Debuting just in time to help ease the scorching heat with a range of soft serve ice cream treats is a cutesy store-in-store creamery that ticks most of our boxes
Given our predilection — bordering on obsession — for all things ice cream-y and that too in one of our favourite iterations of the treat, soft serve, we couldn't wait to give this new store-in-store creamery a whirl…or should we say, "swirl"?
Offering a range of both innovative signature swirl sundaes and the usual build-your-own kind of soft serves, Xoco 57, the candy pink and white-hued kiosk nestled in the heart of the Pedder Road branch of a grocery-store chain, is an interesting place to find oneself in on a sweltering October afternoon. Sharing its space with a chocolate counter to its right and a mithai one to its left, we weren't surprised to see it enjoy the most action, with hordes of teenagers and kids accompanied by their parents making a beeline for it.
Feeling particularly indulgent that afternoon, we ordered for a range of their sundaes that we could see being assembled in front of us, built from an assortment of toppings, sauces and sprinkles.
With a levered machine dispensing only vanilla, chocolate and vanilla-chocolate combination softy bases, we did wish that there were a few more base options available. A tart berry or zesty citrus one would have hit the spot. But alas, we had to make do with the various concoctions featuring the good old vanilla-chocolate duo.
Vanilla soft serve
The peanut punch ('195) with its creamy chocolate soft serve base is a confection that is sure to win the heart of a peanut fan for its generous sprinkling of slightly salted, crushed peanuts that are covered in a drizzle of warm chocolate sauce.
Adding further nutty heft is a mighty splodge of peanut butter that seals the deal perfectly. Topped with French crêpe crisps and the same chocolate sauce, the French crisp ('195) won us over with its vanilla soft serve that had actual flecks of vanilla beans peeking out through the ice cream.
Signature soft serve cup. Pics/Ashish Raje
Blending the words "adulting" and ice cream expertly was the strongly flavoured Xoco 57 signature soft serve ('225), with its spicy pink peppercorn and dark chocolate bark toppings melded with a vanilla-chocolate base.
For our final signature swirl, we tucked into one that reflected the latest international trend of "birthday cake" flavoured confections. Simply called birthday cake ('250), it turned out to be the unanimous favourite among the three of us ice cream f(r)iends! Fudgy chocolate brownie morsels, a spoonful of Nutella and a shower of rainbow-hued sprinkles sitting atop a vanilla-chocolate base made this one a treat we'll be back for.
Attempting to satiate our desire for something tart and fruity was the vanilla soft serve cone ('95) — we had the option of upgrading to a waffle cone for '125 — topped with a raspberry coulis ('25 extra).
Though not bad at all, it sadly tasted like any ordinary grocery store-bought raspberry syrup and not like a coulis actually made with the berry. While we'd sure love to see a few more base flavours and fruit-based toppings added as part of their offerings, this creamery seems to get it right for the most part.
At Xoco 57 by Foodhall, Kanchanjunga 72, Pedder Road.
Time 9am to 11pm
Soft serve or gelato?
Ice cream is served at -12 degrees celsius while a soft serve at -6 degrees celsius. This, and the fact that soft serve contains less milk fat and more air, makes it creamier. But while a soft serve is made by incorporating air into the ice cream during the freezing process, Gelato has a higher proportion of milk and a lower proportion of cream and eggs (or no eggs at all).
4/5 Exceptional, 3/5 Excellent, 2/5 very Good, 1/5 Good, 0.5/5 Average. Xoco 57 didn't know we were there. The Guide reviews anonymously and pays for meals
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