Born and bred in Honolulu, Hawai'i, I was so excited to see that ChikaLicious had rolled out a line of shave ice for summer desserts. Shave ice is a daily staple in Hawai'i, whether as a post-beach, post-school, or post-lunch snack. There's something inherently satisfying about syrup-laced ice, especially when it comes with a generous pour of condensed milk.
Sadly, ChickaLicious' version lacks on two accounts: they're too stingy (on syrup and toppings), and it's too light (on flavor). Shave ice is meant to be a large, colorful, overflowing dessert. (Now that is shave ice!) It shouldn't be proper or dainty.
The flavors here, everything from coffee to Earl Grey, are clean and pure. Delicate. Which is perfectly fine, as long as you don't know what real shave ice is supposed to taste like. The Green Tea SnowLicious Deluxe—vanilla bean soft serve with green tea syrup, condensed milk, and azuki beans—had only about half a dozen tiny beans at the base of the dessert. Not the greatest case for excitement. My ChikaLicious conclusion: love the cupcakes; love the espresso ice shot even more. But these Hawaiian taste buds are staying away from the shave ice.
Dessert Club ChikaLicious
204 East 10th Street, New York NY 10003 (b/n 1st and 2nd Avenue; map) 212-475-0929
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