And naturally we’re getting a fist-sized purin pudding as a topping.

It’s pretty much impossible to get through a Japanese summer without eating shaved ice. Delicious and widely available, it’s the perfect way to satisfy your sweet tooth while coping with the hot and humid weather.

What if instead of shaving ice, though, you shaved a milkshake? That’s the question posed by Motosue Hanare, and we stopped by the cafe in the town of Nishinomiya, Hyogo Prefecture to find out the answer.

In addition to the restaurant, the Motosue company runs a small chain of high-class confectionary shops specializing in egg-based sweets such as cakes and custard puddings. They applied that expertise to making what are known in Japan as miruku seki, an old-school corrupted pronunciation of “milkshake,” which usually refers to a version of the beverage with a sweet, eggy custard flavor. Hanare then freezes that milk shake and shaves it to create its Milkshake Shaved Ice.

As if that isn’t tempting enough, Hanare also offers a variety of different toppings. On our visit, we decided to double down on the eggs-travagance by ordering the Pudding Milkshake Shaved Ice, which comes topped with a purin, or Japanese-style custard pudding. Naturally, we also opted for the large size.

After putting in our order, there was a 15-minute wait until our dessert arrived. That’s pretty long for shaved ice, but the cafe’s interior is pleasant and comfortable, and we could definitely understand the long prep time when we saw how incredible the Pudding Milkshake Shaved Ice looks. It was a thing of towering frozen beauty, and comes accompanied with a small glass of condensed milk to pour on for extra sweetness, should you so desire, as well as some monaka wafers to stuff with shaved ice/shake.

▼ The little support stand for the spoon is an especially classy touch.

Then there’s the purin itself, which was enticingly huge, about as big as an adult’s clenched fist.

▼ Every week is Purin Week here at SoraNews24, but this week is Giant Purin Week!

As you can probably tell from looking at it, the ice here is finely shaved. This is a contrast with traditional shaved ice stands in Japan, which usually give you a coarser grain, but this soft and fluffy variant is gaining popularity for fancy eat-in shaved ice at cafes. The flavor is delicious, and since miruku seki is supposed to let the egg play a strong role in stimulating your taste buds, it’s not overpoweringly sweet, but still satisfyingly creamy.

Speaking of textures, purin’s tends to vary by maker in Japan. Sometimes it’s almost drinkable soft, but other times it has a more solid consistency. Hanare’s purin is on the firmer side of the scale, which is definitely the right call, since it allows the pudding to maintain its form without dissolving even while it’s sitting atop a pile of shaved ice. That firmness also makes for an interesting interplay of mouthfeels when you get both purin and ice in the same spoonful, and the flavor is as strong and tasty as we’d expected it to be.

Adding a pour of condensed milk, obviously, kicks the sweetness up a level, and the intensity can be sort of surprising compared to the ice and purin on their own. Not that we’re complaining about our dessert being sweet, though, since this tastes amazingly good. And just when we were worrying that our taste receptors might be starting to get saturated…

…we found a surprise supply of lemon kanten (agar) at the bottom, and the citrusy gelatin cleansed our pallate and had us ready for another circuit of sweetness.

It was at this point we remembered the monaka wafers. Honestly, we were a little skeptical of the concept, but it turns out that shaved milkshake monaka are great, with an enticing outer crunch and snowy soft center.

The large-size Pudding Milkshake Shaved Ice cost us 1,350 yen (US$10), but there’s also a small size that’ll save you 400 yen (and also possibly save you from a brain freeze if you can’t stop eating as long as there’s shaved ice in front of you). Really, our only complaint is that Hanareya’s Milkshake Shaved Ice series is only available during the summer, so we may need to go again this month to try the ones with matcha azuki and sweet potato toppings.

Restaurant information
Motosue Hanare / 本巣ヱ 離れ
Address: Hyogo-ken, Nishinomiya-shi, Kikutani-cho 1-28
Open 11 a.m.-6 p.m. (weekdays), 11 a.m.-630 p.m. (weekends, holidays)
Closed Mondays

Photos ©SoraNews24
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