Walk into Halo Halo in the backstreets of Nakano, and you’ll find yourself transported into a very Filipino environment, where the counter and shelves are stocked with products from the island nation. The open kitchen and compact interior make it seem like everything inside blends together. However, with an atmosphere as friendly and intimate as Halo Halo’s, this is a good thing. 

Halo Halo’s Filipino offerings are classic and authentic, of course, but there are a few unique takes on some dishes. While the traditional sisig makes an appearance, a version of the sizzling pork favorite can be found mixed with gooey, melty cheese, adding another dimension of flavor and texture. 

The restaurant’s namesake treat is an obligatory way to end the meal. Halo-halo means “mixed” in English and is the name of a popular dessert similar to Japan’s shaved ice, kakigori. Shaved ice is combined with a decadent and long list of toppings that can include jam or ice cream made from ube (purple yam), coconut strips, different types of beans, tapioca, agar and rich leche flan, a Filipino custard pudding. At Halo Halo the restaurant, the indulgence is stacked high, with a plate underneath the main bowl to catch anything that falls while mixing. It’s refreshing even while featuring a complex flavor and texture.