November 17, 2018

Winnipeg
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Summer treats

Great local eats if you're looking for something sweet

Banh Mi Go (#6-794 Sargent Ave.), the small fast-casual adjunct to Pho Hoang, is about to be renamed Rollesque Roll Up Ice Cream to reflect its star attraction.

Roll-up ice cream is a popular street food that originated a few years ago in Thailand, spreading to Malaysia, Cambodia and Vietnam and then to the whole world, thanks to its eminently Instagrammable nature.

The made-to-order process involves pouring a milk base onto a super-cooled surface, mixing in flavours, shaping it into a frozen rectangle and then rolling it up into creamy curls. The whole thing is done right in front of you by a hard-working ice-cream artisan deftly wielding two metal spatulas.

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Heather Hoang makes Rolled Ice Cream at Bahn Mi Go, which will soon change its name to Rollesque Roll Up Ice Cream. Heather and her husband, Tom Hoang are the owners.  (Trevor Hagan / Winnipeg Free Press)

Heather Hoang makes Rolled Ice Cream at Bahn Mi Go, which will soon change its name to Rollesque Roll Up Ice Cream. Heather and her husband, Tom Hoang are the owners. (Trevor Hagan / Winnipeg Free Press)

Banh Mi Go (#6-794 Sargent Ave.), the small fast-casual adjunct to Pho Hoang, is about to be renamed Rollesque Roll Up Ice Cream to reflect its star attraction.

Roll-up ice cream is a popular street food that originated a few years ago in Thailand, spreading to Malaysia, Cambodia and Vietnam and then to the whole world, thanks to its eminently Instagrammable nature.

The made-to-order process involves pouring a milk base onto a super-cooled surface, mixing in flavours, shaping it into a frozen rectangle and then rolling it up into creamy curls. The whole thing is done right in front of you by a hard-working ice-cream artisan deftly wielding two metal spatulas.

The menu at the soon-to-be Rollesque includes fruit flavours such as mango and strawberry, kid-friendly tastes like Nutella and cookies and cream, and intense options like durian, black sesame, matcha and Vietnamese coffee. The end results ($7.50 per bowl), with multiple rolls packed into a circle and piled with toppings, are extremely photogenic.

Rolled ice cream looks great, then, but how does it taste? The texture is a little unsatisfying, being very dense and quick to melt, and the sweetness level is high, amped up by even sweeter whipping cream and crazy toppings like teddy grahams, M&Ms, Oreo cookies and Pocky sticks.

The experience is genuinely fun, though, especially for Rollesque’s younger demographic, many of whom were snapping pics of their cool tricked-out orders.

 


 

Jean-Marc Champagne, co-owner of Fromagerie Bothwell. (Mikaela MacKenzie / Winnipeg Free Press)

Jean-Marc Champagne, co-owner of Fromagerie Bothwell. (Mikaela MacKenzie / Winnipeg Free Press)

Fromagerie Bothwell (136 Provencher Blvd.), which recently opened in St. Boniface, has a lot going on, cheese-wise and otherwise. The New Bothwell-based cheesemakers have stocked the shelves with a range of their award-winning products, from small packets of fresh curds to big logs of old cheddar. I particularly like the black truffle cheese, which has a buttery texture, an earthy taste and cooks up into a dangerously rich mac ’n’ cheese.

There are also international options, from BelGioioso’s Gorgonzola dolce to a massive wheel of Charles Arnaud Comte.

Along with all things cheese, the Fromagerie offers a smart consolidation of made-in-Manitoba food products, both sweet and savoury, giving Winnipeggers a handy way to buy local.

There are bread and croissants brought in fresh daily from La Belle Baguette, as well as pantry goods such as Elman’s pickles, Prairie Oils and Vinegars, La Cocina’s super-thin tortilla chips, Mr. Biltong’s small-batch beef jerky, Canadian Birch syrups, Crampton’s jams and Notre Dame butter.

And that’s just a start.

 


 

(Lemonkeybar.com photo)

(Lemonkeybar.com photo)

A short stroll from the Fromagerie onto the Esplanade Riel will bring you to Le Monkey Bar (50 Provencher Blvd., Kiosk #3), a seasonal stand offering cool, vegan-friendly summertime treats, along with some swell city views.

Now in its second year, the kiosk offers plant-based sundaes and shakes made thick and creamy with bananas and coconut milk. There are chocolate-covered "polar" bananas, upgraded with cacao nibs, shaved coconut or maple flakes. Drink options include good cold-brew coffee and house-made lemonade.

A sampled three-berry smoothie bowl was refreshingly cold and not too sweet, the fruity intensity offset with crisp granola and healthy hemp seeds.

Continuing the feel-good vibe, the bar is organic and local when it can be and uses compostable containers and old-school paper straws.

 


 

Rebecca Purdy serves Macarons at Jenna Rae Cakes at The Forks. (Trevor Hagan / Winnipeg Free Press)

Rebecca Purdy serves Macarons at Jenna Rae Cakes at The Forks. (Trevor Hagan / Winnipeg Free Press)

If you’re in the mood for "just a little bit of dessert," the new Jenna Rae Cakes venue is for you. The Academy Road bakery known for custom cakes has opened a second location at The Forks, offering an edited selection of their petite sweets.

(Trevor Hagan / Winnipeg Free Press)

(Trevor Hagan / Winnipeg Free Press)

The bright, clean-lined counter on the second floor shows off a rainbow array of macarons, tender-chewy on the outside with some inspired fillings. Standouts include a lemon version with a tart curd and a dusting of gold glitter, a sweetly bright raspberry and a coolly subtle Earl Grey. The salted caramel was, however, just a little too salty.

Along with a changing selection of sandwich cookies, with nostalgic but refined flavours like toffee and cinnamon toast, there are some absolutely adorable little mousses, a recent sampling delivering a creamy, concentrated chocolate rush.

 

alison.gillmor@freepress.mb.ca

Alison Gillmor

Alison Gillmor
Writer

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.

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