Post dinner and wanting something sweet to end the night, together with a few members of the League, I headed to Azabusabo at Marina Square. The place which has just opened in the past year or so was packed as usual even when we had arrived past 8pm. The queue was fairly long but the female manager offered us seats while we waited, handed us the menu so we could browse and made sure we were attended to every few minutes. Her warm and efficient service made the wait pleasant.
We looked through the extensive list of desserts and ordered four. (I couldn't remember their exact Japanese names but I'll use what's printed on the receipt.) The Ice Cream with Mango ($8) was a shaved ice tower topped with soft vanilla ice cream and with mango pieces and puree slathered over the shaved ice. It wasn't too sweet and the mango pieces brought out a really fresh mango taste. The soft ice cream resembled 'Mr Softie' served in 7-eleven outlets but with a more intense taste. It reminded me of the yummy Mango and Pomelo dessert I had in Hong Kong. This dessert also came with a molasses-tasting accompanying sauce.
The next dessert was a visual-pleaser. In fact, Mattchazen ($6.50) looked so cute that I felt sorry for digging into it. But all traces of quilt instantly vanished as I tasted the unique blend of red bean paste, green tea ice cream and chewy mochi. The red bean paste was not like that found in Chinese red bean pau. Instead, the red beans are slightly mushy and sticky but still retains their texture. I like the scoop of green tea ice cream. It was refreshing and did not have the powdery after taste of many versions elsewhere. The small round balls of mochi were pleasantly chewy and though blend, went well with the sweet red bean paste.
Shira Kuri Mit ($7) came next and is a concoction of soft vanilla ice cream together with slices of sweet potato, fruits and kanten jelly. Although it wasn't too bad, I felt that it paled in contrast to the first two desserts. Kanten jelly is made with a gelatin derivative of a seaweed.
Last to be served was Rum Wine ($8). A round, flattened cake of mashed sweet potato topped with soft vanilla ice cream. The mashed not-exactly-sweet sweet potato did have a hint of rum but was otherwise blend-tasting. This dessert would have benefited from a caramel rum sauce and perhaps cinnamon-infused sweet potato that would have given this dessert a very much needed lift.
Besides desserts, Azabusabo also serves typical Japanese fare like tempura, ramen and bento. I'll give these a try the next time. But for now, I would be satisfied with just getting scoops of their Japanese ice creams over the counter. I particularly like their black sesame, green tea and passion fruit flavours.
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