We are currently entering the wonderful world of spring, meaning our favourite ice cream weather is peeking around the corner. In celebration of spring, South Africa’s Wonka of ice cream created even bolder and more unexpected flavours.
On a lovely spring evening, I indulged my senses in seven courses of cold, creamy delights. Upon arrival in their Parkhurst store, I was greeted by a few tables decorated with Proteas and succulents. Each setting done with a personalized place matching with the theme.
Glancing at their menu, I became a bit sceptical. I saw some regular flavours, so to speak. But what I also saw was corn, rhubarb and avocado. From previous experiences I know avocado is used a lot in vegan desserts to achieve a creamy and mousse like texture. And avo is also an egg alternative in baking. Rhubarb pie I’ve heard of before should be similar to a strudel, and caramel popcorn tastes amazing, so it should be fine, right?
Let the Tastings Begin!
Similar to my morning breakfast, out comes what seems to be a dessert version of the ever-popular avo on toast. This dish consisted out of crisp, buttery black sesame shortbread topped with a layer of buttercream and a perfect scoop of avocado ice cream. And of course another sprinkle of black sesame for good measure – every dish needs its finishing seasoning. I will recommend this for someone who appreciates ice cream but doesn’t necessarily want the excessive sweetness and richness.
Following breakfast, we were greeted with a course consisting of sweetcorn. Interesting how this one worked. After corn was shucked, the cobs were roasted and then used to infuse the milk. This interesting and corny dish, was topped off with even more bits of roasted corn, as well as fresh baby corn, all nestled on a crumble.
Keeping with the season, next to explore was the kingly pineapple. Pineapple based ice cream, with fresh pineapple pieces and topped with chili fennel pineapple chutney. This was definitely a flavour explosion. Ranging from the sweet and sour natural flavours from the pineapple, to the bitter notes and spice of the fennel and chili, this in my books, was one well-rounded scoop of ice cream.
Going from Veggies to FUN!
I’m someone who’ll polish an entire punnet of any berry, I was excited for some or other blueberry explosion. Instead, my mind was blown by a meringue island topped with a trio of mango, coconut and passion fruit ice cream. Thou shalt be known as The Colada. This triple treat was dressed with coconut foam as well as a passion fruit curd, keeping the balance between sweet and sour.
Naartjie! This immediately made me speak with my rather awful Cape accent as well as sing the old Oros jingle. Probably my favourite out of all the tastings and it wasn’t even an ice cream. What’s happening? Paul surprised us with a naartjie frozen yogurt with a South African twist – rooibos. This mini popsicle was definitely one of the most delectable mouthfuls, especially when paired with their tangy naartjie reduction.
In my mind, rhubarb seemed American. I didn’t think it would be readily available in South Africa, never mind Joburg – but you live and you learn. I expected a somewhat bitter and sour taste, but it was neutral in a sense. Almost similar to vanilla, a scoop which is easy to eat with a lot of subtle and unexpected notes here and there. The rhubarb jam on the other hand packed a proper punch! This all paired with another crumble, this time strudel based, still qualifies as one delicious treat.
At the start of the evening, Paul did say the ingredient will be used as little or as much he sought fit, and with the last dish, it was definitely as little. Grape was our finale, but the only grape to be found were the roasted grapes garnishing what looked like two mini cheesecakes of perfection.
On the one hand we had a goat’s cheese and roasted cherry offering, and on the other a mascarpone based ice cream. Both flavours were great on their own, but there was some intense synergy when the two came together. Paul, please make a cheesecake swirl ice cream!
As the night came to a close, with 14 adults fed with a balanced meal of veggies, dairy and a few carbs, we said our final goodbyes to new friends met with a succulent to say thank you. All in all it was a spring evening which delighted the senses, especially our taste buds. If working your taste buds could burn more calories, life would be closer to perfect.