The froyo craze over the past year or so has been so intense and pervasive that you would almost literally have to have resided under a blissful rock of ignorance to not have noticed it. Indeed, what better example is George Street near Town Hall – literally four froyo chains within 100 meters of each other. Maccas has some yoghurty/creamy competition going on here.
In any case, that’s something for the free market to sort out. We’re here to talk about a new, independently-operated froyo/dessert establishment, MooBerry. They do things differently from the major names in the industry. Read on to find out…
Date Last Visited: 5/8/13
Address: 160 King St Newtown, NSW 2042
Recommended Dish(es): froyo & waffles make for a combo you just don’t get elsewhere
Disclaimer: I’m Still Hungry dined as guests of MooBerry. Opinions are however, my own.
Disclaimer #2: being guests of MooBerry, the level of service quality is possibly different to what is afforded a normal patrol. This seems highly unlikely given my own observations, but a disclosure nonetheless.
Located in the heart of Newtown’s famed King Street (think Thai and trendy), MooBerry is in prime real estate, and from the outside looks the part too. It will not be particularly difficult to miss, given the bright purple signage and the very crafty & colourful interior.
Though I wouldn’t call hipster, I would definitely call it unique – the astroturf, the copious collection of interpretivist art and the wallpaper (cover photo)…kid in a colourful candy shop much?
Menus are displayed on two monitors – one for their dessert options, and the other for their froyo & shake options.
Uhh…please excuse the Shen cameos, there sure is a lot of mirror mirror action going on here.
By now, the realisation would have sunk in that MooBerry isn’t just a froyo vendor – they have quite the selection of more “standard” desserts to choose from. That’s a big, big point of differentiation here. Though the (quite logical) fear that they may not excel at anything by trying to do everything exists, rest assured that you’re not likely to find qualms with the expanded variety.
If you’re with a group of friends with diverse culinary preferences, you can finally settle all differences by going to just one place that can cater for your tastes – regardless if it’s froyo or waffles or churros, or shakes, and so on.
In any case, let’s start with the froyo goodness – it’s still their signature.
Any discussion of froyo absolutely has to involve toppings. MooBerry is chock full of the stuff. I won’t bother with words, and let the pictures do the talking.
Indeed, the topping range most certainly rivals the major players out there. If you’ll find complaint with MooBerry, it shan’t be here.
According to a few other blog posts on MooBerry, there’s a particularly fascinating topping that I had never heard of before – mini macarons. Oh my goodness, why weren’t there any when I went? I’m deeply saddened at this, and could only wonder what that could have tasted like. It may or may not work, but wow, try beat the novelty of froyo with a killer topping like that.
One more thing before I launch into the goodness that I enjoyed – their signature dish, the coconut affogato is exactly what it sounds like – a unique take on the traditional affogato in which the ice cream is replaced with coconut froyo (their signature flavour). I didn’t end up ordering this, but boy, I can imagine it to taste very nice. Still, only a prediction – will definitely give it a try next time.
So I didn’t end up getting mini macarons or the coconut affogato, but MooBerry was definitely not lacking in things to put in my eagar stomach. First up, a positively gigantic mango passion shake that I customised with coconut froyo instead of original.
So a word on these shakes – you definitely get what you pay for. Second word: share with a friend if you intend to eat anything else! It’s definitely quite a thick shake, which is to be expected as it literally includes their froyo in it. The overall texture is thus quite smooth & creamy, with the texture of mango pulp & passionfruit seeds dotting the palate. Refreshingly, the shake escapes the trap of being too sweet, which made it much easier to consume more of it.
It also has the benefit of “tasting” “healthy”, for what it’s worth.
Considering what else I tasted, I couldn’t actually finish this shake in its entirety – The Lady tried very hard to help out too!
Many claims are made about froyo’s health benefits, how they’ve got fewer calories than ice cream, how they contain beneficial probiotic bacteria, and so on. These have been proven/debunked to various degrees, to the point where in the end – it just comes down to taste.
Here, MooBerry’s froyo differs in that the production process, whatever it may be, produces froyo with a lighter flavour profile than the big players. There are two forces at play here
* A greater range of flavour, as it’s not so sweet that it will just overpower everything else
* A good deal of textural creaminess
This isn’t some marketing-like BS either – I was not told any of this, but could immediately taste the difference. Go to Moochi, get some of the froyo, then have MooBerry froyo as soon as you can afterwards – you should be able to tell they are not the same.
I prefer the more subtle flavours of MooBerry’s froyo, particularly their passionfruit flavour. Their coconut (which I had in the mango shake) had a better sweetness while their original is…original? A safe bet, especially if you’re new to froyo (um, who could that be?)
I prefer the texture of the bigger players in the game; I can’t go past the texture of Noggi’s froyo!
But here’s where comparisons end, and MooBerry pulls into a league of its own – where else do you get froyo with waffles? And they are GOOD waffles. Super crunchy, such heartily delicious chocolate sauce. They’re somewhat more crunchy than ones from Max Brenner, but still retain a firm center. A valid competitor has arrived.
So how well does froyo do with waffles? Personal preference – I think it’s just dandy. I probably wouldn’t get mochi with it next time though, and stick with fresh fruit. That combo is a timeless classic.
We were already quite full from the previous goodness, but alas, we were treated (oh the epic first world problem?) to their specialty mocha froyo. When I say specialty, I mean flavours on a rotating basis. So you may find something else instead of mocha when you visit.
I gotta say, I had to hunt for the flavour, but it is indeed there – that ever so slight hint of coffee chocolate. This is a shining example of MooBerry’s light take on froyo – if it were heavier, I would be turned off fairly quickly. As it were, it was extremely refreshing. This is the froyo I would suggest purchasing if you’ve just had a big, fatty meal. You can skip the chocolate cigar if you like
Detractors and critics have their arguments for how the froyo craze will be just another fad, and will go out with a bang. While I don’t think froyo will disappear, I do feel that the current craze will temper, and it will find its place in the market.
When all’s said and done, if people put in the same kind of effort the owners of MooBerry – John & Janine do, then Froyo is almost guaranteed to flourish for some time yet.
Go get some! I definitely need to – I want my mini macarons!
As usual, feel free to leave a comment or three
Awesome: light flavour profile makes for very refreshing froyo, expanded dessert offerings makes it a one size fits all dessert shop, very cordial service
Not so Awesome: slight textural deficiencies – your mileage may vary, not as suitable if you’re looking for a big flavour hit from an iced dessert