762 Yates St.
Hours: 12:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Summer is here in Victoria, BC and ice cream parlours all over the downtown area are no doubt going to see a surge in business. There’s at least one per 3×3 city block. Pretty soon, I think I will have to rate the five or so businesses that I’ve sampled over the and during the years when the craving hits. With Milkcow being the latest and a franchise-based operation, I have to ask myself if they are worth the wait?
Korean dessert shops don’t seem to have a long life-span in Gordon Head, the area which I live. One space at the corner strip mall has been turning over from one sweet shop to churros (run by a Korean) to still another sweet shop all within 2-3 years. Hopefully, in Downtown Victoria, they can last longer.
Essentially, at Milkcow, what you see is what you get: whole milk-based soft serve ice cream with an oddity of toppings that only Asians can think of. There’s honey, cotton candy, sea salt, mango slices, and jelly beans to name a few. It’s stuff your dentist would hate you to consume daily. The base product is very nice and not sweet at all. The flavour is what I’d expect from a ‘natural’ product. The space is bright, decorated with funny pictures of cows which I don’t quite find udderly ridiculous. I’m thankful for that and to get that bad joke out of the way.
The idea of soft liquid honey over ice cream is nothing new. I make it at home but I up the ante: I use Babe’s Honey products, add pure bee pollen and a light dash of matcha powder to really make my home-made concoction spellbinding. For my base, it’s either Breyers or Chapman‘s ice cream. The Milky Cube uses edible honeycomb which was nicely soft and chewy. I had to pluck a bit of wax out of my teeth afterward and the taste profile was nice. For the small cup, it was certainly pricey. I wouldn’t visit often or call all their ideas spectacular, but what they offer is a step in the right direction.
I’m glad more ice cream type operations exist in town to visit. In addition to this dessert, they also offer coffee and macarons. I prefer mochi myself but that’s just a personal preference. I feel this business needs a bit more innovation before I can say they are a unique fixture. As far as I’m aware, this operation in the Garden City is the second in Canada. The first one is located in Richmond, BC. Since I’m headed to the Mainland this week, I’ll have to see if I can make my way over for comparisons.
3 Blokes out of 5