My favourite thing about dirty ice cream is that it’s not actually dirty, it’s just freakin’ delicious! What used to just be a part of my childhood memories living in the Philippines, has now made its way back to the present times. I couldn’t be more excited to be reunited with some of my favourite Filipino desserts ever and it’s all thanks to Mamasons.
Mamasons has quickly become one of my most favourite dessert places in London. You’ll often find me and my friends munching or sipping away at this Filipino dessert café as not only do they make some of the most delicious desserts you’ll ever have in the city, but the actual café itself is hella Instagrammable too!
So you might be wondering what this whole ‘dirty ice cream’ malarkey is all about. First off, this stuff is clean AF so don’t you guys worry about that. In the Philippines, if you buy ice cream or what we call ‘sorbetes’ from the street, it has been coined to be called ‘dirty ice cream’, just because it’s ice cream you’ve bought on the side of the street. Well, at least that’s how my parents and grandparents explained it to me before. Whatever the actual explanation is, one truth remains, it’s brilliant and it’s here to stay.
Mamasons Desserts Roundup
It’s about to get so much warmer again and it looks like the heatwave isn’t done with us just yet. So, what better way to cool down than to talk ice cream and fresh calamansi juice! Without further ado, below is a roundup of all the Mamasons treats I have tried so far.
Now contrary to popular belief, halo-halo doesn’t usually make it onto my list of top Filipino dessert faves of all time. To those of you guys who have never heard of this dessert before, halo-halo, which literally translates to mix-mix, is a staple cold dessert in the Philippines. It consists of crushed ice, evaporated milk and a concoction of sweetened beans, fruit jelly, tapioca / sago, jackfruit, sweet potato, coconut flesh / macapuno, halayang ube (purple yam jam), topped with leche flan (very similar to créme caramel flan), couple scoops of ice cream (usually ube, because YUM!) and a chocolate wafer stick on the side. Et viola! Tis finally complete, but I know you’re probably thinking, wow, all that in just one drink?! Yep, issa vibe, just roll with it. You’re then meant to mix everything in the drink before slurping it all up.
So in one of my many trips there so far, ALL my friends decided to order a halo-halo each, as it was a super hot day then. Of course, because I was being me, halo-halo did not even cross my mind when deciding what to get. I went for calamansi juice instead (more on that good stuff later). For some reason, everyone kept going on about how amazing their halo-halo was, so my curiosity lead me into trying a bit of it from one my friends and…
Oh. My. Goodness.
It was deli-freakin-licious!
What I love about the way Mamasons does their halo-halo is that they don’t go too overboard with the ingredients inside. It’s just right. I am not personally a fan of all the beans and other bits that other people like in theirs. It’s just not me. But the Mamasons halo halo was just perfect and it even had a scoop of cornflakes on top which was a nice touch. My taste buds got proper WOKE from how delicious and tasty it was. On top of all that, it’s just so refreshing, especially on a hot summer’s day. So I think it’s safe to say, it is now officially my favourite dessert on the menu. I have officially been converted, welldone Mamasons.
Black Buko Ice Cream
Black buko is basically black coconut. Its gothic vibe comes from its charcoal ingredient made from coconut shells. Exotic right? Now turn that into ice cream and place a scoop (or three) on a matching black cone and ya got yourself an ice cream dessert that not only is quirky for the taste buds but also great for the ‘gram. I’m personally not a huge fan of this flavour unfortunately as I feel like it has quite an acquired taste, but I do know lots of people who love this flavour. Interesting for the buds and lit for the ‘gram, what else can you possibly need?!
Ahh the famous bilogs. This bilog was actually the first thing I tried on the menu on my first ever visit to Mamasons. These guys are pandesals (filipino milk bun), fresh out of the oven and filled with a generous serving of ice cream inside. Hot meets cold in the most brilliant way through this very unique ice cream sandwich. My favourite part about these bilogs are when you bite around the crispy edges and a bit of the ice cream filling in the middle. Ugh, so good! The best time to have this is when the pandesal is still hot and has just been freshly filled with ice cream. I must say it’s not as nice once it gets cold around the actual bread area, so make sure you have the pandesal warm with the ice cream for the full experience. My favourite flavour so far is probably the Milo flavour bilog (chocolate). Was anyone else a bit of a cheeky little one in the food department like myself, when ‘snacking’ on Milo chocolate powder was life? I used to literally go into a tub of Milo chocolate powder with a spoon and put it straight in my mouth. The life!
Ube Hot Coco
I love my hot drinks y’all. Whatever the season and whatever the weather, my love for my hot drinks, like coffee, in particular, will never die. Whenever I go to Starbucks, 99.8% of the time, I am always going for my love, my boo, my everything, the ‘white chocolate mocha’. It’s just the best thing that Starbucks has ever created in my opinion. I thought I was done in that regard, that the Starbucks white chocolate mocha will be my forever go-to hot drink for life. That’s really what I thought until, one day, I met the Mamasons ‘Ube Hot Coco’.
This hot drink of heavenly delights consists of ube (purple yam / taro) and white chocolate coco, topped with fresh ube whipped cream. Best hot drink I have ever had, hands down. Hands down. This drink has changed the game for me and it’s just a shame that the café for me at the moment, is a bit of a trek to get to, but it’s all good because Mamasons are opening another branch in Chinatown this year so woo!
I love me some calamansi juice waaay more than Kel loves orange soda.
Calamansi juice is the Filipino version of lemonade and limeade but like….better, haha. Every time I visit the Philippines, if I’m not reaching for iced tea, or gulaman drinks, y’all know it’s the calamansi juice that I’d be reaching for the most. It’s just so refreshing with a really nice citrusy kick to it. My grandad planted his own calamansi tree in Hawaii. Every time we go visit our family there, we always take home bottles of freshly squeezed calamansi juice because you can also cook so many dishes with these little guys. Calamansi juice in Mamasons is really good. It’s not too sweet, not too sour, it’s just right and is one of the best companions to have on a very hot day.
One more of the desserts that I’ve enjoyed in Mamasons so far, is taho. Never thought I’d see the day that taho will be within reach here in London. God is good y’all, all the time. Taho is yet another classic Filipino dessert made of silken tofu with arnibal (sugar syrup) and sago pearls. Now words will never suffice to describe how amazing this stuff is, you just gotta try and take my word for it. It’s definitely better for the colder months but then again this is insanely famous in the Philippines, which is a country that is hot all year around so I guess it doesn’t really matter.
I was way too excited to eat when I had the taho, so apologies for the lack of visuals on this one – the taho skipped the ‘gram this time and instead, went straight to the belly.
Dirty & Delicious
Mamasons has definitely become a staple dessert destination for me in London and that won’t be changing anytime soon. I am so excited to have them opening up their new branch in Chinatown very soon. So if you’re in town and you’re looking for delicious drinks and desserts that will also be serving looks on the ‘gram, Mamasons will be the place for you. Oh and did I mention how good their music is? Full on vibe mode, with the odd K-Pop from time to time as well. I still have yet to make my way through the menu, with particular attention laid on their barako coffee, I’ma come for you next.
Mamasons: ( O K A Y | L I K E | L O V E )
- Does a fantastic job at showcasing Filipino desserts
- I have been swayed to fall in love with Halo-halo for the first time in my life
- Ube hot coco and calamansi juice a close second favourite
- Instagram friendly
- Great music and an all around lovely place to chill with friends & family
Seen anything that tickles your fancy on the menu yet? Let me know which ones(s) you’ve got your eyes on in the comments below.
If the foodie in you is looking to keep browsing for more food inspo, you can view all of my foodie reviews here. Enjoy and happy eating!