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.
Shari Shari Kakigori House
- Matcha Cream
- Strawberry Special
- Earl Grey
- Mango Lassi
- Avocado Milk
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.
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.
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.”
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.