As we enter the summer months, it seems that everywhere I look, all I see are restrictions. No entry without mask, no social public gatherings, no dining in public indoors, no customers allowed past 8pm, for heaven’s sake, why don’t we just restrict the sun too? I understand that these are all necessary injunctions that we all must follow but it’s just a sad reality that this year will be a very gloomy hot summer. However, there is still that one guilty pleasure that remains strong; that is, DESSESERTS! Sweet, delicious, desserts. As always, Total Okinawa has got you covered. Here are some of the best desserts on island that will hit those tastebuds with savoury happiness.
Did you honestly believe that I would make a dessert list on island and Blue Seal wouldn’t be first? (Get outta here!) Blue Seal is like that little surprise clump of chocolate you find sometimes on the bottom of sugar cones. What can I say? Blue Seal is so good, it just elevates ice cream to a whole new incomprehensible level. Opened at 1948, they have all the stock flavours such as vanilla, chocolate, etc., but what kicks it to that high tier level is their Okinawa original flavours such as the Shiiquasa (lemony citrous fruit), Satoukibi (sugar cane), and my absolute favourite, UBE! (deep purple yam). Blue Seal can be found almost everywhere (including supermarkets) but you should definitely check out their first store located in Urasoe city. They have a small museum corner that shows some of the store’s history. For more information, check out their website at https://en.blueseal.co.jp.
I was today years old when I found out its pronounced KOI ‘Tee’ and not KOI ‘The’. What’s even worse is that until about last month, I thought it was a store for pet food! It is actually a tapioca bubble milk tea shoppe that offers many flavours of goodness that does wonders for those with a precise sweet tooth. Usually with bubble milk teas, I look forward to the sweetness of the tapioca but in the case of KOI Thé, the flavours are concentrated in the milk tea itself. With selectable levels of sweetness, hot or cold, and even choice of the amount of ice, KOI Thé is perfect to curb those specific cravings by making the dessert truly yours. One downside I noticed is that when you go, expect a wait. I have yet to see this place without some form of a line but it doesn’t matter because it will definitely be worth it!
Ha-ppy birth-day to- you! Unless you’ve been living in a cave your whole life, I am sure you have seen one of Jimmy’s cakes at a birthday party or two (it’s that red box with a line of J’s on it). Mostly famous for their cheesecake (glazed, light, and oh so spongy), Jimmy’s has a wide range of cakes, cookies, muffins, and lately, pies! Of course, they offer cakes by the slice so you don’t necessarily have to wait for an occasion just to enjoy. Personally, I love their chocolate chip muffins. Ever heard of the saying that the best part of a muffin is the top? Well, Jimmy’s muffins are muffin-tops all throughout! How they do it, I do not know. There are so many Jimmy’s on island but I recommend the one in Ginowan. They have a small supermarket & restaurant in the store which offers a selection of other pretty rare products that you will seldomly find elsewhere. More information at http://jimmys.co.jp.
Now, I know what you’re thinking, veggie shakes as a dessert? Have I lost my mind?! Just hear me out first before you send me off to the insane asylum. True, Karin does primarily offer vegetable shakes such as Kale or barley grass but they do also offer fruit smoothies such as mango, orange, kiwi, blueberries, and even strawberry milk! My favourite is their pineapple kiwi mixed juice. I suppose it is a little unorthodox for a vegetable shake shoppe to be on this list of desserts but I for one absolutely love it. I mean what could pair more seamless after a nice juicy steak than a counter balanced citrous sweet cold smoothie? Yummy! Not to mention, all the wonders it does for your digestive system (wow… I’m getting old). To find their locations and menu, check out their website at https://k-karin.jp.
I think in the case of Kana-Chan, what you are paying for is the nostalgic memory and the dessert is basically just a bonus. I remember after coming back from a day on the beach, nothing beats Kana-Chan’s big ol’ bowl of Zenzai (Red bean & mochi ice shavings) with a generous layer of condensed milk. It’s like eating cold sweet bowl of happiness. The shoppe is nothing fancy; just a couple of seats on tatami with a chair or two, an electric fan, and wind chimes. Perfect scene for that sweet escape from the summer heat. Due to the tiny nature of the store, it will probably be hard to find. Check out this link for its location. https://goo.gl/maps/5gZAV8TKX4QhB7X1A
Although the pandemic countermeasures can be a real drag with all its restrictions, hopefully some of these desserts can uplift you and sweeten things out a bit. All you have to do is just take it one bite/lick/sip at a time!