No matter the weather, ice cream will always be a favourite of mine. Even now in winter, there’s nothing that a scoop of ice cream can’t fix – except for being cold, in which case you simply follow up said ice cream with a coffee/chai latte/cup of tea/matcha latte (tick as appropriate). So I was beyond thrilled when the purveyor of dreamy looking sea salt soft serve, Aqua S, announced that they were opening a store in Melbourne. Until I realised that I hadn’t even tried Milkcow! (The former pop up cum permanent organic soft serve store that caused a sensation when it came to Melbourne earlier this year). So I thought I’d do something about it and road test the two.
Milkcow (Caramel pop; soft serve with caramel popcorn and Italian syrup)
Milkcow’s offering is simple; organic soft serve with premium toppings. Beginning in South Korea, the ice cream giant now has over 60 stores worldwide and is a bonafide hit. And after trying it for myself, I can see why. The ice cream reminded me of a sundae from McDonalds, only better (which in my opinion, is no mean feat). It was light, fluffy, milky and super creamy, and didn’t melt as quickly as its fast food counterpart. The topping of caramel popcorn and Italian syrup was the perfect addition to the ice cream – the popcorn was crunchy and sweet and the syrup wasn’t too overpowering. My only complaint was that there wasn’t enough of either and I was left with a lot of plain ice cream towards the end.
Aqua S (Sea salt and pandan soft serve with caramel popcorn and a grilled marshmallow)
After spending the last year looking at the highly-instragammable photos of Aqaua S soft serve from afar (the first store opened in Sydney last year), I had high hopes about this ice cream. And I’m pleased to say, the soft serve lived up to the hype – and then some. The sea salt and pandan mix was deliciously creamy with just the right amount of sweet, and the toppings I chose added some texture and additional flavour to the mix. The grilled marshmallow in particular was amazing, and as a bonus, they use a Pocky (a type of Japanese snack food) to stick it in the soft serve! I must admit though, the popcorn was not as good as the one from Milkcow.
Not surprisingly, both of these were pretty amazing. But if I absolutely had to choose a favourite, I think Aqua S would have the slight advantage simply because the ice cream was flavoured. Having said that, I’d be keen to try other flavours at Milkcow which have syrup running through the entire sundae.
Happy screaming fellow ice cream lovers!
Milkcow; Driver Lane, The Strand in the CBD
Aqua S; 16 Red Cape Lane, Melbourne QV