Hot summer days call for cold confections, but don’t just stop at ice cream. Beat the heat with these 12 frozen and icy desserts from around the world that you can get right here in Sydney.
Frozen desserts for a Sydney summer
Pick and mix all your favourites at Kaysone Sweets for an icy dessert you can eat on the run. The rainbow of options includes everything from tinned rambutan and jackfruit to palm seeds that taste like jelly beans. They’ll cram up to eight choices for six dollars into a plastic cup before covering the lot in shaved ice and coconut milk.
Relive Happy Days with a classic sundae for $12 at Ciccone & Sons. We’re talking an old-fashioned sundae glass filled with a scoop each of creamy jersey milk and chocolate gelato, plus a single scoop of your choice (decisions!). It’s garnished with a housemade chocolate shell, caramel sauce, fresh cream and a chocolate wafer, complete with a maraschino cherry on top.
Say goodbye to $12 and halo halo to this famous Filipino dessert at Descanso – it’s a shaved ice sundae that’s a playground of fun. The highlight is the housemade ube purple yam ice cream, but you’ll also find leche flan (the Filipino version of crème caramel), jackfruit, banana, sugar palm fruit, sweetened red beans, rice flakes and coconut gel, all drowned in evaporated milk.
Cascading ribbons of shaved milky ice are what make snow ice such a treat. The matcha snow ice ($15.50) at Hong Kong Day Dessert is big enough to share, the cotton-soft folds of green tea milk ice are bolstered with sweetened red bean puree, chewy mochi glutinous rice balls and a green tea mochi cake.
Is the best kind of sandwich an ice cream sandwich? Kakawa offers perfectly cut slabs of silky but not-too-sweet ice cream between thin buttery planks of chocolate biscuit for seven bucks. Caramelised black sesame with white chocolate is a crowd favourite, but so too is blueberry cheesecake, espresso Martini, and milk chocolate with sea salt caramel.
Es campur, or mixed ice, is how Indonesians cope with humidity. Underneath the avalanche of ice splashed with condensed milk and red coco pandan syrup you’ll find basil seeds, grass jelly, coconut gel, palm seeds and fresh avocado. Get the es campur with durian for eight dollars at Shalom and relish a full creamy lobe of the king of fruits.
Never tried Iranian faloodeh? You need to. These ice cold starchy noodles served in a semi-frozen rosewater syrup are so cooling, you’ll feel your body temperature drop with every spoonful. At Shiraz Ice Cream they serve it with two scoops of creamy saffron ice cream for $8, dusted with crushed pistachios for crunch.
Rejoice in summer mango season by stopping by Gelato Franco for their mango sorbetto, providing pure fruit sweetness without the messy chin. While they make a range of milk-based gelati (hello Toblerone, sour cherry and organic matcha), their seasonal fruit-based sorbetti (watermelon, mulberry and white peach have all made an appearance) are unbeatable. Score three scoops for nine dollars.
You’ll need a couple of mates to help you conquer the kakigori ($14) at Devon Café, a towering mountain of finely shaved ice that’s bigger than Mount Fuji. Flavours change each season. Right now it’s shaved ice with blood orange syrup, coconut soft serve, freeze-dried mango and fresh strawberry, honeydew and mandarin.
This Korean bingsoo shaved ice is so fine that a spoonful on your tongue will melt like a freshly fallen snowflake. Get the injeolmi flavour ($17) for a party-sized bowl of shaved ice dusted with nutty roasted soybean powder. Pour your own condensed milk and evaporated milk and fight over the mochi glutinous rice balls.
If you’re a fan of Thai milk tea, that strong orange-coloured tea sweetened with condensed milk, you’ll love the Thai tea ice cream at Yok Yor. This scoop of icy refreshment is colour-coordinated with caramelised sweet potato chunks, a move that will totally change your mind about root vegetables in desserts.
If you haven’t tried the refreshment that is rockmelon and feta ice cream, you need to get to Hakiki. You’ll notice a slight chewiness, courtesy of the salep wild orchid root used in its dondurma Turkish ice cream. Popular scoops here include Turkish delight, baklava, Turkish coffee and grape molasses with tahini.