It’s a place that excels at both their ice cream and their food, and I may have found my new favorite milkshake.
Hidden in a building on Katipunan’s restaurant row sits Picket Fence Milk & Ice Cream Bar. Once I know what I’m looking for (it’s behind Yellow Cab Pizza) and I score parking (yes!), this place is like an oasis for all my ice-cold imaginings. For one, as befits all restaurants like this, the place is cold – and I do mean, cold. Shiver I will as long as my ice cream doesn’t melt.
Done up in deep pink and robin’s egg-blue with white tables and chairs, the splash of colors coming from the ice cream spotlights the product’s importance. I can’t help but be lured there, the Technicolor display a visual feast that gets my mouth watering and sends me into a frenzy of indecision. The ice cream is from Australia and there’s quite a selection not just in flavor but type. There’s gelato – in full flavor and low fat; sorbets in scream-happy hues; and of course, ice cream. The five young owners have fun with the flavors naming them after family and friends, and notably, after members of the so-called Kikay barkada, thus: Orange Gigi (fat free orange gelato); Delle Macadamia and the upcoming Chichi Chocolate Chip.
Savories in an ice cream parlor are almost always afterthoughts – present but not meant to be paid attention to. Not so at Picket Fence. Much mention has been made of their Longsilog (P150) and Tapsilog (P160) and especially their PF Burger (P199), a signature dish. A man-sized meal this one, serving up a duo of beef patties equaling 200 grams of beefy robustness piled high with veggie garnishes and onion rings. The clever touch here is the smear of adobo-mayo on the patties that imbues the sandwich with a familiar flavor “…that I just can’t put my finger on,” until I ask the chef and he confirms that yes, it is adobo! When I’m here, the burger is slightly overdone so I recommend you make clear your preferred level of doneness. Other food items to look forward to are the Breakfast Combos – a choice of Spam, corned beef, and bacon accompanied with hash browns and toast, as well as pancakes and waffles. There are also French fry selections in all manner from Cheezy to Chilli to “Unli.”
My Bin goes weak for marshmallow anything and so we must order the S’mores (P75). The appeal of this dish is evident: not much can go wrong with marshmallows crisped up with licks from a burner, graham crackers, and oh god, help me now – Nutella. The frigid air-conditioning does quick work of chasing the heat away from the marshmallows so they’re quite cool when they reach us but their gooey insides squash into submission when pressed down. I feel that since this is an ice cream parlor after all, the S’mores would benefit from a scoop of ice cream. And hey, nothing wrong with adding a scoop or two.
I find Picket Fence’s parfaits (P137-P155) fascinating. Ice cream alternating with flavored syrups and nuts for crunch, the Banoffee Kick Parfait entices with its coconut and toffee ice creams and crown of bananas. But it’s easy to choose the Chip & Nut Parfait because it comes with white chocolate and macadamia ice cream laced with chocolate sauce and the glee that comes at the sight of brownie chunks. Everything melds well together here – a concoction of cool, creamy, crunchy with the exception of an undercurrent of caramel that’s slightly stronger than I want it to be.
Ice cream, like wine and cheese, are one of those foods that age well, provided that they’re stored correctly. I try four kinds of ice cream scooped (P60/scoop) straight from the display and served in cups, unfettered by toppings and syrups. The first photo above is that of the Meimei Mint and the aBiko Bacio, the classic combination of chocolate and hazelnut. These are quite grainy for some reason, separating instead of smoothening out when prodded with a spoon. So I try again and go for another pair (in second photo), this time the White Chocolate Raspberry and Wordy’s White Chocolate, the latter a swirl of caramel and chocolate chips. These two are an infinite improvement, velvety and of the quality that I expect from Australian-made ice cream.
I’ve been without my favorite milkshake since CBD closed down a few months ago so I’m very surprised when I try Picket Fence’s Pistachio Milkshake (P138). Pistachio is the flavor of my childhood, my ice cream of choice apart from the kiddie triad of strawberry, vanilla, or chocolate. Though it can afford to be slightly less milky, this milkshake is the stuff of my chilly sugar dreams. Sweet and cold presenting tones of pistachio, it’s like sucking down silk. And just when I think it can’t get any better, a server hurriedly places a metal canister of (more!) milkshake on the table. It’s the leftovers, she tells me. That telltale canister is really the sign that an ice cream place is serious about their milkshakes. And their ice cream.
Picket Fence Milk & Ice Cream Bar
317 FBR Arcade
Loyola Heights, Katipunan Avenue, Q.C.
(02) 242 4305
On Facebook: picketfence.milkandicecream