No one can deny the summer heat. In fact, it’s a bit early to be feeling this hot, thanks to global warming. In SP’s recent survey on what people were doing to beat the heat, the two most popular answers were: drink a lot of water and juice and “all of the above.” One of the best treats you can give your family this summer is some summer pampalamig (refreshment) in the form of ice cream, frozen yoghurt and halo-halo. Here are my top 10 pampalamigs for the family and why.
Please note that this isn’t in any particular order.
1. Razon’s of Guagua – Razon’s halo-halo is very different from the traditional Pinoy halo-halo of shaved ice and a dozen ingredients including mongo beans and nata de coco. Razon’s uses only four ingredients: very finely shaved ice, milk, sweetened banana, leche flan and macapuno. In fact, this is a white and creamy halo-halo versus the usual colorful halo-halo that we’re used to. But it’s heavenly in its creamy simplicity. The ingredients all go together without being too sweet. My son can finish one serving on his own. We love going to their Timog branch but they have a lot of branches already.
2. Froyo – You’ll find Froyo located in some Hobbes & Landes branches like the one in Bonifacio High Street. We first noticed a Froyo stall along Tomas Morato Street. We never bothered going there until we were on a modified South Beach diet. That was when we realized that this creamy frozen yoghurt was just as good as ice cream and healthier too! We like Froyo’s plain yoghurt (no frills) and we order a large one to share.
3. Icebergs – There’s a big branch along Timog Avenue but there are other branches like the one in Metrowalk. Icebergs serves a lot of halo-halo variations (like something called a Super Halo-Halo) and other ice cream concoctions. My husband is nostalgic about Icebergs because he grew up eating halo-halo there. They also serve regular food so you can eat your whole meal there and top it off with halo-halo.
4. Ice Monster- We like the strawberry or the mango variant of Ice Monster. This dessert is simple, fruity and very refreshing, especially on a hot day. Once again, finely shaved ice is the secret to a nicely prepared frozen dessert. If the ice isn’t done right, it coagulates into hard-to-bite chunks and stings sensitive teeth!
5. White HatItalian Frozen Yogurt – This is another frozen yoghurt place that’s worth a try. A good friend of mine swears by their best mixture of sweet and tangy among frozen yoghurts. Plus it’s affordable. I like to get their frozen yoghurt with nuts and brownie bits.
6. Nestle Creamery (the former Magnolia Ice Cream House) – I included this place out of sheer nostalgia. It’s one of those places that have become part of many people’s childhood memories (from the 70s and 80s). There’s something special about visiting an ice cream parlor, a shop that’s just dedicated to ice cream. Today, it’s now the Nestle Creamery and it boasts of a frozen marble slab for special ice cream preparations. It’s located along Aurora Boulevard. Make it a part of your kids’ memories too.
Ed’s note (3/24): Nestle Creamery is closed. So, we are bumping up one of the runner-ups into the list: Tutti Frutti . The branch we know of is located in the 4th Level Atrium of SM Megamall. It has a “make-your-own-yoghurt” station concept which will be something fun for your kids. There are different yoghurt flavors to choose from. What makes it different is you get to make it on your own instead of having someone prepare it for you. You can go crazy making your personalized concoction.
Photography by Stephanie F. Esguerra
7. Fruits in Ice Cream – I had to include this ice cream because of their sugar-free flavors: Mixed Berry, Chocolate Marble, French Vanilla and more. My personal favorite is the Mixed Berry. Their ice creams are very creamy (I can tell it’s not as healthy as frozen yoghurt) but I console myself with the fact that they’re sugar free. It’s also pretty affordable. I usually get my fix at the Power Plant stand on the second floor.
8. Sebastian’s Ice Cream – This ice cream is a bit pricey but well worth it. We indulge ourselves in the branch in Podium. My favorites are Butter Pecan and the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough flavors. Be prepared to be transported into ice cream heaven. When I read up about Sebastian’s, I discovered the owner and creator, Ian Carandang, was inspired by Ben & Jerry’s, a U.S. brand. No wonder. My husband and I would kill for Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia (our absolute favorite) which is now available in the Shopwise Libis branch.
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9. Red Mango – Apart from Froyo, I think Red Mango is also a really creamy version of frozen yoghurt. We discovered it in Eastwood Mall, Libis. I love their variant with powdered graham crackers and mango. It’s just like eating a healthier version of Mango Float.
10. Chowking’s Halo-Halo – We had to make special mention of this particular dessert. It’s affordable, easy to find (since Chowking has a lot of branches) and the halo-halo is just great. It’s the kind of version that has everything on it (including the mongo, the ube and the leche flan). Very Pinoy.
So, if you’re looking for summer pampalamig to beat the heat, try any of our suggested ice cream, frozen yoghurt and halo-halo places that are sure to give you and your family your dessert fix and a way to cool down.