For Korean-styled soft-serve
Two key factors differentiate Korean-styled soft-serve from the rest of the lot: Korean organic milk and honeycombs. The two main players here are Honeycreme and Milkcow. If you like your ice cream ultra-creamy and rich, Milkcow's perfect. But the strong flavours don't gel well with toppings, and its choice of honey has intimidating herbaceous notes. We're putting our faith in Honeycreme – it hits the right balance between milkiness and sweetness, and the honeycomb here has a lovely floral lilt that’s not too saccharine. Ironically, the brand is of Taiwanese pedigree, and not from kimchi land. But does it even matter?
It's one of the priciest cones, and a remarkably simple one at that – but it's worth skipping your weekly latte to spring for this $9 treat. The superior quality is apparent at first bite: satiny dark chocolate soft-serve ensconced in a crisp Belgian waffle cone that’s rimmed with crunchy cacao biscuits. That's it. No other bells and whistles, just a quiet elegance.
True to its roots, Tsujiri imports its star ingredient from Kyoto Prefecture's Uji region – one of the most famous locales for green tea – for its popular matcha soft-serve. A simple matcha cone will set you back by $4.80, but since you're at it, we suggest going for the parfaits instead. Our top picks are the Shiratama Parfait ($7.80) and the Chiffon Cake Parfait ($7.50). The former comes with red bean paste, kanten jelly, shiratama (a type of sweet mochi), kuromitsu brown sugar syrup and kinako soybean powder; while the latter is layered with cornflakes, red bean paste and green tea chiffon cake.
Milkcow, from South Korea, is another soft-serve parlour with 13 different parfaits ($5.50-$6.50) on the menu, in addition to the basic ice cream-only option ($4.90). Besides obvious choices like Milky Cube ($5.90) with honeycomb, try Milky Peace ($6.50) if you're nutty about pistachio syrup, sunflower seeds, and cashew clusters. For a chocolate fix, Black Pearl ($5.90) comes laced with a thick gianduja syrup, salt and a handful of chocoballs.
You can also get Milkcow's soft-serve on waffles ($7.90) or with churros ($6.50). Mind you, the soft-serve at Milkcow is much creamier and richer than what you might be accustomed to.
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