Hokkaido Milk Ice Cream

Hokkaido Ice Cream

Hokkaido milk is loaded with one of the highest butterfat content numbers I’ve ever seen. The 4.8% milk fat from local cows is higher than any “whole milk” product in the US and Australia. It tastes more like half and half or cream. I was truly impressed by the extraordinarily creamy milk they have. Thus, when we passed by this little mom-and-pop ice cream parlor in Otaru, we immediately went in and got one…even though it’s the middle of winter.

Ice Cream Sign

They even have a little sign out front which tells you to be careful with your cone should you take photos of it, lest it tip over. I found that hilarious, the lengths to which the Japanese go to be considerate is quite amazing. Of course, I’ve had Hokkaido milk before, but it’s the inferior 3.8% stuff they sell in Bangkok, Thailand. I’ve also had mind-blowingly delicious Channel Island milk while I was backpacking in the United Kingdom.

Hokkaido Milk Ice Cream

However, the ice cream made from Hokkaido milk in Sapporo is peerless. The best specimen we had was near Chitose when we just arrived, and the 8-flavor ice cream cone is pretty decent too. This one was slightly disappointing compared to those but at 300 JPY (about RM 12) you can’t really complain. It was still better than any ice cream I’ve had in Malaysia. The high milk fat in Hokkaido milk makes the ice cream taste so creamy and rich we had to eat it, despite the cold weather. :)

Huge 8-flavor ice cream from Otaru, Hokkaido

Otaru Ice Cream

This is the biggest ice cream cone I’ve ever had the pleasure of eating! Hokkaido is the dairy capital of Japan and they produce extraordinarily creamy milk. There are many ice cream parlors in Otaru and this is our second or third one of the day. My better half told me about this ridiculously luxurious creation and we went searching for it.

Otaru Ice Cream Parlor

It’s located at a really obscure heated inner pathway so it took us a while to find it. I had to ask a couple of restaurants before I saw the signs.

Japan Ice Cream

The 8-flavor ice cream is their best-seller and costs 580 JPY (about RM 23).

How To Hold

They even have instructions on how to hold it. smirk This is probably so little children (and the young-at-heart) won’t attempt to hold the bottom of a cone (like how you’ll hold a regular ice cream) coz the top is way too heavy. You have to wrap your fingers around the base of the cone so it won’t topple over from sheer inertia.

8 Flavor Ice Cream

The 8 flavors are (from bottom) matcha green tea, Yubari King melon, lavender, strawberry, milk, chocolate, grape, and Ramune. Ramune is a popular drink in Japan. I like the refreshing Yubari melon and grape too, they work very well with the sweeter chocolate and milk (one of the best flavors). The cone itself is quite salty, something unique that we noticed in Japan. All the ice cream cones in Hokkaido are slightly salty, which balances the mildly sweet ice cream well.

Ice Cream

The best part is that Japanese soft serve ice cream isn’t shockingly sweet, it’s just mildly appealing. It was winter when we were in Otaru and the snow covered paths didn’t make it conducive towards eating ice cream. However, despite the fact that we were actually quite cold and the weather was around -11 Celsius, the 8-flavor ice cream was really good! :)

Tanoshii Dezato – Japanese Taiyaki (Fish Cake) Ice Cream

Tanoshii Dezato

Tanoshii means enjoy, so this ice cream cafe literally means Enjoy Dessert in Japanese,” I proudly declared to my better half. It seems that my years of watching anime during college in university had paid off at last. smirk I could only piece together the two words, hardly enough for our trip to Hokkaido in a month’s time but sufficient for our dessert pit stop.

Tanoshi Dezato

We had come across Tanoshii Dezato in Tropicana City Mall, which offers the intriguing creation of a taiyaki (baked sea bream – the Japanese style fish cake) filled with custard, topped with ice cream and a fruit.

Custard Taiyaki

The Signature Taiyaki costs RM 12.80 and you can customize it with a stuffing, ice cream flavor and fruit of your choice. There’s everything from red bean to chocolate for the filling and several ice cream flavors in addition to peach, kiwi, strawberry and banana as the fruit option.

