and delicious taste.

We got to try two flavors. The first one was the Anchan Strawberry Latte with Rainbow Bubble. This is one of their low calorie bubble options. The pink and purple gradient makes this such a pretty drink, it’s no wonder that it’s one of their bestsellers. For me, it tasted a little bit like strawberry and bubblegum, a little fruity and sweet. I advise drinking this as soon as it’s served because it does tend to get bland if you let it sit for a while.

We also tried the Fresh Milk Creme Brulee which was creamy and milky. The caramelized sugar topping makes this a nice sweet treat too. But what really made an impression with us were the brown sugar pearls, which were sweet and flavorful, unlike the pearls from other milk tea brands which are practically tasteless.

Wish you could afford to drink milk tea everyday? Brown Cafe’s milk teas are very affordable — and in fact, are more affordable than other milk tea brands — with prices ranging from PHP 85 to PHP 155, so you can have your milk tea anytime you want.

With their colorful and interesting drinks at a price that’s easy to love, Brown Cafe is one milk tea place that you just have to try!

Puff Corner (a.k.a. My husband Mike’s take):
The milk tea was fairly run of the mill. The real treat came from what lay beneath — brown sugar-flavored pearls which came as a pleasant surprise from the usual ones that typically lack flavor. Although a bit small, it was priced decently.

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