MANILA, Philippines – A scoop or two of ice cream never fails to make anyone feel refreshed and energized -- rain or shine. But for those who are tired of the conventional flavors, here are some unique and interesting concoctions to try:
1. Green Mango and Bagoong
Green Mango and Bagoong. Photo courtesy of Sebastian’s
What it is: A sorbet made from green mango topped with warm sweet bagoong
Where to find it: Sebastian’s, with branches at SM Mall of Asia, Podium and Katipunan Avenue in Quezon City
The verdict: The green mango and bagoong of Sebastian's surprised and pleased our sour-loving palette. The green mango ice had just the right sourness, while the bagoong had the salty-sweet kick. Together, they balanced each other out, making the ice concoction a perfect palette cleanser, or the perfect ice to have on a hot day.
2. Wasabi ice cream
Inagiku's wasabi ice cream. Photo courtesy of Makati Shangri-Las
What it is: Ice cream flavored with Japanese wasabi
Where to find it: Inagiku restaurant at Makati Shangri-La hotel
The verdict: This is a very interesting combination of hot and cold – the wasabi flavor stimulates the nasal passage and the tongue; at the same time, the ice cream cools your mouth. (Note: Green tea, black sesame and red bean ice cream are also served at Inagiku, and these are also worth a try).
3. Salted egg ice cream
Mabuhay Palace's salted egg ice cream. Photo by Karen Flores, ABS-CBNnews.com
What it is: Ice cream flavored with salted egg or “itlog na pula”
Where to find it: Mabuhay Palace restaurant at Manila Hotel
The verdict: It is sweet and creamy, and would probably pass for a normal dessert in terms of taste (it also contains low-fat milk and black sesame paste). The dessert, however, leaves a sandy texture on the tongue because of the egg yolk.
4. Snack Attack
Snack Attack pizza. Photo from Sebastian’s Facebook page
What it is: Vanilla ice cream topped with all sorts of salted snacks
Where to find it: Sebastian’s
The verdict: The Snack Attack “pizza” is a junk food lover's dream. A generous dollop of vanilla ice cream on a cashew cookie crust topped with a mix of chocolate covered potato chips, peanut butter covered pretzels, honey roasted peanuts and a drizzle of salted caramel. (Sebastian’s also has other “pizzas,” including the popular Leche Flan.)
5. Garlic Sprinkle gelato
Mad for Garlic's Garlic Sprinkle Gelato. Photo by Karen Flores, ABS-CBNnews.com
What it is: Garlic-flavored gelato served with a garlic cookie
Where to find it: Mad for Garlic restaurant at W Global Center in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
The verdict: The garlic flavor in the gelato was noticeable but not overpowering, which is a good thing. Scoop some gelato on top of the cookie and eat them together for that full garlic flavor.
6. Candied bacon ice cream
Merry Moo's candied bacon ice cream. Photo from Merry Moo's Facebook page
What it is: Ice cream infused with cinnamon with bits of smoked bacon
Where to find it: Merry Moo Ice Cream, which has stalls at Mercato Centrale, Cucina Andare, Salcedo Saturday Market, Legazpi Sunday Market, and Podium Mall
The verdict: Ideal for bacon lovers, the light and creamy dessert highlights the smoky and salty flavor of the well-loved cured meat. (Note: Merry Moo has plenty of interesting flavors, such as malted milk, strawberry basil, earl grey and cookie butter)
7. Turon 2.0
What it is: Banana ice cream in small cones
Turon 2.0. Photo by Smokin’ BarBQ
Where to find it: Smokin’ BarBQ in Greenbelt 3, Makati City
The verdict: Smokin’ BarBQ is known for its Turon 2.0 dessert, which had everyone raving. This is actually five small ice creams in cones, consisting of a caramelized homemade cone with a scoop of banana ice cream mixed with banana compote. One blogger pronounced it as one of the top dessert finds for the year – and we agree.
8. Taho gelato
Taho gelato. Photo by Vladimir Bunoan for ABS-CBNnews.com
What it is: Soy gelato topped with coco sugar syrup and sago
Where to find it: Bono’s Artisanal Gelato in SM Makati
The verdict: Pretty much tasting like the real thing, Bono’s Taho Gelato is also ideal for those who are lactose-intolerant and even those who are watching their weight.
9. Tsokolate tablea ice cream
Tsokolate tablea ice cream. Photo from Magnolia
What it is: Ice cream flavored with Batangas’ tsokolate tablea or chocolate tablets, topped with rice crispies.
Where to find it: This flavor is part of Magnolia’s “Best of the Philippines” collection, and is available in groceries, supermarkets and convenience stores
The verdict: The ice cream tastes more like regular chocolate than Batangas’ tablea, but eating it is still a good way to cool down. (Note: Other flavors in the Best of the Philippines collection, such as ube keso, macapuno langka and coffee mangosteen may be worth a try)
10. Chili Tamarind gelato
Chili Tamarind gelato. Photo from Bono's Facebook page
What it is: Gelato flavored with chili and tamarind
Where to find it: Bono Artisanal Gelato
The verdict: If you like those chili tamarind candies from Thailand, you'll love this oh-so-refreshing gelato with just the right amount of kick to perk you up on a dreary rainy day.