Freshly Made Taiyaki

The interesting thing at Tanoshii Dezato is that the taiyaki is freshly baked on the spot! This mean it’ll be crunchy and warm and we were looking forward to eating the unusual Japanese themed ice cream “cone”.

Taiyaki

The woman manning the counter had two small fans to cool the taiyaki cone so the ice cream won’t melt when it’s inserted. The custard is baked inside the fish cake (see previous pic) and the fruits are all fresh!

Taiyaki Ice Cream

We went for a custard filled taiyaki with matcha ice cream and fresh peach. It tasted wonderful! The taiyaki is stuffed with the custard filling so there’s something for you to eat with the “cone” and the ice cream goes into the taiyaki cone too. I like how the fruits are fresh instead of canned.

Black Sesame IceCream

My dear also wanted another scoop of black sesame ice cream by itself. The ice cream costs RM 7 per scoop if you want it a la carte. Tanoshii Dezato also sells taiyaki by itself for RM 9.90 but the combo of the two with fruits just cost RM 12.80 so that’s the better option unless you’re too full to eat the taiyaki.

Signature Taiyaki

Tanoshii Dezato just started serving soft-serve ice cream. The signature taiyaki ice cream dessert with the soft-serve ice cream will be only RM 10.80. I asked why that was cheaper and the friendly lady there told us that it’s coz the soft-serve ice cream is made in-house while the other ice cream is imported from Japan so it’s RM 12.80. It’s worth a trip if you’re into new and unusual ice cream concepts.

5 photos from Sibu Market

Sibu Market

Sibu Market is a source of a lot of interesting products from the far corners of Sarawak. The traders come from places like Belaga to Song to sell their stuff. The wharf and passenger jetty is within walking distance so a lot of them just hop off the express boats (many towns are only reachable by boat) and come over to hawk their wares. I have acquired a few hundred dollars worth of local durians (called buah pekan and buah isu) and am compiling that for an upcoming post!

Kek Lapis

There are also quite a few people selling the famous Sarawak kek lapis here. Kek lapis is actually of Indonesian provenance but the Malay communities in Sibu and Kuching have claimed it as their own. You’ll find them in the Kuching Waterfront / Padang Merdeka / Lao Pa Sat (Old Market) area. The kek lapis comes in all sorts of flavors like prunes, Milo etc.

Telur Terubok

Ikan Terubok is a delicious fish that is currently only obtainable from Sarawak. The fresh ones are usually sourced from Satok Market in Kuching where they have dedicated terubok sellers packing whole boxes of them to be shipped. These are the dried version which I believe comes from Sri Lanka and Bangladesh – it’s not as good, but it’s cheaper. They also sell the prized terubok fish roe here.

Lokam Jellyfish

Lokam is one of the local clams that you’ll find aplenty in Sibu. One restaurant in town called Fisherman’s Restaurant is renowned for their stuffed lokam (they take the clam meat and mix it with pork before stuffing it back). It’s quite good if you cook it well. There’s also a lot of jellyfish for sale due to an old wives tale – it’s said among the Foochow that you have to eat jellyfish after a haircut so the hair can be digested (something about the juices in the jellyfish) so it’s common to slice this raw and serve with a sauce of lime and chillis after a trip to the barber. I’ve had it lots of times as a kid at my grandma’s place.

Ghetto Ice Cream

Ghetto ice cream! These are simply satay skewers that’s been inserted into a tube filled with either Milo or strawberry flavored milk. Both are watered down but it’s pretty enterprising of these young boys to sell them for RM 1 each. I bought one last time my better half and the kids were in town for them to try, the “ice cream” is made by physically turning the huge churn (which rests on a bed of salted water with ice cubes) which will slowly freeze the receptacles holding the liquid.

MiniMelts tiny ice cream spheres @ Jaya Shopping Centre

MiniMelts Ice Cream

We were at a mall over the weekend when we passed by this stall. The banner doesn’t exactly inspire confidence – it has a glaring typo of Seoul, Korea. I tried searching for Mini Melts on my phone but it didn’t have any ties to South Korea at all! This seems to be an obvious ploy to buy into the Korea-mania sweeping certain demographics in Malaysia right now.

