3 scoops piled high on a black cone. Creamy black buko (coconut with activated charcoal), superb, high quality matcha, lavender-hued, almost floral ube (a purple sweet potato). Forget gelato, this is quite an experience! We’re at Mamasons, a Filipino parlour in Camden serving a gourmet version of dirty ice-cream. Understand – ice cream bought from a street vendor.
You’re definitely getting an upgrade: tropical wallpaper and lilac velvety banquette on one side, distressed tiles and round marble topped tables on the other, a statement mural, an open kitchen, plants here and there for a dash of green. Mamasons is trendy, design yet extraordinarily warm and friendly. Maybe because we’re a 5 minutes’ walk from the Stables Market, less of a crowd. Maybe because it has this community vibe that simply is heart-warming: you just want to be part of it. Teenagers stop by for a milkshake, lovers cuddle in a corner with a colourful cup and two spoons, toddler’s face light up when trying ube for the first time, locals come in a for a chat.
And of course there are foodies, looking for a new thrill. Or travellers, like me, in search of a culinary journey to dream of a new destination. First, Mamason’s black is the new cool intrigued us – black ice-cream served in a black cone, what could this taste like? The biscuity part is thicker than expected, super crunchy, a little nutty. The black coconut has this exotic vibe that immediately transports you elsewhere, the activated charcoal (make from the coconut itself) refining it somehow. We couln’t resist the idea of the bilog either: a Filipino milk bread, filled with the scoop of your choice, toasted until sealed, cut in 2. The bun is still warm, the ice-cream at perfect mellow point: still slightly firm, melting a little when in contact with the bread. It’s so good you can’t stop. Some of us will fall for the affogato. The calamansi sorbet works brilliantly for that its tangy, intense yuzu/mandarin notes matching the fruitiness of the espresso – a mind wowing combination. We’re hooked. We simply want to try every single combination possible at Mamasons >> you know where to find us!
Mamasons | 91 Kentish Town Road, Camden