Tasty Looking Taiyaki Cones at Sukoi Desserts

Sukoi DessertsLocation: 760 Queen Street West, Toronto
Websitehttps://sukoidesserts.com/

Taiyaki — a fish-shaped, waffle-like dessert that’s traditionally filled with tasty custard or red bean — is great.  What’s not to like?  It’s delicious.

But I was a little bit concerned that the taiyaki cones they’re serving at Sukoi Desserts might be one of those looks-first, taste-second Instagram-bait creations that have been popping up all over the city.  The fact that I overheard the owners discussing the cost of bringing “influencers” to the shop certainly didn’t instill confidence.

Sukoi Desserts

You can customize your cone in a few different ways — the ice cream (they had black sesame and vanilla when I went), the filling (red bean, custard, or Nutella), and the topping (chocolate cookie crumbs, graham cracker crumbs, or sprinkles).

I got a black sesame / vanilla twist, a topping of cookie crumbs, and a filling of red bean.

Sukoi Desserts

It wasn’t the best thing I’ve ever eaten, but I wouldn’t call it empty Instagram bait, either.  The ice cream was fine — it had a pronounced sesame flavour and an enjoyably subtle sweetness.  It was a little grainy and not particularly creamy, but it wasn’t bad.  I enjoyed it.

The taiyaki was easily the highlight.  It was warm and fresh, with a pronounced crispiness on its exterior and a perfect amount of substance on its interior.  The generous amount of tasty red bean filling complimented it perfectly.

Overall it’s a tasty enough dessert, but the middling ice cream mostly just gets in the way of the delicious taiyaki, so… I guess it kinda is Instagram bait.  Oh well.

TIFF-Inspired Ice Cream at Sweet Jesus

Sweet JesusLocation: 106 John Street, Toronto
Websitehttp://www.sweetjesus4life.com/

After essentially accusing Sweet Jesus of being empty Instagram-bait, I recently came to the realization that it’s probably a bit better than I’ve been giving it credit for.  Yes, a heavy emphasis is placed on making their creations as visually pleasing as possible, but the soft serve is nice and creamy, and the flavours are usually satisfying.

That being said?  Their new limited edition TIFF-inspired creation, the Marie Antoinette, is empty Instagram-bait.

It’s a collaboration with Nadege, and it features vanilla soft serve, maple sauce, macaron crumbs, mini macarons, and a full-sized macaron on top.

The full macaron is actually the best thing about it. It has a nice, lightly crispy texture, a very subtle chewiness, and a pleasant vanilla bean flavour that isn’t too sweet. It’s a quality macaron.

Otherwise, the rest basically just tastes like plain vanilla ice cream.  The mini macarons are one-note crunchy and don’t really taste like anything, the maple sauce features shockingly little maple syrup flavour (I never would have guessed it was supposed to be maple if I hadn’t known), and the macaron crumbs just add a grainy texture.

The vanilla ice cream is tasty enough, so I certainly didn’t dislike eating it, but there isn’t a whole lot there.

Mediocre Ice Cream at Cows

Cow's Ice CreamLocation: 44 Queen Street, Niagara on the Lake
Websitehttps://cows.ca/

Cows has been a Niagara on the Lake institution since 1983, so they’re obviously doing something right.  Though in this case, I think the thing they did right was picking a location that’s right in the middle of the main road in a very touristy town.  Because the actual ice cream isn’t that great.

It’s relatively rich and creamy, so it’s certainly very, very far from the worst ice cream I’ve ever had.  But the flavour was a pretty big shrug.

Cow's Ice Cream

I got the Wowie Cowie, which is “vanilla ice cream, English toffee marble, chocolate flakes & moo crunch.”

The vanilla ice cream doesn’t taste like anything but generic sweetness.  There’s nothing there.  Plain ice cream can be amazing — the sweet cream at Ed’s, which doesn’t even have vanilla bean to fall back on, manages to pack in an impressive amount of flavour and depth.  Meanwhile, this tasted like sweet nothing.

Cow's Ice Cream

The “English toffee marble” was even worse, and there’s a lot of it rippled in there.  It didn’t have any of the rich caramel flavour you’d expect from English toffee; it was just thick and sweet, like plain corn syrup.

As for the other elements, the chocolate was fine, and the moo crunch didn’t even seem to be there (I’m not sure what it was supposed to be, but I didn’t notice anything but the caramel and the chocolate).

Quality Ice Cream and Waffles at Wooffles & Cream

Wooffles & CreamLocation: 8360 Kennedy Road, Markham (inside New Kennedy Square Food Court)
Websitehttps://www.facebook.com/woofflesandcream/

Every other ice cream joint in the city now serves Hong Kong-style waffles.  It’s a combo that came out of nowhere and absolutely exploded.  And while I don’t think that Wooffles & Cream were the first to do it in the GTA (pretty sure Bang Bang got there first), they certainly helped popularize it.

It’s still great.  They have a few different flavours of waffle that you can try; I went with the sticky toffee pudding, which is a standard waffle filled with sweet cakey chunks of the aforementioned dessert.

Wooffles & Cream

The waffle itself was as delicious as ever, with a nice crispy exterior and a creamy interior.  The bits of sticky toffee pudding were quite tasty, though they were dryer than you’d like, and not quite as sticky and sweet as you might hope from that particular dessert.

Wooffles & Cream

There were also a few chewy mochi bits interspersed throughout, which were an interesting addition.

The ice cream itself (I got vanilla — earl gray was also an option) was nothing special, but the quality is decent and it’s certainly an addictive combo with the waffle.

Decent Dipped Cones at Chocolats Favoris

Chocolats FavorisLocation: 1440 Major MacKenzie Drive West, Vaughan
Websitehttps://www.chocolatsfavoris.com/

If you want a dipped cone in the Toronto area, you’re covered.  Aside from Chocolats Favoris (which hasn’t expanded to the city quite yet), you’ve got relatively new places like Sweet Jesus, La Diperie, and Hollywood Cone, not to mention old standbys like Tom’s Dairy Freeze and the always-reliable Dairy Queen.

Note to all future restaurateurs: we’re all good for dipped cones.  May I suggest you open a frozen custard joint?  Or maybe a traditional sundae shop?

Chocolats Favoris

Chocolats Favoris (which is a Quebecois import, as you might infer from the name) sells dipped cones with a particular emphasis on the chocolatey dips; they’ve got about a dozen you can choose from, which you can either have as a plain dip, or in one of their customized combinations.

I went with the latter, and got the Hazelnut Praline, featuring vanilla ice cream with a chocolate hazelnut dip, hazelnut pieces, and dark chocolate sauce.  It’s garnished with a Ferrero Rocher-esque confection.

Chocolats Favoris

The chocolate hazelnut dip was quite tasty, which is good because there was a lot of it.  I don’t know if there’s always that much or if the woman behind the counter was just feeling generous, but the sauce layer was about a centimetre thick.

It basically tasted like a slightly sweeter, less hazelnutty version of Nutella.  The texture was interesting; it didn’t get quite as crackily as your typical chocolate dip (it might have been laid on too thick to properly harden).  It was fudgy and chewy, which actually worked quite well.  It’s basically vanilla ice cream with a bunch of Nutella mounded on top.  It’s hard to go wrong there.

As for the ice cream itself, it was fine.  It was about on par with what they’re serving at Sweet Jesus, which is to say that it was tasty, but nothing special.