MiniMelts Malaysia

As far as I can tell, MiniMelts is a US company, much like Dippin’ Dots. They make cryogenically frozen ice cream, which is a fancy way to say liquid nitrogen ice cream. However, this is a slightly different implementation than most LN2 places you’ve grown accustomed to (with custom mixes and all that). Mini Melts offers a classic range of ice cream flavors, served the regular way, except they’re in tiny spheres.

MiniMelts

There are actually two options – MiniMelts and MiniMelts BIG. The latter is about eight times the size of the former – think of it as a marble. The regular MiniMelts are more like the tiny spheres you see in desiccant packets.

MiniMelts Menu

I asked my better half what she wanted and we decided to get a Banana Split (RM 7.90) to share. This is supposed to taste like a banana split and has different spheres of banana flavored ice cream, strawberry flavored ice cream, chocolate flavored ice cream etc.

Mini Melts

My dear didn’t like the taste at all while I was pretty ambivalent about it. It has a rather interesting texture (all those small balls rolling inside your mouth) but there’s something inherently unsatisfying about the format. Despite claiming “100% butterfat” and “no added air”, you really can’t tell in the tiny spheres.

MiniMelts Banana Split

You don’t get the satisfaction of eating a creamy mouthful of ice cream here, no matter how many MiniMelts spheres you scoop into your mouth. It’s definitely worth a try but I won’t be coming back for seconds.

Milkcow Malaysia, straight from Korea!

Milky Pop

Milkcow is another Korean craze that seems to be taking the nation by storm. It’s like K-pop, everything Korean is in nowadays, and that includes Korean food. Milkcow is a Korean soft serve ice cream chain. The milk is supposed to be 100% from Italy and they only have 1 flavor – which is milk soft serve ice cream. They’re famous for topping it with 100% organic honeycomb from Australia, giving it a healthy twist.

I must say, I do love raw honeycomb.

Milkcow

To be honest, I didn’t know anything about Milkcow until my better half suggested we try it after having lunch at Sunway Pyramid. Milkcow is the undisputed king of soft serve in Korea, the McDonald’s of ice cream. Random fact, I have been to McDonald’s in Korea.

Milkcow Honeycomb

We tried the Milky Pop (RM 11.50) which contains salted caramel syrup and a topping of gourmet popcorn. I asked to see what brand of popcorn they’re using (thinking it was Garrett’s or something). I didn’t recognize the brand but it came in a small tin, about quarter the size of a pint. They import all their ingredients from South Korea.

Milky Cube

We also got the signature Milky Cube (RM 13.50) which is a hybrid of sorts since it has BOTH organic honey and organic honeycomb. I had accidentally ordered Milky Honey which only has liquid honey and wanted the honeycomb. Thus, instead of changing my order, the nice servers just popped a chunk of organic honeycomb on. It was a nice big chunk too, very delicious. I loved it! There was a contest where they were giving out tickets to Avengers and we actually won. Haha.

Milkcow Malaysia

The cotton candy machine was broken that day, or I’ll have loved to try the (decidedly less healthy) Snow Drop (RM 11.50) which has Jelly Beans, salt, and organic cotton candy.

Milkcow Us

Milkcow has seen a lot of copycats like Honey Creme after its success and it’s good to have the authentic one here. I rather enjoyed their signature ice cream with raw honeycomb. It has quality ingredients and I guess its Korean origin helps in marketing, but if you take away all the branding, it’s still an amazing soft serve ice cream with no added sugar and premium organic honeycomb.

I recommend you try it at least once. It’s good.

Dinner at Payung Cafe, Sibu

Payung Cafe Sibu

My better half came back with me to visit my dad during the weekend and since it was just a 24 hour trip, we only had *one* dinner and this is the place we chose to go to – Payung Cafe! I was one of the first people to visit when they started six years ago (we were even asked to name the first iterations of the desserts which are refined staples now) and I make it a point to visit when I’m back in my hometown.

