Monday, December 17, 2007

I scream for Sebastian's Ice Cream

Discounting nutritional value and caloric content, if I could eat only one kind of food for the rest of my life, it would be ice cream. I just lovelovelove ice cream, from Haagen-Dazs to Ben & Jerry's to Selecta to FIC to Dairy Queen Blizzards to McDonalds sundaes to Wendy's Frosty to homemade gelato to frozen yogurt to "dirty" ice cream peddled in sorbetero carts.

Last weekend, I discovered something that sent the ice cream lover in me into paroxysms of rapture: Sebastian's Ice Cream Studio. I've heard of the brand before, as plugged by 103.5 Max FM DJ Vito Lazatin, who happens to be a part-owner. Also, my foodie friend Yang once told me about having received 2 pints of Sebastian's from someone. Since I was conducting store visits during the Podium's recently concluded 3-day sale, I decided to make a side trip to Sebastian's kiosk on the 4th floor of the mall
. I tried 2 flavors, Chocoholics Anonymous and Swiss Chocolate Cheesecake, and simply put, they were 2 scoops of ice cream heaven. Chocolate is my absolute favorite flavor, and I declare Chocoholics Anonymous the mother of all chocolate ice creams. Don't let the dark color scare you off; it IS sweet, but not cloyingly so, and the fudge swirls and chocolate chunks both enhance and temper the richness of the velvety chocolate ice cream. As for the Swiss Chocolate Cheesecake, since cheesecake is possibly my second favorite dessert, converting it into ice cream form is about as good as it gets. Bits of graham crust and Toblerone accentuate this tasty treat. Although Baskin-Robbins' Raspberry Cheese Louise frozen yogurt still tops my cheesecake ice cream list, and Haagen-Dazs' Strawberry Cheesecake packs more cheesecake flavor in a pint, Sebastian's Swiss Chocolate Cheesecake comes a very close and yummy 3rd.

My first Sebastian's experience was such a terrific taste sensation that I returned to the same kiosk 2 days later (during another store visit), and I tried 2 more flavors: Dublin Fudge and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough. The former was excellent, a smooth Bailey's-flavored ice cream laced with fudge ribbons, and the latter was all right, but I expected to find more cookie dough in the vanilla ice cream (the description does say "gobs" of cookie dough, after all). I also asked for a free taste of the Mango Sans Rival, of which I've read rave online reviews, and I think my next trip to the Podium calls for a full scoop. There were some flavors that weren't available during my first 2 forays that I also want to try: the Banana Bonanza, which is Sebastian's take on Ben & Jerry's Chunky Monkey (my favorite B & J flavor, banana ice cream with chocolate chunks), the Midnight Peanut Butter Cup (a sinful combination of dark chocolate ice cream and Reese's Peanut Butter Cups), and the Peanut Butter Cookie Dough (dark chocolate ice cream with peanut butter cookie dough). I'm crazy for peanut butter, so if Sebastian's comes up with a chocolate peanut butter cheesecake flavor, I'd probably schedule more frequent store visits to the Podium.

Sebastian's creamy concoctions don't come cheap, but P80 for a scoop and P145 for a double scoop serving aren't unreasonable for ice cream of this fine quality (Pagliacci on the 5th floor of the Podium sells gelato at P100 a scoop). I wish the Sebastian's kiosk sold ice cream in pints, so I could bring home the stuff and savor it slowly while watching TV. In all my years of ice cream consumption and appreciation, Sebastian's is the only local brand I've tried that could possibly unseat Haagen-Dazs from being the king of ice creams in my estimation. Long live Sebastian's!


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