Ginger Green Tea and Ujikintoki Shaved Ice
When the weather's warm, a cup of tea and the shaved ice at Kissako Tea revive the spirits. You'll find me here when we have our next heatwave...any temperature above 73°F. — with a towering bowl of matcha shaved ice and my favorite ginger green tea.
This tiny tea spot is tucked under the stairway of the street level - 1st floor - Japan Center Kinokuniya Bldg. between Geary & Post St. and Webster & Fillmore St. Closed on Tuesdays, serving Wednesday through Monday from 11 am to 6 pm.
1581 Webster St, San Francisco, CA 94115
There has been another thread on Kissako, though not about the shaved ice (I don't think).
Anyway, I haven't tried the shaved ice, but my husband and I did finally try this place about a month ago. I had a matcha latte, which was quite good (better than TanTan upstairs). He had a matcha set that came with one wagashi (Japanese sweet). Unfortunately, these sweets are the same as you can buy at Niji-ya and, while they're not cheap at the grocery store, they are very expensive here at Kissako. But probably most tourists stopping by here don't know that.
This place is a good idea and I wish they had a bigger space and more comfortable chairs, but my main beef is that they don't have fresh wagashi. As we mentioned on the other thread, why the heck can't they pair up with Benkyo-do and serve the real deal? Oh, well, I guess here in the Bay Area beggars can't be choosers. We don't have an elegant place like Toraya in Manhattan (sigh!)
The green Ujikintoki shaved ice melts creamy and soft on the tongue to contrast with the spoonful of sweet red beans...followed by sips of hot ginger green tea for an additional kick. It's quite an enjoyable combination of flavors... for a quick interlude between browsing through the Kinokuniya bookstore and my friend's search for dvds of Korean soaps that play on Japanese tv.
OOOOh! Cynsa thanks for sharing... I've been to Japantown so many times, but have never discovered this place! I'll be sure to check it out... I'm always trying to find a quality shave ice spot in the Bay Area. Normally, it's the crunchy and disappointing snow cone.. but I'll keep my eye out for this one!