An avocado milkshake is like a regular milkshake—except the scoops of ice cream are replaced with scoops of avocado. Both ice cream and avocado are full of fat, yet the avocado milkshake tastes way better. You can get them at Asian restaurants all over Seattle, but depending on the particular culture of the place, the avocado shake is made—and tastes—totally different.
Rain Cafe, located next to the Asian Food Center on Aurora Avenue (13200 Aurora Ave N), is a fusion restaurant that serves a mix of Pacific Rim dishes drawing elements from Taiwanese, Japanese, and Chinese coastal cooking. For their avocado milkshake, they mix in espresso and add a rich layer of chocolate malt powder on top. The malt powder is an extremely Shanghai touch, as their cooking has a strong Western influence.
Remorseful advice: If you get the Rain Cafe avocado milkshake, I highly recommend sharing it with somebody, even if you don't know them. If there is a total stranger sitting a couple tables away, say, 'Hey, you want in on this?" The shake is extremely rich and huge. If you drink the whole thing yourself, it will leave you wanting to die, but the amount of caffeine in it won't let you.
Fortunately, Rain Cafe is the kind of place that lets you stay there all day and has good wi-fi and comfortable chairs. There is even a piano. If the shake immobilizes you, there are worse places to be immobilized.
Beetle Cafe, an Indonesian restaurant in the U-District (4334 University Way), also mixes their avocado milkshake with coffee, but it tastes nothing like at Rain Cafe. Because of the Dutch presence, Indonesia is the dominant coffee country of Asia (think Java). Beetle Cafe's avocado milkshake cuts back on the cream and sugar in order to let the roasted flavor of pure Indonesian coffee costar with the fresh avocado.
Like the coffee, the avocado is also allowed to speak for itself in the Indonesian shake. It is very lightly blended, so you can still suck plenty of avocado chunks through your straw and get that great avocado texture. The glass mug they serve it in is gigantic, so once again I recommend sharing it with somebody. It didn't help that I had it along with an enormous plate of Hainanese poached chicken with a side of soup.
Billiard Hoang in Columbia City (3220 S Hudson St) makes exactly the kind of avocado milkshake you would expect from Billiard Hoang. When you go into the Vietnamese restaurant, it is literally just billiards. There's no pinball, no darts—just billiards. In the same way, their avocado shake is just milk, sugar, and avocado, nothing else. It looks like gak, but it tastes so good that I downed the whole thing before I remembered I was going to take a picture of it.
I asked the cook if it was really just milk, sugar, and avocado. "Fresh avocado," she corrected. The secret was all in selecting high-quality ingredients. So far, it is my personal favorite of all the avocado shakes I've tried. It helped that I drank it before being weighed down by their delicious fried egg and sparerib banh mi.
As another option, Loving Hut in the ID (1226 S Jackson St) does a vegan variation with soy milk, brown sugar, and fresh avocado. Somebody should try making an avocado milkshake with mint.