Häagen-Dazs ice cream sandwich milkshakes now available at pop-up cafe in Tokyo【Taste Test】

Häagen-Dazs fans will want to check out this limited-time-only cafe before it’s gone at the end of the month!

Häagen-Dazs has proven their commitment to providing us with quality ice cream by constantly releasing premium, fancy, limited-edition flavors like gold-dusted Matcha Opera ice cream. Their delicious flavors are sold as cups, ice cream bars, and, my personal favorite, Crispy Sandwiches.

In this summer heat, though, eating an ice cream sandwich is going to be a messy experience. Luckily, right now we can get the same delicious flavors in a Crispy Sandwich-flavored milkshake at the newly opened Häagen-Dazs Crispy Sandwich Beach Cafe, which is now open in montoak, a cafe and lounge in Omotesando, Tokyo!

They’re offering three delightful flavors: Caramel Classic, Hojicha Wa no Ka, and Triple Berry Rare Cheese, and they cost 700 to 800 yen each (US$6.29-$7.19). Each shake is blended with real Crispy Sandwiches, and topped with half of a Crispy Sandwich, some whipped cream, and other flavor specific-toppings, which means you’re going to get more than enough Häagen-Dazs from one of these babies.

We tried out the Hojicha Wa no Ka, flavored with roasted green tea, first. It’s made with black sugar and topped with whipped cream, red beans, and a Hojicha Wa no Ka Crispy Sandwich, which gives it distinctly Japanese nuances. With each sip through the thick straw, the earthy aroma of roasted green tea fills your mouth, but just when you think that’s the end of it, a refreshing sweetness bursts forth for a lip-smackingly tasty flavor.

If you mix in a little bit of the whipped cream and read beans as you go, it tastes just like a Japanese sweet served with green tea. Plus, the pieces of the wafers that have melted into the shake give an extra nice touch to an already complex flavor. You won’t be able to stop drinking this one!

The Caramel Classic, with its crunchy topping of caramel nuts, is a very satisfying drink. It’s not too sweet, and has a hint of bitterness to it, which gives it a very mature flavor. It seems like something a rich lady would be drinking as she walks her perfectly coiffed toy poodle around Omotesando.

The Triple Berry Rare Cheese is a very summery milkshake. The berries provide a nice sweet and sour aroma to the shake, while the pink color gives it a very bright appearance. With strawberries mixed in along with a bit of jam, this shake has an undeniable fruitiness that berry fans will love.

These shakes are big. You’ll want to bring a hearty appetite with you when you stop by this stall, so we don’t recommend that you come on a full stomach.

If you want a little bit more than a milkshake, though, they also have Crispy Sandwich Shake Parfaits, but they’re limited to just 100 per day, so if you want to try one, you should get there early. They are priced at 1,296 yen each ($11.65).

Though this pop-up stand will only be open until July 29, you can still enjoy at least one of the flavors after it closes. The Hojicha Wa no Ka Crispy Sandwich is now available in supermarkets and convenience stores nationwide, so if you really just can’t live without more of that roasted green tea flavor, you’re in luck.

Cafe Information
Häagen-Dazs Crispy Sand Beach Cafe / ハーゲンダッツ クリスピーサンド ビーチカフェ
Address: montoak, Tokyo-to, Shibuya-ku, Jingu-Mae 6-1-9
東京都渋谷区神宮前6-1-19モントーク
Take-out hours: 11:00 a.m. to 7 p.m. (last order 7 p.m.)
Eat-in hours: 11:00 a.m. to 10 p.m. (last order 9:30 p.m.)
montoak’s hours: 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. (Mon-Thur, Sun); 11 a.m. to 3 a.m. (Fri-Sat, the day before a holiday)
Website (Japanese only)

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McDonald’s Japan offering Calpis shakes this summer with new-and-improved recipe

Yogurt-like beverages combine McDonald’s shake know-how with one of Japan’s favorite summertime flavors.

Japan hasn’t quite gone into full-on hot and steamy summer mode, but those sweltering days are coming soon. So the timing of McDonald’s Japan’s announcement of a new cold and delicious beverage really couldn’t come at a better time.

The fast food giant, which is always eager to offer fare that makes use of local Japanese flavors, has put the word out that at the end of this month it’ll start serving Calpis shakes. For the uninitiated, Calpis (or Calpico, as it’s often marketed overseas in an attempt to sound more appetizing to English speakers), is a yogurt-like beverage. It’s usually mixed with water, sometimes carbonated, and occasionally even used as a cocktail mixer, pleasing palates both young and old with a unique balance of sweet and tart notes.

Loyal SoraNews24 readers and/or lactic acid bacteria enthusiasts may remember that there was also a Calpis McShake available last year. We tried it for ourselves and came away more than satisfied, but McDonald’s has still decided to tinker with the recipe, and promises that this year’s Calpis McShake has had its sweetness toned down ever so slightly, allowing the tartness a little more of the spotlight in order to make the 2018 version even more refreshing to sip on the hottest days of the year.

