Snow cone inspired pasta delivers us from the heat
For the past two weeks, the temperature has hovered around 35℃ in many parts of the country with a hardly a cloud to weaken the scorching sun.
Walking around in the streets, heat exhaustion has me pining for winter. Just then some news hit me like a bucket of cold water. There is a restaurant in Ginza called Fresh Pasta Monster that is serving “Shaved Ice Fresh Pasta” for a limited time.
You read that name right, it’s pasta with shaved ice, much like you’d find in a snow cone. It is said that they can only serve it 10 times a day, so I made sure to get there just after they open at 11 a.m. However, even as I arrived, there was already a spattering of customers around — this must be a popular spot.
You can choose from two types of noodles: linguine or tagliatelle, which is similar to fettuccine. On the recommendation of the waiter, I went with the thinner linguine noodles. Here I saw a sign for “Luxury * Premium Fresh Pasta” topped with heavy cream and raw sea urchin. “Now this would cure my heat exhaustion!” crossed my mind, but nay – I was there for the shaved ice pasta.
Finally my dish had arrived. The “shaved ice” was actually frozen tomato sauce with a cherry tomato on top and some mozzarella cheese. Aside from the frozen sauce it looked like a normal plate of pasta, very good.
I went straight for the sauce first. It was strange but refreshing, making my throat feel cool. As for the sauce itself, the tomatoes were definitely fresh as they had a gentle sweetness balanced with the right amount of tanginess – very flavorful all around.
Onto the pasta, it was tender… but then… wait a sec… al dente? No, this is even harder than that. The outer part of the noodles was tender but the inside felt undercooked. How disappointing.
I asked the waiter about this and he said the pasta was fresh and is actually cooked longer than normal pasta. It’s the cold sauce that gives it the hard texture. That’s a pretty big drawback, but I guess to make such a unique dish you have to make some sacrifices.
That being said, the dish overall was really good. The best part was after I finished: the left over frozen sauce had melted, resulting in a cool kind of gazpacho that was absolutely delicious. I also saved the cherry tomato for the end, its vibrant red that accenting the taste nicely.
After it was all over, my body felt cooled and cleared of the heat induced cobwebs in brain. I could finally move on from pining over that frigid whore named winter and get it on with summer. I also discover that another place called Pastudio serves a similar dish of pasta with a tomato sauce gelato on top.
The gelato will have to wait for another day. But as far as the shaved ice past goes, at 1,101 yen it’s a relatively cheap and definitely energy efficient way to cool down these days. So give it a try.
Fresh Pasta Monster
Printemps Building Ginza Second Floor Basement
Fresh Pasta Shop: Ginza Pastudio
Chuo Ward Ginza 8