Payung Cafe Sibu 2014

Payung Cafe opened in 2008 and it was very unknown back then since they only had dinner service and the place was shuttered during the day with no signboards. It didn’t help that it looked like the reception area for a marine survey company either. However, the same Joyce who gave us the number of Glory Cafe in Sarikei is also very active in a Chinese language local forum and a bunch of us paid this newly opened place she heard about a visit.

Payung Cafe Couple

The rest, as they say, is history. smirk

Payung Cafe Christmas

The food here is unique and the service is great. That’s what makes Payung Cafe a favorite among certain locals and visitors alike despite the relatively higher prices it charges on average. The Christmas decorations are up when we went – we opted to go to the original al fresco outlet instead of the new Payung Mahkota (which is located in the lobby of a hotel). I feel the former has a much better ambiance since the latter can be a little antiseptic due to it’s location.

For starters, we all shared a Pomelo Salad (RM 8). I love the choice, the pomelo comes in large chunks and the dressing is restrained, making it a fresh and vibrant dish. My late maternal grandma used to have a pomelo tree and I remember this fruit as being bitter but like Brussels sprouts, it seems to have been genetically modified to be less bitter nowadays!

Pomelo Salad

It’s sweet and juicy and we all were ready to dig into our main courses after popping a couple of the large chunks of fruit.

The special of the day is Sour Chicken (RM 16). It’s not on the regular menu, this is written on the chalkboard that lists what’s fresh and cooking on that very day and I like to order from here since I’ve tried most of their menu items. This is something I’ve never had before and all of us loved it! The chicken is moist and tastes appetizingly sourish.

Sour Chicken

I asked how it was made since we were all trying to guess what the sour element is and was told it’s a mixture of laksa leaves (Vietnamese coriander/Persicaria odorata/daun kesum) and coriander seeds (which provides the sour citrus tang). I highly recommend this dish – it’s delicious!

I also ordered Kacama Chicken (RM 16) for my dear. I wanted her to try this uniquely Sarawakian dish while she was here. Kacangma chicken is made from a herb the Hakka people call yi mu cao (益母草) or motherwort. The taste is like nothing else, it’s traditionally used as a “confinement dish” and the liberal use of pounded motherwort makes this dish taste bitter and earthy.

Kacangma Chicken

Kacangma chicken is always doused with copious amounts of alcohol which is intentionally *not* cooked off. It’s meant as a tonic as thus the alcohol is never fully evaporated or burned off – some preparations are so strong you can get *tipsy* from drinking the stew! Payung Cafe’s version is quite strong too but it’s delicious to me! It’s an acquired taste, kacangma…

Of course, the Otak-otak Fish (RM 13) is always a must-order when you’re there. The price has more than doubled since 2008 but if Payung Cafe had a flagship or signature dish, this would be it. They actually make it in-house every day! The ground fish meat with tapioca is wrapped inside a banana leaf and baked to perfection.

Otak Otak Fish

The otak-otak is served bursting from the seams and the generous use of chilli and tumeric makes this a dish not for the faint-hearted. It’s very spicy but if you can take the heat, you’ll love it. It’s very different from the steamed otak-otak from Johor or grilled otak-otak we get in Malacca. They really make one of the best versions around.

Durian Shake

My better half also had the Durian Shake (RM 8) – a very thick concoction sure to please all durian lovers and connoisseurs of milkshakes.

Payung Cafe Ling Dad

The bill came up to RM 82 for the three of us, which is quite reasonable for dinner at Payung Cafe.

Sambarina Ice Cream

We made room for dessert and shared a Sambarina Ice Cream (RM 8) which is made in a yin-yang fashion with large scoops of chocolate and creamy vanilla ice cream stuffed into a jumbo sized ramekin and topped with a mixture of crushed nuts and other crunchy bits. I approve!

Mulu Ice Cream

My dear loved the Mulu Ice Cream (RM 10) – a beautiful creation of huge slabs of their own ice cream layered and sandwiched with cake and cream and sprinkled with muesli. It’s a gorgeous and deliciously messy end to a wonderful dinner together.

