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The Most Popular Item at [369 farm café] in Nago City is Their Shaved Ice with Mango!
post : 2019.10.28 06:00
Situated in the city of Nago, in the northern region of Okinawa Island, stands a small café, cheerfully decorated with pop colors. The name of the establishment is [369 farm café]. (*369 is read in Japanese as Mi-Ru-Ku, or Milk)
The café is popular for their fluffy shaved ice, and crispy and delicious pudding pie.
The owners are Hirofumi Horinouchi and his wife, Miyako, who’re also coffee farmers. Hirofumi-san spends his days tending to his coffee field, and on his days off from the farm, he works at the café. Despite his busy life, he’s always full of smiles, and their gentle and welcoming smiles are definitely worth a visit to their café.
If you’re wondering what to order, I recommend their shaved ice treats. They offer 13 varieties with different syrups and sweet condensed milk all made by hand, and each one has a taste that you won’t find anywhere else. Among the wide selection of shaved ice, their most popular choice is…
Toro-Fuwa Mango Kakigori, or ‘rich and fluffy mango shaved ice’. As you can see above, there’s a generous portion of mango topping, and a small scoop of vanilla ice cream on top. The sauce is made with Okinawan mangoes, but look closer. There’re two different kinds of mango sauce on it!
One is a syrupy mango sauce. You can’t see it, but when preparing, they put a little bit of shaved ice in the bowl first, then the syrup. They repeat this process and after another layer of ice, they finally top it off with plenty more of syrup!
Finally, they add a rich, sherbet-textured mango sauce, and voila! This premium, double mango sauce supreme is ready to be enjoyed.
Its name, Toro-Fuwa comes from the toro-toro (rich) sauce, which, with one bite, the rich aroma and taste of mango will explode in your mouth. The fuwa-fuwa (fluffy) and soft shaved ice melts away in your mouth, creating a heavenly mix together with the sauce.
You can also add condensed milk (or yogurt) that comes in a side dish to further enhance your enjoyment. This tropical shaved ice treat lets you enjoy different and delicious tastes all the way to the last bite.
The shaved ice shown above with its beautiful color is the Beni-Imo Milk Zenzai, or zenzai sweet beans with beni-imo purple potato and sweet milk. It has local Okinawan Beni-imo paste mixed with condensed milk-based syrup that is rich and delicious. Hidden at the very bottom are plump and shiny Kintoki beans. This is also another favorite choice at the café.
They also offer shaved ice choices using Okinawa’s specialty products, like the Tsubu Tsubu Tankan (orange), Shikwasa (citrus) Milk, and others. As well as familiar favorites like Zenzai (sweet beans) and Ichigo Milk (strawberry syrup and sweet milk, written on the menu as 15369).
The secret to their amazing icy treats is also found in how they actually shave the ice. They use a retro-looking ice shaving machine that was manufactured in 1947-1948, which shaves the ice super soft and fluffy! They adjust the thickness in the shavings according to season, making it a little thicker in the summer and a little thinner in the winter months so that the texture will be just right.
“Because the ice is shaved thinner in the winter months, it’s even fluffier than in the summer. Also, the ice doesn’t melt as fast in the winter so you can take your time and enjoy the taste. Shaved ice in the winter months in Okinawa is still great!” says Horinouchi-san.
They even let the ice sit for a while before shaving, so that the customers won’t get brain freeze that some of us are very familiar with. Through and through, you can feel and enjoy their care and kindness in everything they offer.
Their Pudding Pies are all handmade, from the crust to the filling. They’re not too sweet either, and are so delicious you won’t be able to stop yourself from reaching for another. The crust is crispy and the filling is rich and thick. They’re good cold or slightly warmed in the toaster oven.
The pies have been very popular since their opening and these pastries go super well with their coffee.
Their coffee is made with particular attention, and the carefully selected specialty coffee beans are roasted in-house. During the hot season, I recommend you try their iced coffee that they spend seven hours in brewing. The aroma is great and the taste is mild and gentle.
This year* they harvested coffee from their very own farm for the first time! They plan on serving coffee from the Okinawan coffee beans that Hirofumi-san cultivates with great affection. They’re getting closer to their long-time dream of offering “coffee from farm to cup”. I can’t wait. (*The original Japanese article was written in 2016.)
Their homemade jams are made with local mango or Tankan oranges and are very popular among the customers to enjoy themselves or to take them to friends and family as gifts. Because the jams are made with ripe fruits, the fragrance and taste are also very rich. My family is a huge fan of their jams.
Although the 369 farm café is small, they offer a great reward every time I visit. Their shaved ice and pudding pies are excellent, and they even offer items that I can take to my friends.
You’ll see their regular customers enjoying themselves at the café, proof that they’re cherished by many people. All of their items are available for takeout too, so you can swing by when you’re in the neighborhood and enjoy a nice treat as you continue your day of driving in the beautiful northern region♪
*Note: The cafe has relocated to its present location written below, but the original Japanese article was written while they were at their old location, and so the photos in this article show the cafe at their original location.
369 farm café
Address: 1007 Miyazato, Nago City, Okinawa
Hours: 11:00 to 18:30 (Last orders for everything except the Baked Pudding Pie is 18:00)
Closed: Wednesdays & Thursdays
Okinawa CLIP photo writer, Akiko Ono