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Recently due to the impending cold weather, I have been trying to enjoy all the sweet and cold desserts that I could get my hands on. Just having the traditional ice cream now is not really enough for me. I keep trying to find new and innovative ways to enjoy this delicious treat. What better way than to fry it?

Tempura is a special Japanese friend food. In the Japanese restaurants here you often find shrimp, broccoli, sweet potato, squash, pepper, and other vegetables in a fried form. This crispy coat is not the same as the traditional breadcrumb coating. It is lighter. Aside from the traditional fried subjects of tempura, there’s a dish especially dedicated to fried ice cream, tempura ice cream. You can find them mostly in Japanese restaurants. In Ann Arbor restaurants like Totoro, Sushi.com, and Sadako all serve this dish. Here I had the pleasure of visiting two places which serve this delicious treat: Sushi.com and Sadako. Since this isn’t your traditional restaurant visit, I will spare everyone the pain of how I feel about each place and focus on the subject.

Normally you get a choice of a few ice cream flavors for your dish. The popular flavors are green tea and red bean. So my first visit was to Sushi.com. I was surprised by how large the portion size was. The layer of tempura crust was think, a little less crispy than what you would find in vegetable coating, mostly due to the wetness of the ice cream. Here I choose green tea ice cream. The green tea is light, but you can still taste the tea flavor, which gives the ice cream the right balance of sweetness.

If you thought the portion size was generous at Sushi.com, wait until you see what I found at Sadako. It was TWICE as much as Sushi.com. You should really go with an empty stomach if you want to conquer this beast. Thankfully I shared the dish with another person, or else I would probably be there for hours before finishing the dish. Here I got to choose two flavors. I picked green tea and red bean. On the right here is a not so appetizing picture of the inside of the green tea (forgive me guys, I tried, but it just wouldn’t strike an elegant pose). The green tea ice cream tasted very like matcha, which is a finely milled powder tea, popular in Japan. I felt that the bitterness of the green tea overpowered the sweetness of the ice cream. The red bean ice cream was sweeter, but too creamy. Most of the ice cream ball was melted before I got a chance to dig into the red bean. The crust was thicker, but nice and crunchy. It wasn’t soaked wet by the ice cream.

WHO REIGNS SUPREME?

SUSHI.COM

I really enjoyed both places and I had a difficult time choosing, so this one was actually picked by a friend who went me to me on these adventures to explore this delicious dessert. Overall the thinner crust and more balanced ice cream taste from Sushi.com won our favors.

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