Magnum 5 Kisses Limited Edition Ice Cream

Magnum 5 Kisses

I love how Magnum regularly has a series of very creative limited editions with a theme. I first wrote about it in the *first month* I started blogging – April 2002. I was in Melbourne, Australia and the 7 Deadly Sins just came out, with a flavor for every sin. There was also a wonderful 9-ice cream series called The Sixties Nine that came out the next year and I reviewed every single one!

Magnum No3 Passionate Kiss

We were in Paris, France earlier this year when we spotted the new limited edition 5 Kisses series. There are five (5) different Magnum ice creams in total and we got some to eat. The Magnum 5 Kisses is a range inspired by French Patisserie flavors and it came to Australia recently (although we ate ours in France).

Magnum 5Kisses Limited

1. First Kiss
Crème Brulee

2. Loving Kiss
Meringue Et Fruit Rouges

3. Passionate Kiss
Tiramisu

4. Flirty Kiss
Gateau Au Chocolat

5. Stolen Kiss
Tarte Aux Pommes

5 Kisses Magnum

Magnum No. 4 Flirty Kiss Gateau Au Chocolat is the full-on chocolate flavored one. It’s a chocolate ice cream with chocolate sauce and chocolate brownie pieces, all coated with a layer of crackling milk chocolate. Each of the Magnum 5 Kisses retails for €4.19 at the local Monop’ which isn’t very cheap when converted – almost RM 18 per Magnum!

Magnum Passionate Kiss Tiramisu

However, some of them are very good. We liked Magnum No. 3 Passionate Kiss Tiramisu – it had a distinctively authentic taste, with mascarpone flavored ice cream (!!!), coffee sauce, chocolate chunks and sponge pieces, all coated with a layer of crackling milk chocolate.

Magnum Tiramisu

Both of us thought it was awesome! The boxes that contains the Magnum 5 Kisses are made well, with sturdy cardboard and a perfect ice cream inside. The construction of the Magnums are spot on too – every single element can be seen and tasted!

Magnum Kiss Tarte Aux Pommes

The best in the series though would be the last one – Magnum No. 5 Stolen Kiss Tarte Aux Pommes. This is made with a vanilla ice cream interior, apple sauce and pastry pieces, all coated with a layer of crackling white chocolate dusted with cinnamon.

Magnum Stolen Kiss

It’s the only one of the 5 Kisses that has a white chocolate exterior and it tastes exactly like an apple pie!

Kisses Us

Keeping with the theme, here’s a happy one of us at The Louvre, one of the most iconic places in Paris! :)

Nestle Drumstick Most Adventurous Challenge @ Sunway Pyramid

slide out

I literally *slid* out feet first, like a baseball player sliding into the home plate. I wanted to get out of the obstacle house within 5 seconds so that I could win an instant RM 50 note and an adult ticket to Sunway Lagoon. I was at the Nestle Drumstick Most Adventurous Challenge at Sunway Pyramid and I really wanted to win!

rm50

I had analyzed how the previous people who attempted the challenge did on the LCD video screen outside. There’s a camera attached to the helmet of every person who went into the wet adventure tent and live footage was beamed to the TV.

drumstick extreme challenge

The rules are simple – get out within 5 seconds or less.

gearing up

I geared out in safety knee and elbow pads, donned a helmet with a small camera attached and got ready to dash into the tent. I had only seen one guy who managed to get out within the allocated 5 seconds…all the others took slightly longer.

safety gear

It was really dark inside – I had to take a second to orient myself but I knew the countdown wouldn’t start until I actually picked up the Nestle DRUMSTICK EKSTREM CHOC.

I saw the “treasure chest” (which is actually an ice cream freezer) in front of me and rummaged around for the single drumstick inside. I looked back at the exit to plan a speedy exfil.

helmet

That was my mistake. The countdown started and I frantically swiped around, got the Nestle DRUMSTICK EKSTREM CHOC and ran hellbent for leather.

run in

5 seconds….

I had planned to just muscle through all the obstacles – after all, I had enough safety gear on to push through the padded obstructions.

4 seconds…

That plan went south however, since I tripped on a wet patch. I had been warned that I’ll need a change of clothes since the theme of the challenge will involve water.

3 seconds…

I tried to get up quickly and was slimed with starch and powdered with several handfuls of flour.