▼ The 2017 Calpis shake, with a reversed color scheme compared to the 2018

While yogurt-like shakes might seem a little unusual to the uninitiated, McDonald’s Japan has previously sold yogurt granola smoothies, and yogurt Frappuccinos have also graced Starbucks’ menus in Japan. And for even more historic precedent, there’s lassi, the Indian yogurt drink that’s often enjoyed at the end of a meal of spicy curry, so maybe there’ll be some similar synergy between the Calpis McShake and McDonald’s Japan’s new spicy chicken McNuggets.

The new Calpis shakes go on sale June 27, priced at 120 yen (US$1.10) for a small and 200 yen for a large, and will be available for a limited, undisclosed time.

Source: McDonald’s via Entabe
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McDonald’s Japan combines beloved beverages of adults and kids with new coffee milkshakes

Maker of Japan’s eternally popular Pocky chocolate snack sticks lends a hand.

McDonald’s might not have a reputation for culinary innovation in its home country of the U.S., but to succeed in Japan, you have to keep things fresh with a constant rollout of new temptations to attract easily bored Japanese fast food fans. For example, the orthodox milkshake lineup of chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry just isn’t enough, which is why McDonald’s Japan has offered flavors such as Hokkaido melon, peach, and Calpis.

So later this month, the Golden Arches in Japan will offer their newest flavor for mature shake connoisseurs: café au lait.

To clarify, this isn’t a blended ice beverage, nor is it an iced coffee that’s particularly heavy on the cream. The Café au Lait McShake is a legitimate milkshake flavored with drip coffee extract-infused coffee syrup. Similar to how McDonald’s partnered with confectioner Morinaga for its milk caramel shakes a while back, the Café au Lait McShake is a collaborative effort with food and beverage company Glico, who, when not busy making jaw-dropping commercials and Pocky sticks, also sells a line of pre-packaged refrigerated café au lait in Japanese supermarkets and convenience stores.

As such, the Café au Lait McShake promises to be full of enough coffee flavor to please grown-up pallets, while ironically being sipped through McDonald’s Japan’s breast-feeding-simulating straws. The new shake is priced at 120 yen (US$1.10) for a small and 200 for a medium, goes on sale March 28, and will be available until late April.

Source: Glico via Entabe
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Insert image: Glico

McDonald’s now has a Calpis McShake on the menu in Japan

One of Japan’s most distinctive flavours is blended into a McDonald’s milkshake for a limited time.

Calpis, or Calpico, as it’s sometimes known outside of Japan, is a drink that’s been around for 98 years. Created by lactic fermentation, the concentrated beverage was first introduced to the local market back in 1919, quickly becoming popular for its slightly milky and acidic taste, which added both flavour and health benefits to ordinary water.

Now, almost a hundred years after it was created, Calpis is being made available for a limited time as a Mcdonald’s milkshake.

We headed down to our local McDonald’s to get a taste of the new beverage, and when we arrived, we saw that it was served up in some very cute packaging.

The polka dot design makes the new McShake instantly recognisable as a Calpis-flavoured beverage. White dots against a blue background was the original look for the Calpis brand until the colours were inverted in 1953.

The polka dots are said to resemble the Milky Way, which is a reference to Tanabata, a Japanese star festival that pays homage to the meeting of the deities Orihime and Hikoboshi on 7 July every year. According to legend, the deities exist as the stars Vega and Altai, which are said to cross the Milky Way to meet once a year on the seventh day of the seventh lunar month of the lunisolar calendar.

Calpis is known to be one of the most refreshing drinks you can have during the hottest season of the year, so tying it in with the Tanabata festival, an event that marks the beginning of summer in Japan, makes perfect sense from a marketing point of view.

▼ While it’s usually mixed with water, or sometimes milk,
McDonald’s is now featuring Calpis as the star ingredient in their summer McShake.

Popping off the lid and taking a sip of the new McShake with a straw, we were pleasantly surprised by the taste. We really love the unusual, acidic flavour of Calpis in drinks, and while it’s usually watered out slightly in the mixing, here it appeared in robust form, filling every mouthful with a full hit of Calpis flavour, thanks to the rich creaminess of the thick milkshake.

Despite containing lactic acid, Calpis tastes very different to ordinary yoghurt, and though it’s tempting to label the new McShake as a yoghurt milkshake, it’s still entirely different, due to the distinct flavour of the star ingredient, which is both tart and sweet at the same time.

Whether you’re a visitor to Japan looking to try a unique Japanese flavour, or an adult who’s grown up with the nostalgia of Calpis drinks, this thick and creamy beverage is a tasty way to recharge during the heat of a Japanese summer.

The Calpis McShake is currently available in a small size for 120 yen (US$1.10) or medium size for 200 yen, and will be available at McDonald’s branches around the country until the middle of July.

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