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This article was published 15/5/2019 (376 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
This cool new Corydon venue starts out with a pink door and then just gets more colourful. Milksmith specializes in craft drinks (both hot and cold) and exuberant, eminently Instagrammable ice cream concoctions.
651 Corydon Ave.
651 Corydon Ave.
Go for: an Instagram-ready ice cream experience
Best bet: a customized bowl of rolled ice cream
Rolled ice cream: $7.50
Tuesday-Sunday: 4-10 p.m.
★★★★ Very Good
No stars Not recommended
In its celebration of sweet excess, Milksmith starts with rolled ice cream. Originally a Thai street treat, this dessert involves a cream base that gets super-cooled on a frozen plate before your eyes. It’s a performative process, in which the ingredients are expertly chopped and spread and rolled up into photogenic bouquets. You can then deck out your rolls with crazy toppings like Pocky sticks, Teddy Grahams or roasted marshmallows, along with a drizzle of caramel or chocolate or sweetened condensed milk.
Milksmith’s modern take on craft beverages adds a mixologists’ sophisticated approach to innocent non-alcoholic drinks. Along with fruit juices, house-made syrups and subtle flavour undertones that might include mahleb or coriander, there is also a certain amount of kookiness. The Rocket Rose, which includes raspberry, lychee and lime juices, steams with a layer of dry ice placed in an outer cup, adding a mad-science vibe. An optional add-on for the Flamingo Fresca is an inflatable pink flamingo floatie, while there’s a rubber duckie for the Naked Ernie.
The Mexican hot chocolate is the real deal, smooth and properly spicy, not just with cinnamon but with some chili bite. Coffee-based drinks offer the option of extremely specialized foam art. (We’re talking way beyond fern leaves here.)
Ambience is peppy and fun, and service is cheery — and might include cheerful attempts to upsell your order. The bright, light venue is filled with clever, candy-coloured seating and decor.
Clearly, Milksmith offers not just ice cream but a whole highly visual "ice cream experience." While it is certainly child-friendly, it is also aimed — as the later opening hours suggest — at young people walking down the Corydon strip on hot summer nights who can’t wait to photograph the heck out of their food and drink.
Another ice cream joint made for social media, Not a Waffle is a downtown spot (tucked off Portage Avenue) that specializes in ice cream and Japanese taiyaki — sweet fish-shaped fried cakes made in a specialized mould.
NOT A WAFFLE
353 Langside St.
NOT A WAFFLE
353 Langside St.
Go for: Japanese-influenced desserts, drinks and ice cream
Best bet: a taiyaki cone with some matcha swirl
Taiyaki cones: $6.99
Tuesday-Thursday: noon-8:30 p.m.; Friday: noon-9:30 p.m.; Saturday: 12:30-9:30 p.m.; Sunday: 1:30-8:30 p.m.
Not a Waffle’s taiyaki are totally Instagram-ready, but also happen to taste great, hitting the absolute sweet spot between soft and crisp. You can order them filled with red bean paste or custard, a more traditional form of the snack, or you can use them as a cone for soft serve. The shop’s ice milk is light and a little melty and works well with flavours like sakura — which tastes like spring, all pink and fresh and flowery — or matcha. Hard ice cream options include a dark and rich black sesame.
For drinks, there is a range of milk and bubble teas. The menu is clearly laid out, making it easy to choose your base, flavour and toppings, as well as your sweetness and ice levels.
This is a cute, small venue. Service is obliging but — since many items are being made fresh, including bubble waffles and those truly adorable taiyaki — the line can get long when it’s busy.
Teeyah’s is a sweet downtown spot located in the Cargill Building on Graham Avenue, but the entrance is actually around the corner on Fort Street. The place smells like cream and sugar and childhood. There are shelves offering nostalgic and hard-to-get treats from the U.K. (like Cadbury’s Roses or Walker’s Brazil nut toffee) and the U.S. (like double-decker Moon Pies and something intriguingly called Dirt Soda).
The dairy counter offers both soft and hard ice cream cones, as well as sundaes and milkshakes. Service is friendly and fast.
The soft ice cream starts with a high butterfat base for a dense, creamy texture and gets customized with a rotating selection of in-house flavours. The sampled Creamsicle had that immediately recognizable orangey-vanilla, almost candy-like, fusion.
The locally made hard ice cream includes flavours such as chocolate chili and French toast. A sampled milkshake made with salted caramel hard ice cream was nicely intense without being overly sweet.
You can also order up LegenDairy (get it?) cones or milkshake creations, each being one-of-a-kind and unabashedly over-the-top. We watched as one was constructed — a happy explosion of colour-co-ordinated ice cream and confectionery, including a big tuft of blue cotton candy — and then (of course, inevitably!) photographed.
Studying at the University of Winnipeg and later Toronto’s York University, Alison Gillmor planned to become an art historian. She ended up catching the journalism bug when she started as visual arts reviewer at the Winnipeg Free Press in 1992.