There's something about the way Korean ice cream tastes. Frozen and imported, these cold treats are often something savoury made into something sweet. It's a dessert flavour we've come to love, from pumpkin served with salty coconut milk custard in Thailand to the bean and corn filled ice treats of Malaysia.
The Koreans grab the whole savoury sweetie thing and pack it into ice cream, often encased in a thin wafer that helps stop the drippage on a hot humid Sydney day. We've been trying out a range over the hot months, but we've been known to scoff one or two even on a cold day.
First up, lets jump head first into corn flavoured ice cream. Lotte Sweet Corn Ice cream Sandwich, about $2.20 from Harmony Mart on Quay Street Haymarket.
There's no doubting what the shape of this ice cream is promising.
On the inside, the ice cream has a real corn flavour, a little like a toned down creamed corn. Inside of the wafer has a coating of chocolate, so when you bite into the shell you get a choco corn mix that is really something.
Lotte Screw Strawberry and Apple flavour ice block, from Harmony Mart. Popular with The Freak at Wentworth Detention centre.
The ice block is a twisted shape (the 'screw') making it easy to eat. When you bite into the red block, the inside is reveals a pale apple flavoured centre. Don't eat before you need to go for a meeting with your boss and worry the whole time you have a bright red tongue.
This one had no indication of what might have been inside except for the picture in the corner, and that wasn't all that helpful.
Not a very large ice cream, but the caramel colouring looked promising.
Biting inside, the coating was crunchy and gave way to vanilla ice cream, but at the centre was a type of rice pudding that was delicious. About $1.80 from Harmony Mart.
Simona Red bean ice cream with rice dumplings, $1.95 from Miracle Supermarket, World Square.
I took this photo with the Korean script upside down. The ice cream is a good size, not too big.
This ice cream screamed and danced and begged to bought when I saw it the first time in the freezer section at Miracle Supermarket in Newtown. The guy at the check out even admitted he had to try this one, it looked so unusual.
Lotte Cotton Cake turns out to be a kind of fluffy sweet sponge, filled with a layer of cookies and cream ice cream. The feeling when you bit in was slightly strange, the light cake didn't feel like it was going to stand up to the harder creamy inside, but it worked.
After so many creamy ice creams it was time to get some fruit on. On a hot day a watermelon ice cream looked like it was going to be a hit.
In fact, it was more than a hit, it was a super hit right out of the ballpark. The watermelon ice cream was lightly sweet, and the 'seeds' were tiny little pieces of coated nuts. When you got to the green 'rind' section, the ice cream got fruity and lime flavoured. Winner. At only $1.40 from Miracle in Newtown, this one is on the walking home must have list.
The Melona fish has always been a favourite, but this mini version by Binggrae was a great substitute. At only $1.80 it's also easy on the wallet.
Inside is just like a bungeoppang or taiyaki waffle, except this version has ice cream as well as red bean paste.
Harmony Mart is at 16-18 Quay Street, Haymarket. The ice cream fridge is by the front door as you walk in, on your right.
Miracle Supermarket is at 680 George Street in World Square. Walk to the very back of the store for a huge range of Korean and Japanese frozen treats.
Miracle Supermarket Newtown is at Shop 2, 46-56 King Street, Newtown.