I am not sure of the precise moment it all started, whether it was my mother’s passion for
dessert making, my father’s business acumen, my wife’s support, or my sense of wonder while
traveling, or perhaps a coming together of all…
It was March 2018 and I am on my usual travel expedition with my friends in South East Asia
with temperatures above 35C and humidity at 80%, which was all so reminiscent of our desert
homeland when we stumbled across a small dessert shop at the corner of a bustling street
which served a lightly textured ice shaving with a heavenly topping. It was an instant jolt of
exhilaration, as Ibn Battuta once said in a ‘fleeting moment, I sat in wonder’. It was something
that we had never seen or tasted before, an 11th-century dessert created for the Japanese
aristocracy. These ice desserts were highly sought after since ice was such a rare commodity
back then. At the time, the ice blocks were naturally frozen during winter in the mountains and
stored in special ice houses called Himuro, by mid-summer, two-thirds of the ice had melted
leaving a precious third for enjoyment. These cherished pieces were carefully looked after by
the imperial guards to satisfy only the stately. Fast forward and here we were, tasting this fluffy
ice with a texture similar to snowflakes topped with strawberry sauce, they called it Kakigori.
A few months had passed since the amazing summer and the taste of this sensational dessert
had never left, I wanted to experience it here, at home. Thankfully, my family were incredibly
supportive of the idea and became enchanted by the possibility of experiencing the same
wonder, all year round. So, my next journey was to create a brand that catered to my
homeland was personalized and embodied our values.
The next few steps were critical in what would define PLAIN DESSERTS. We wanted a team that
understood that quality comes before profit and like Kakigori, will stand the test of time. This is
when we crossed paths with Australian professional Jody Garner, with years of Hospitality
experience both regionally and internationally. Jody became an integral force and a trusted
partner that helped bring our vision to life and now heads our Hospitality Division.
Our South African Business Development Manager, Yvette Barrett, was instrumental in creating
the menu, with a direction to use only the most premium ingredients with no artificial
flavorings or additives, to achieve only the highest quality.
The next course of action was for the team to retrace our footsteps back to South East Asia, to
visit the many authentic Kakigori places, and to talk to the numerous master makers. As a result,
we perfected the techniques and created recipes with our own unique style thus creating the
perfect Kakigori for our region, just for you.
Ultimately, we sincerely hope that you as our treasured guest enjoy a similar experience to
what we had and feel that sense of momentary wonder that you too can share with your loved
ones. In Ibn Battuta’s words: ‘A gift to those who contemplate the wonders of cities and the
marvels of traveling’, but right here at home… Enjoy!