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
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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Pop-up “Very Hungry Caterpillar” cafe now open in Tokyo, very hungry fans rejoice

Hopefully you won’t still be hungry after eating your way through these caterpillar-themed dishes.

Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar is one of the most popular children’s books in the world. With its creative collage art and fun interactive reading style, it’s considered a great educational tool in kindergartens and daycares worldwide, even in Japan.

With such widespread adoration of the book and Japan’s propensity to take anything popular and make it into a cafe, it’s no surprise that a pop-up Very Hungry Caterpillar cafe opened just the other day in Tokyo’s Ginza area.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Cafe, called “Harapeko Aomushi Cafe” in Japanese, is one we can approve of. Its concept is to take the colorful world of The Very Hungry Caterpillar and transport it onto a plate. The ingredients used for all of their dishes are seasonal, so you can guarantee that you’re getting fresh, tasty meals that you can munch away on, just like the very hungry caterpillar.

Their current menu includes “A Very Hungry Caterpillar French Toast”, which is not actually french toast but a sandwich of fried bread with shrimp, avocado, cheese, zucchini, and other vegetables, shaped like the Very Hungry Caterpillar.

Also on the list is “A Very Hungry Plate”, which cleverly creates all the sweets from the caterpillar’s meal with savory ingredients: rice with demi-glace sauce that looks like chocolate cake, ice cream made of mashed beets and potatoes, a cheesy Salisbury steak that looks like a lollipop, and a cupcake that’s actually deceptive spinach.

They also have a kids menu, featuring a gluten-free meal of chicken meatballs and broccoli over penne with tomato sauce, and a simple bowl of udon for the picky eaters.

For those who fancy dessert, you can order one of the three cakes: the strawberry-covered Very Hungry Caterpillar Gateau Chocolat; the mandarin orange, mango, and pineapple laden Sun Cheesecake; and the lemon cream Moonlight Cheese Pie.

You can also splurge and buy A Lovely Very Hungry Caterpillar: a drink of matcha milk topped with a spinach muffin and a caterpillar cookie. We’re not sure how exactly these things all go together, but it sure looks pretty!

As with most themed cafes, and with most Ginza area restaurants, the menu is a little pricey, running from 1,580 yen (US$14.27) for the cheapest adult plate to 2,600 yen ($23.48) for the Very Hungry Plate (which is recommended to be shared, though we aren’t convinced). But it’s probably worth it for the fun experience, especially if you’re an Eric Carle fan.

In other caterpillar news, Ghibli director Hayao Miyazaki’s new short, “Boro the Caterpillar”, is scheduled to finally debut in early spring!

Restaurant Information:
The Very Hungry Caterpillar Cafe / はらぺこあおむしカフェ
Address: Tokyo-to Chuo-ku Ginza 2-2-14 Marronnier Gate Ginza 1 (4F) Sunday Brunch
東京都中央区銀座2-2-14 マロニエゲート銀座1(4F)サンデーブランチ
Open 11 a.m.-9 p.m. (For reservations only until 5:30 p.m.)

Source, images: The Very Hungry Caterpillar Cafe Homepage