Ever since Tip Top rippled Nelson boysenberries through its beautifully creamy vanilla ice cream, New Zealanders have been spoiled for choice when it comes to good quality ice cream, and things are only getting better.
Fancy restaurants are increasingly experimenting with savoury ice creams. One of the best desserts I ever had was a cheddar cheese ice cream sandwich, and at Sidart, one of Auckland’s best restaurants, they do a parmesan ice cream dessert. I have long dreamed of one day tasting a paua ripple ice cream, but in the meantime, there are plenty of outlets making ridiculously gourmet sorbets, gelatos and ice creams that are worth making a day of trying. Here are five options to seek out, and little strolls you could take afterwards, while you’re on that post-ice cream high.
The makers: Kohu Road
Flavours to try: Damson Plum, Flat White or the rarely seen Banana, which tastes like banana cake.
Eat in at: The Tannery, 44B Portage Rd, New Lynn, Auckland.
Then: Head five minutes up Portage Road to Olympic Park, bisected by the Whau River. There’s rope climbing for kids, modern artworks to admire, and the Avondale spider sanctuary, if you dare.
The makers: Hip Group, who are ruthless about quality ingredients and processes.
Flavours to try: Coconut; the intriguing Bayberry or Peanut Butter Chocolate, which comes with big chunks of good quality chocolate.
Eat in at: Takapuna Beach Cafe, 22 The Promenade, Takapuna, Auckland.
Then: Walk it off by heading along Takapuna beach towards what locals of a certain age refer to as “Rod and Rachel’s end” due to the urban legend that supercouple Rod Stewart and Rachel Hunter once owned clifftop mansion there. Or, head around the rocks to Milford Beach.