Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Melon-pan Ice Cream Sandwiches in Shibuya

Do you love ice cream sandwiches? Have you ever thought to yourself that the only thing that could make an ice cream sandwich better was if it were served on a freshly-baked still-warm sweet bun? If so, then have I got the answer for you: The Second Most Delicious Melon Bread Ice Cream in the World.

I first ran across this concept when trying to find ice cream with a friend one evening in Shibuya. Most of the google results were for this place, and while we were specifically on the hunt for soft serve the idea of a melon-pan ice cream sandwich stayed with me. Last week I finally checked it out, and it was fantastic!

So, what is melon-pan? If you haven't had it before you might be imagining that this is melon flavored bread, but instead it is bread that looks like a melon. The Japanese word for bread, pan, come from Portuguese by the way. A sugary paste (some people describe it more as a cookie dough) is spread over sweet buns, and then grid marks are cut into the surface before it's baked. The crumbly, crunchy texture with the grid pattern ends up looking a little like the outside of a cantaloupe. On occasion I have seen melon-pan tinted green or filled with melon flavored cream, but these are less typical interpretations.

Someone had the genius idea of splitting one open while it was still warm and filling it with ice cream. The reason this store is named the second most delicious, is to pay tribute to the master from whom the owner first learned to make melon-pan. The chain seems to have locations across Japan so hopefully you can try one too!

I went to the Shibuya location on a drizzly weekday and didn't have to wait in line but I've read reports of long lines sometimes. The guy who made mine was very friendly and chatty, making sure I new to eat quickly before the warm bread melted all the ice cream. The ice cream sandwich starts out a wonderful mixture of warm crunchy bread and cold ice cream. By the end the ice cream had melted into the bread making it soggy, but only in the best way possible. Luckily it comes wrapped in waxed paper so you won't make a mess.

You could probably make one at home with supplies from a convenience store, but if you're that interested in a melon-pan ice cream sandwich you should just go straight to the source.

Such a tiny shop front for something so delicious

The Ice Cream Sandwich Master

He made it look like Stitch (from Lilo & Stitch)!

Second Most Delicious Melon Bread Ice Cream in the World (Sekai de Nibanme ni Oishii Yakitate Melon Pan Aisu)
Shibuya Hours: 11:00 - 10:00
Shibuya Location: 1-15-9 Jinnan, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo

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