Sebastian Kakigori is a dessert haven dedicated to kakigori, a Japanese shaved-ice dessert. The treat dates back to the Heian period, when dessert was a luxury item reserved only for Japanese nobles. The 20-seater is owned by Hiroshi Kawata and Kantara Okada (also behind 279, Le Bajo Milkbar, Hareruya Pantry, Chiaki, Leonie Upstairs).

At this 20-seat spot, every dish starts with a block of kakigori ice made of water from Mount Haku, on the western side of Honshu island. The water is frozen for more than 48 hours to achieve slow-melting ice that doesn’t impart any flavour. A machine then locks the ice in place and spins it against a blade, shaving off soft flakes into a bowl. As the snow piles up into a mini-mountain, layers of syrup, crumble, foam and diced fruit are added.

Kawata’s menu is inspired by Japanese and French flavours. You’ll find a spin on crème brulée – layered with condensed milk and strawberry, topped with meringue and blowtorched to resemble the French dessert. There’s also “Rare Cheese” (paired with pineapple and mixed berry compote), “Mango Lassi” (layered with aloe vera pulp and passionfruit sauce) and “Blonde Chocolate”, which contains orange peel and cafe au lait sauce and is topped with rum foam and waffle crunch.

The ice melts slowly, but with desserts this good, don’t expect them to make the trip home.

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Updated: April 12th, 2024

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