When you think of shaved ice you probably think of the Hawaiian multi-colored shaved ice or even something similar to the carnival shaved ice with sugary flavored syrup drizzled all over it. What if I tell you there is something even better and it has the texture of shaved ice but the taste of ice cream? Well there is such a thing and it is opening in the Langham Creek part of Houston and offering Asian shaved ice, boba tea, slushies, icees, as well as flavored iced tea.
Regina and I were invited to get a sneak peek behind Houston’s newest (and coolest) tea and ice shop; Melting Blocks. We were greeted warmly by the husband and wife owners of the shop. We started our tastings with of course boba tea, a popular Asian drink made most of the time with tea, milk and flavoring. Though they have five flavors to choose from and five tea glazes to enhance your boba tea experience, we tried the Thai Tea (Regina) and Taro Milk Tea (myself). The taro had this complex earthy taste and the bright purple color caught my eye immediately; needless to say it is now my new favorite boba tea flavor. The Thai tea was rich and smooth and had a little mellow spice (similar to nutmeg or cinnamon) to it. Of course the tapioca beads at the bottom are the ultimate prizes to any boba tea experience. The five flavors they have are the following: Almond, Green Tea, Honey Dew, and the two aforementioned. You can also enhance your tea (which we will have to try next time) with the following flavors: Butterscotch, Caramel, Condensed Milk, Nutella, and Chocolate. I am thinking a Taro Nutella boba tea is in my near future.
Now on to I think our favorite part of the visit: the shaved ice. As mentioned before the shaved ice served at Melting Blocks is Asian inspired and is more similar to ice cream than a standard shaved ice. What they do is take a block of ice with a hole in the middle and fill it with all the ingredients needed and the flavors (the green and Thai tea and coconut are all natural flavors) are combined with milk. It is then frozen for 12 hours and when ready to serve it is shaved down to the size you want. Though a lot of work, the end result is well worth it and melts really quick so you better eat it quick.
They offer 11 flavors and 19 (yes you read that correctly) toppings to make it your very own and all this ranges from the standard to the more gourmet in taste. If you are like me, loving new challenges, then you should definitely try the black sesame shaved ice. The roasted sesames give it a nut butter taste and adding the honey boba, mochi balls, and condensed milk really helps balance out the flavors. Regina on the other hand tried the red velvet shaved ice with mochi balls and I do have to say the red velvet tastes like a cupcake especially with the sweet mochi balls. Regina’s husband was also available to help in the tasting and got the coconut shaved ice with lychee and rainbow jelly with condensed milk. When it came out it looked like shaved coconut and melted quickly in our mouths. The jellies gave it an interesting consistency and also a more tropical taste. Next time I am going to try the milk ice with red beans (we were told the red beans are soft and cooked in honey).
If you are looking for a new place to hang your hat during the hot months (lets be honest, Texas is quite hot all year long), then wander over to Melting Blocks. It opens Friday April 15th at 6 pm. The first 25 customers get a free shaved ice and the next 25 after them gets a free iced tea. They can be found at www.meltingblocks.com, Facebook: Melting Blocks Shaved Ice and Boba Tea, Twitter: @meltingblockstx, and Instagram: meltingblocks. Their location is at: 6031 Hwy 6N, Houston, TX 77084.