My friends know that I love Sebastian’s Ice Cream.
When it was announced that they would be opening a new branch at Ayala Vertis North, I felt a whole new excitement as well nostalgia. I discovered the brand years ago when they still had a modest outlet at SM The Block. The first flavor I tasted was based on the tibok-tibok, a rice cake from Pampanga known for the throbbing that happens while it is being cooked.
I shared the news with friends, who told me that Sebastian’s other branches at the Podium Mall and SM Mall of Asia have closed. From what I know, they still have resellers and the only other branch left is the one at Regis Center, which I have never been to; never had a reason to go there and, with one closer to my place, it’ll be a while longer before I do.
Ayala Vertis North opened on June 9, 2017. Although I visited Sebastian’s during the holiday season, it was noticeable there were so few restaurants and shops open at the mall, almost outnumbered by the seemingly unoccupied spaces. I did get lost because the mall is comprised of two buildings connected by floors that serve as bridges; I entered the one that did not have Sebastian’s, so I had to look for it. I did not see any concierge and the guards were always either on the side of the floor opposite me or at the far end.
Finally, I located Sebastian’s at the topmost floor near the cinemas. It was such a relief.
Their new look and colors are far different from the old branch at SM Mall of Asia. Rich, dark wood used on the booths, interior tables, and door played against plain plastic chairs and cream walls is beautiful. And the choice for light fixtures is interesting. But I was there for ice cream!
So, I surveyed the options and asked for tastes. While I was tempted to order new flavors or even the parfaits, I opted for one I had my eye on for months: taho in the form of a milkshake. Taho is a treat made of silken tofu, tapioca balls, and brown sugar syrup usually eaten during breakfast sold by peddlers, but because of its popularity for decades, it has been served during any time of day in a number of ways.
In its form as a milkshake, the silken tofu is mixed with ice cream producing a combo that had the most surprising texture and taste. The first few sips were weird for me. When I blended them all – even if I’m not a fan of tapioca in any form and would rather there was more of the syrup in any taho – it bore a better taste, which made me realize why it is one of their bestsellers.
Sebastian’s Ice Cream
4F, Ayala Vertis North, North Ave., Bagong Pag-Asa, Quezon City