There seems to be quite a number of new stores moving into the Mid Valley area recently, but none more prominent or as important as the latest Louis Vuitton venture into The Gardens mall. It has taken the French brand over 25 years to move out of the capital into the suburbs. The newly minted boutique is the luxury brand’s 3rd in Malaysia and it takes centrestage with a 47m long facade covered in flower motif at the mall’s ground level. While the store spots a timeless design with elements of metal, glass and wood; I can’t seem to understand the painfully glaring white lights of its facade. But nothing can’t be fixed with a glamourous pair of LV shades right?
Anyway, not to be dismissed is a newly opened F&B outlet, Hokkaido Ichiba, located at the 3rd floor where Gurney Drive once stood. Covering an area that could rival the new Louis Vuitton boutique below, this barely 1-week old restaurant is a new concept created by the popular Zanmai group; making this the 4th outlet by the group within the Mid Valley City area. Judging from the popularity of the other outlets, I’m sure Hokkaido Ichiba will do well.
Like most Zanmai outlets, a portion of this outlet is dedicated to retailing Japanese snacks and groceries. However, at Hokkaido Ichiba, a third of the space has also been given to its dessert arm, Hokkaido Ice Cream. The desserts here comprises a colourful display of specialty ice creams and other Japanese-inspired desserts that sure will please anybody with a sweet tooth. I have not been as excited about a dessert place in this mall since the opening of Delectables by Su early last year. And how apt it was to have Su-Yin for company that evening.
Ice Cream Fantasy (RM23.80) is a great way to sample a few of their specialty ice cream flavours at one go. Out of the 6 scoops we chose, we were throughly satisfied with the Dark Chocolate, Niagara (Hokkaido Muscat) Wine Sherbet, and the awesome Shio (salted) Caramel. While I love the Jaigama (Japanese potato), my two companions didn’t think much of its texture. With all these unique flavours available, the remaining Kuro Goma (black sesame) and Ichigo (Japanese strawberry), while nice, felt ‘normal’ to us. It’s also quite a bargain to be paying that price for what was served. However, the waffles that came with the order had a weird chewy bread texture, almost like biting on a piece of Scotch Brite, that made it forgetable.
Tofu Cheesecake (RM6.80), while it sounds interesting, tasted sourish and odd. The layers of spongecake and creame cheese topped with ground peanuts in a martini glass didn’t cut it for us.
Macha Crepe (RM9.80) was a good choice. Not only did it look tantalising, but it tasted heavenly too – provided if you’re a fan of azuki beans. Sweet Hokkaido red bean rolled in a freshly made eggy crepe and topped with green tea ice cream, green tea sauce and more Hokkaido red bean is definitely something to return for.
The quiet (for now) and very cold (there are about 20 air-con ducts for this small area) dessert bar has a beautiful feature wall made from a collage of many different Ukiyo-e woodblock printed motifs. To a bunch of bored and crazy kids with a new toy, that wall was the perfect backdrop for an evening of hot green tea sipping and endless camwhoring.
Hokkaido Ice Cream
T-201, 3rd Floor
The Gardens, Mid Valley City,
Linkaran Syed Putra,
59200 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: +603-2283 3060