In Honour of Ice Cream

Calling all ‘coneheads’ and ice cream fanatics, here’s the inside scoop on some of the very best ice cream makers and parlours in SA.

UNFRAMED ICE CREAM

This relatively new artisan ice cream store launched last year by French-born owner, Yann Rey, who moved to the Mother City to open his ice cream ‘gallery’. Here, the artistry of ice cream takes top priority. Production happens right behind the freestanding counter in what can best be described as a laboratory rather than a kitchen! Unframed’s product and recipe developer, Stephane Auge, is not just any ice cream master, she’s won the Meilleur Ouvrier De France for ice cream (the equivalent of Michelin star, but awarded to craftsmen). “Our ice cream includes all-natural tastes that are sometimes subtle and sometimes complex, always with an obsession towards the perfect texture.”

Lick your way through dairy flavours that include peanut butter, Nuttikrust (based on the biscuit), sea salt chocolate and a caramel-flavoured burnt white chocolate (both made with Valrhona chocolate). And, for vegans (who always have the worst choices!), think beetroot chocolate ginger, sweet lemon, lusty coconut, and rouge rooibos cappuccino. The new vegan chocolate is also out of this world. Try some magnificently smooth sorbets too, from a refreshing lime, lemon and basil, to grapefruit with timut pepper from Nepal (a mild, citrusy flavoured pepper). It's no wonder that Unframed Ice Cream has already made its mark in the Mother City.

Get the inside scoop on some of the very best ice cream spots in South Africa.

Find them here:
45 Kloof Street, Gardens; at the Waterfront (inside the V&A Food Market); and in Camps Bay (a sidecar parked in front of The Bay Hotel at Sunset Sessions)

THE CREAMERY

Looking for a superior ice cream experience? This trio of dessert cafés prides itself on offering honest-to-goodness, made-from-scratch, locally sourced yumminess. They switched on their churns for the first time back in 2011, serving markets and events around Cape Town; and then opened their dessert cafés, one by one, to serve their ever-growing fan base.

Their range of flavours changes from month to month, with some really unheard of and exciting choices. A few of their dive-in delicious flavours include popcorn, coffee toffee, melktert, apple crumble, black sesame, jam and scones, watermelon and limited-edition pumpkin pie! They are constantly developing new tastes, which means you could come in one week and get one flavour, and come back the next to find an entirely different flavour choice in the scoop counter.  

You can also curb all sweet tooth cravings with their incredible in-house toppings that include cookie dough chunks, shortbread crumble, peanut butter pieces, and toasted marshmallow – which are all handmade (and also available in take-home containers).

Find them here:
Dean Street, Newlands; Mouille Point; and Palmyra Junction, Claremont

PAUL’S HOMEMADE ICE CREAM


This proudly South African brand has become somewhat of an institution, growing organically in its hometown of Jozi. Paul Ballen started making ice cream out of his mom’s kitchen eight years ago after receiving an ice cream machine for his 21st birthday. The business has just celebrated their third birthday this year by launching their Third Birthday flavour-of-the-month: a Chomp ice cream with marshmallow and caramel – just what you would expect to be eating at a toddler’s birthday party! And, part of their signature is to introduce a fun, themed flavour-of-the-month.

Once you’ve tasted Paul’s Homemade you’ll know, “this is what ice cream is supposed to taste like!” – it’s truly delicious gourmet ice cream made from all-natural ingredients. Paul scoops up a range of flavours from his trendy parlours and is constantly reinventing his offerings. Try the dulce de leche, roasted banana or unbelievably good, cookie sandwiches. Also, keep an eye out for the official launch of the PHIC Stick – a chocolate-coated ice cream lollipop! And, if you’re looking for a whole new element to the ice cream eating experience, skip the cone and try out their ice cream in a box (a 125ml cardboard box).

Find them here:
22 4th Avenue Parkhurst; Hyde Park Shopping Centre; The Zone Mall, 177 Oxford Rd, Rosebank; and Sandton Gautrain (Cnr Rivonia and 5th Street)

ROYAL DANISH

Thirty years and counting... Royal Danish was one of the first ice cream hot spots on the scene. Today a firm landmark in Pretoria, serving top-quality homemade ice cream made to a traditional Danish recipe on the premises by the owner. Your head will spin with a choice of about 30 to 40 flavours! But their signature flavour (and most popular to date) is Copenhagen – it contains the crunch of caramelised sugar. Ask a Royal Danish fanatic and they’ll tell you that the Royal Danish vanilla is the best, while the chocoholics revel in a choice of three types that make up a pretty orgasmic three-scoop chocolate cone.

Other standard must-try flavours include Royal mocha almond fudge and Royal butter pecan. For the more adventurous palate some more unique flavours include Royal ginger, Royal liquorice, Royal rose infusion (tastes like Turkish delight), Royal salted caramel popcorn and Royal hazelnut whirl (contains Nutella). All Royal Danish scoops are served in home-made wafer cones and, if you’re looking for real indulgence, there’s a delicious caramel or chocolate sauce to top it all off with.

Find them here:
Corner of Gordon Road and Bernard Street, Colbyn, Pretoria

PETE’S SUPER NATURAL ICE CREAM

When it comes to ‘natural’ this is really as good as it gets! You can literally taste each clean, glorious note of flavour in every spoonful. And when you find out from Peta Frysh that her vanilla is made with vanilla pods only, lemon frozen yoghurt is made with lemon juice (and some zest for a hint of complexity), Vietnamese coffee from freshly brewed Rwandan coffee (with a touch of chicory) – then you realise how seriously she takes her craft!

The quality of this ice cream is first-rate, and there’s always something different and new. Ever heard of popcorn cream with torched marshmallows? Pistachio praline with apricot? Rose pomegranate Turkish delight? Orange cardamom? Or how about spicy Bloody Mary sorbet? Well, we hadn’t either!

Producing superb ice cream comes naturally for Pete, with only small tubs but packing big flavour. So, if exploring amazing, fresh and totally unique flavour combinations is your thing – you have got to get your hands on a tub (or six!).

Find them here:
Oaklands Fruit; Jackson's Real Food Market, Bryanston; Impala Fruit, Craighall Park; Braeside Butcher, Greenside; Farm Table, Linden; The Leopard Kitchen, 44 Stanley; and The Roastery, Muldersdrift. Also on the menu at select restaurants in Joburg.

EISH KREAM

The newest kid on the block, having launched this year, is offering ice cream lovers a totally unique concept! Eish Kream is the first mobile ice cream bar serving ‘spaghetti’ soft-serve in South Africa. This hot-off-the-mark trendy treat is the perfect combination of soft ice cream, with the quality of gelato and presented as a fun pastel-coloured spaghetti ice cream, served in a cone or in delightful on-the-go boxes. The recent launch of their new unicorn cup holders is also proving to be a hit amongst their fans.

A firm favourite is their famous coconut-flavoured black charcoal ice cream, while the cotton candy flavour (called Unicorn Tears) is ranked right up there too. And, it’s only the beginning as they are currently testing uniquely South African flavours like rooibos, spicy pine, Cape koeksister, milk tart and malva pudding, to name a few. 

So, should you find yourself having a sudden Eish Kream craving, look out for one of their 16 pop-up stores at various markets and events around the country. 

Find them here:
Pop-up stores in Johannesburg, Pretoria and Durban at various markets and events.