Between the skin-scorching temperatures and the head-splitting humidity, we all just might already have had it with summer. By now, the yearning for a sun-and-sand vacation(s) has long been satisfied and what is left is the dilemma on how to consistently one-up the season’s rather unkind disposition with the right moves. So, take a hot second and take a look at these seven delights and consider this your beat-the-heat blueprint.
With 101 hand-crafted ice cream variants to choose from, Carousel Creamery provides more than enough credence to one of their hashtags: #wevegotyourflavor. While their robust selection can be a tad overwhelming, you can start with their bestsellers like Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, Avocashew, New York Cheesecake, and Dark Side Chocolate S’mores to appreciate both the range and richness they have to offer. However, if you're one who’s penchant for ice may seem a bit eccentric, well, they got that aspect covered for you, too. With flavor-names like Bacon and Cheese, Beer and Chicharon, Game of Turons, Soulstone Halo-Halo, you might just experience a unique frozen dessert unlike anything before. As most ice cream parlors and dessert spots go for powdered milk as one of their key ingredients, Carousel Creamery sets its stuff apart by using the fresh cow’s milk which they source from Hacienda Macalauan in Laguna. You can enjoy a scoop for P95, a double for P160, and a triple for P225, either on a cup or cone. So, if you still happen to wonder how you can manage the weather, you just found more than a hundred fixes to go for.
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Ask your mom, a tita, or even lola about Cuerva Bakeshop and they probably have a sweet anecdote to tell you about how they first came across their widely-famous honey cake or even their equally delightful mango torte. At the slim chance they receive your inquiry with radio silence, it’s best to head down to one of their branches and partake of the storied bakeshop’s history. In the late 50’s, homemaker Paz Reyes-Cuerva pursued her passion for baking and it wasn’t long before she pinned down delicious dessert recipes that quickly became pillar products to a bakeshop business that continues to thrive until today. A slice of honey cake—P80 a piece—is coated with honey-caramel topping and is spongy and light for all the right reasons. This dessert has been praised through the years in many news outfit and publication. Our take: it’s best enjoyed fresh from the freezer.
Embracing food fads can be a tricky thing. When you get down to it, it’s either you’ll love it or hate. But when it comes to rolled ice cream, it’s easy to find yourself in the first aforementioned category and Elait! can certainly ease your way into the decision-making process. At first, mistaking rolled ice cream for barquillos wafer rolls is common, but you easily get over it once they start assembling your order. From fresh slices of fruit to tongue-tingling syrups, you have more enough tools at your disposal into a frozen treat that’ll tickle your taste buds into sweet ecstasy. Don’t know where to start? Easy, have a spoonful of their Ube Flan (P180), which harmoniously makes leche flan, pinipig crunch, and of course, ube work together. But if you’re looking to indulge and insist on a healthier option, you can build your own with Elait!’s yogurt rolls for also 180 pesos, instead. Interesting factoid: this spot has opened its doors to the hearing-impaired community by providing its folk with job opportunities, so kudos to them.
Mad Mark’s Creamery and Good Eats
It’s no secret that when you dine in Mad Mark’s, you simply get a bang for your buck. As Mad Mark’s Group of Companies President Andrew Joseph Ngui puts it: “We at Mad Mark’s make sure that everything goes to the product. “Delicious” doesn’t have to be expensive.” From sandwiches to steaks, their lip-smacking meals leave a glowing smile on both your face and wallets. You can say the same (and more) for their ice cream flavors (single scoop is P99, while a double is P168). If you need a little pep in your step during a slow and steamy day, allow their Dark Roast Sumatra to pick you right up. Want a cool dessert to serve as both a mild palate-cleanser and sweet tooth craving-buster? Boom! Half-Baked Madagascar. Now that they offer take-home pints (P295 a pop), you may have very well uncovered a solution wherein you can stave off battling the sun’s skin-piercing rays with an old (and delectable) reliable.
The Dessert Kitchen
Leaving room for dessert is customary. But, when go to The Dessert Kitchen, you may want to rethink your whole game plan because just one dessert dish might not be enough. For starters, try their Ujikintoki (P258) that brings the together green tea, red bean, vanilla ice cream, and mini rice balls into a heavenly marriage of flavors. Prefer a pleasant fruity zest in your frozen desserts? Enjoy the richly grape-inspired, sweet course known as Purple In Love (P258). With taro mochi ice cream, mini rice balls, and grapes, you’ve got a trifecta of texture that’s feels like a fascinatingly deconstructed smooth halo-halo of sorts but with the humble berry as its one clear star. Something a little bit more straightforward for your taste? Fresh Mango Shaved Ice with nata de coco (P188), mini rice balls can turn into an easy favorite. So, the more important question is: how much space would you be really allotting for dessert?
Tokyo Milk Cheese Factory
If you’ve never thought that cheese could be the central character of your dessert, allow Tokyo Milk Cheese Factory to expand your horizons with three words: Cow Cow Ice (P280). With the concept of the dessert place originating from Tokyo, this soft-serve ice cream is accompanied by a slice of cheese cake and is rich, full-flavored, yet delicate and light all at the same time. It highlights true Japanese ingenuity by maximizing Hokkaido Jersey milk to its true potential.
Vampire Penguin Manila
Enjoying shaved iced packaged into a frozen dessert is never a bad idea and this is the very idea that makes Vampire Penguin very appealing. It first launched its modern Victorian vampire-esque vibe during Halloween 2013 in Sacramento, California with the Vampire Penguin—a benevolent, frozen dessert-loving being from the North Pole who brings people together through the wonders of shaved ice treats –as their mascot. It seems that Vampire Penguin has harnessed the true power of shaving ice as its dishes are capable of holding their shape for a period of time despite being consisted of very thing shavings. Quench your Milk Tea craving with the Snow Thaiger (Thai Tea, milk tea snow, crushed Oreo cookies, and condensed milk) at P200 for the regular sized serving and P260 for the larger one or their have a taste of their Strawberry Cheesecake (strawberries, vanilla snow, crushed graham crackers, cheesecake) at P280, either way, it’s the fastest way to cool down and end your cravings for sweets.