When we first moved to Osaka, cafe culture hadn't quite caught on in the area. There were a few cool spots, but most cafes still seemed to be traditional kissatens and less J-hippy, oversized clothing, and wooden bowls. I remember lamenting that Kobe was so much better than Osaka, but the tables really have turned. Osaka has really exploded in the last few years and there is no shortage of adorable eateries to choose from.
In our effort to find all of Kansai's best shaved ice, a.k.a kakigori かき氷, we found ourselves trekking out to Nishitanabe 西田辺 on the Midosuji line 御堂筋線. This is a very suburban neighborhood in Osaka and it has a bit more in common with it's neighboring city Sakai than it does Namba. Why would we go out there? Because of a picture on Instagram, that's why. We saw the watermelon kakigori at ShinShinSha 森森舎 on an Osaka based Instagram account and the desire was too strong.
ShinShinSha is right off a main road about a 10 minute walk from Nishitanabe station. It's in a cute warehouse type place and appears to share a building with BonFire Hostel. Besides being a really beautiful cafe, there is also a workspace and workshops to learn crafts like pottery and jewelry making. It would be fun to go back for a class sometime.
While we came for the kakigori, we stayed for the food. We ordered the chicken curry set and the chicken chapati rolls. The chapatis were actually made with whole wheat flour, which is a first in Japan. We were really surprised how good the curry was until we noticed an Indian guy working in the kitchen. Everything tasted really fresh and the chapati rolls were a fun surprise to see on the menu. For dessert we got a Vietnamese coffee kakigori drink loaded with sweetened condensed milk, the watermelon kakigori すいかかき氷, aaaannnddd the houji tea milk kakigori ほうじ茶ミルク金時. This place really knows how to make shaved ice. They asked if we wanted the watermelon kakigori made with or without red wine. I think the red wine one has a more muted color than the one made with watermelon flavoring, but the wine was a really good way to keep it from being overly sweet. Another one of their popular flavors is kiwi, which is topped with kiwi pieces in a thick kiwi syrup.
While ShinShinSha may not be the most centrally located cafe, I think it's worth a quick detour for anyone.
Name: ShinShinSha 森森舎
Address: 〒558-0056 Ōsaka-fu, Ōsaka-shi, Sumiyoshi-ku, Bandaihigashi, 1 Chome−1−3−14, 森脇ビル
English: English menu