2 seconds…

I managed to get up on one knee, with a slightly mashed Nestle DRUMSTICK EKSTREM CHOC clutched tightly in my hand – the exit was in sight!

1 second…

…and flew through the exit feet first!

slimed

It turned out that I had clocked 6 seconds so I didn’t qualify for the RM 50 note. However, everyone who attempted the Nestle Drumstick Most Adventurous Challenge got an adult ticket to Sunway Lagoon and the new Nestle DRUMSTICK EKSTREM CHOC – that’s a great consolation prize. :)

win

This challenge was held on a Sunday at Sunway Pyramid and there are still heaps of prizes to be won! There’s mini tablets and Sunway Lagoon Entrance Passes up for grabs each week in addition to the RM 30,000 cash grand prize with RM 10,000 and RM 3,000 for the first and second runner ups and RM 300 consolation prizes for 97 people! You just need to text:

DRUMSTICK ADVENTURE CODE POP CODE MyKad

contest

to 36300 the first time to register yourself. After that just send:

DRUMSTICK ADVENTURE CODE for the Grand Prize and
DRUMSTICK POP CODE for the Weekly Prizes.

rules

The Adventure Code is the alphanumeric code that can be found on Nestle Drumstick Ice Cream Freezer in various stores. The POP Code is the code you find under the top cover of your Nestle Drumstick. The campaign period for the contest ends at 10 November 2013 so submit your entries now! I have eaten quite a lot and submitted all the entries.

extrem choc drumstick

The new Nestle DRUMSTICK EKSTREM CHOC is sinfully delicious too! There’s lots of chocolatey goodness inside that ice cream plus you’ll get a chance to win those nifty prizes while you enjoy the latest offering from Nestle Drumstick! Get more details at the Nestle Drumstick Facebook and the Nestle Drumstick Most Adventurous Challenge Website.

This is a paid advertorial by Nestle.

The Ultimate Hershey’s Cocoa Oreo Milkshake with Cardhu single malt Scotch whisky

cocoa oreo milkshake

This is an *adults-only milkshake* that I just made as a trial tomorrow and it’s perfect for a Friday night – excessive amounts of cocoa powder and single malt Scotch whisky are two of the main ingredients. I used Hershey’s Natural Unsweetened Cocoa which is a 100% cocoa powder.

oreos

The choice of Scotch is up to which area (Highlands, Islay, etc) you’re partial to but I used a Speyside 12 year old single malt Scotch whisky for mine since I like the taste of Cardhu (and it comes in a decanter like bottle with a huge stopper).

You will need:

  • 1 glass cold milk
  • 4 heaped tablespoons of Hershey’s Natural Unsweetened Cocoa
  • 3 scoops of vanilla ice cream
  • 4 Oreo cookies
  • 1 heaped tablespoon of cream
  • Single malt Scotch whisky to taste

cold milk

There is no reason to weigh the cold milk – my better half just brought over a scale and I wanted to try it out. Haha!

hersheys cocoa

I added 4 heaped tablespoons of Hershey’s Natural Unsweetened Cocoa into the blender – this is a very heavy and strong tasting cocoa powder (100% cocoa) so you don’t need to put in a lot unlike chocolate/malt drinks like Milo and Ovaltine and the pricing reflects that.

add oreos

I put in 3 Oreo cookies (plain) into the mix and discovered it wasn’t enough so added another via the drop-in hatch on top

cream milkshake

Next, put in the heavy cream

scotch milkshake

…and add the single malt Scotch whisky to taste. I poured in quite a lot of Cardhu 12 year old Scotch. I think I put nearly 3-4 shots inside. I still maintain it was a slip of the hand. smirk

You just need to blend this all up and pour to serve! It’ll fit into a single glass with a little to spare.

cocoa scotch milkshake

The cocoa and Oreo milkshake tastes good! The cocoa was a bit too intense so I’ll cut it down tomorrow. There’s also too much Scotch, my dear took a sip and nearly threw up, but it tastes alright to me. However, we noticed that it wasn’t as cold as we imagined and that’s coz…

We forgot the ice cream! -_-

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