Oreo Milkshake @ Reuben Hills, Surry Hills

$8.50 – 18 March 2018

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This milkshake was striking and different, mostly in the wrong way. The first thing that struck me was the lack of straw served with the milkshake. Stainless steel straws are the way to go for a sit down milkshake. Paper straws are generally bad given most of them are soggy by the end of a milkshake. Plastic straws are not the solution. No straws? The worst option of all.

This milkshake was certainly tasty to begin with. The Oreo flavour was very apparent. It was nice and cold due to a decent amount of ice cream used.

But there were many things wrong with this milkshake. It seems a big cause was how it was made. It appeared to have been blended, judging by the complete lack of bubble distribution at the bottom half of the milkshake. This is despite 3 Roband machines on display. The bottom half tasted like milk at the bottom of a cereal bowl. Overly sugary, not a lot of Oreo flavour, no froth, just terrible. At the very bottom of the milkshake were small, sugary, chocolate nibs. These should have either been fully blended or just not added in the first place.

 

4.5/10

 

Large Chocolate Milkshake @ Brown Sugar, Milton

$6.00 – 17 March 2018

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Brown Sugar’s frappistas have two Roband milkshake machines to utilise when making milkshakes, which was handy as there were plenty of milkshakes ordered on the day I stopped in. Perhaps as a result, the service speed was a little lacking.

In terms of milkshakes, there were two typical options – small and large. I note that generally this means that the only difference between the milkshakes will be the volume. However, this was not the case. Both options came in the same classic steel cup. The large size was very generous in terms of volume but far too milky. The small milkshake had a much better ice cream to milk ratio (I was able to try another person’s order). This meant poorer bubble distribution and mouthfeel for the large milkshake which was very disappointing – that said, the Roband machines meant even the large milkshake had a decent level of bubble distribution. On the positive side, both were cold and both had strong flavour.

These were solid, classic milkshakes. It is a pity they were inconsistent. Had I ordered the small, it would have scored better. But, I got the large.

7.5/10

 

Chocolate Milkshake @ Milkbar at the Lookout, Katoomba

$7.50 – 4 March 2018

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With a name that includes ‘Milkbar’, expectations were certainly high. These were elevated further by the three silver Hamilton Beach milkshake machines behind the counter. The sign promised that milkshakes were made with vanilla bean gelato (turns out you couldn’t taste the difference). The service speed was fast.

The serving size for the milkshake was very large and generous (served in a Carnivale design takeaway cup). However, first impressions count. With the (plastic) straw pulling up the bottom of the cup, the first impression was very milky. This was due to the frappista pouring in additional milk post mixing which typically results in unblended milk in the milkshake. This is poor technique and the trade off between serving size and quality of the blend was not worth it. What made this a greater shame was that the blended milkshake was very nice – strong flavour, good bubble distribution, perfect chocolate sauce flavour and strength.

7/10

Chocoholics Milkshake @ Lindsay’s Cafe, Faulconbridge

$8.00 – 3 March 2018

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The Blue Mountains offer a similar milkshake experience (at times) to inner city areas – the price and the lack of conventional flavours (chocolate, vanilla, strawberry). Lindsay’s Cafe scored 1.5 out of 2 in this respect, with the $8 ‘adult’ milkshake options closest to a traditional chocolate being ‘Chocoholics’ and ‘Minted Cookies & Cream”. The waitress offered an “intense” experience from the ‘Chocoholics’ variety but sadly over-promised and under-delivered.

The milkshake came in a mason jar with whipped cream and mini Oreo cookies on top. While the whipped cream was quite good, the Oreo cookies were quite bad (either a cheap imitation or stale). This was a bad way to top off a milkshake. In fact, the poor choice of ingredients continued with the chocolate flavouring, which was strong but did not taste very good. In addition, it was spread around the inside of the jar – this adds little value to the taste of the milkshake given it is not mixed in. The frappista should be confident enough to add the right amount of chocolate flavour to a milkshake – the customer should not be expected to mix the milkshake themselves. However, they did get the bubble distribution right.

The big chunk of ice cream at the bottom of the milkshake ensured the milkshake was at least cold. However, it was also icy in parts. The accompanying spoon was a useful addition to finish off the ice cream scoop.

5/10

Chocolate Milkshake @ The DugOut Cafe, Narrabeen

$5.00 – 25 February 2018

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This well made milkshake came in a takeaway Daintree cup. The serving size itself wasn’t the largest Daintree option and the service speed wasn’t the fastest. The milkshake itself was definitely lacking in ice cream, making it hard to get a rich, frothy mouth feel all the way through. There was a pool of milk at the bottom of the cup but a nice blend at the top. The flavouring was a chocolate sauce and was generous.

There were clear areas of improvement for the frappistas at The DugOut Cafe but it was nonetheless a very tasty, decently cold and full flavoured milkshake.

7/10

Chocolate Thickshake @ The Times Cafe, Kariong

$5.90 – 24 February 2018

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What a classic. Creamy, thick, ice cold, good bubble distribution. A milkshake machine was used. The chocolate sauce flavour was close to perfect in terms of strength. Overall, it is hard to find much more to say about this very good thickshake from The Times Cafe. The one minor issue was a very mild coffee flavour present, perhaps a leftover from an unwashed cup. But this was very mild indeed and wasn’t in every sip. The takeaway option came in a plastic cup with two plastic straws (so room for improvement there).

9/10

Oreo Cookies Monster Shake @ Shenkin, Darlinghurst

$7.50 – 10 February 2018

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Yet again, an inner city cafe making the same menu mistake. The only options for milkshakes were the ‘Oreo Cookies Monster’, ‘Brownie Bomb’ and ‘Ferrero Ro Shake’. No classic chocolate option but three chocolate related ones. I went for the Oreo Cookies Monster on this occasion.

The milkshake comes in a jar with a handle but the serving size isn’t large. The milkshake definitely tastes like Oreos but the flavour is a little weak.

When it came to bubble distribution, it was easy to tell that a blender was used. The blended ice cream sat on the top of the milkshake while bubble free milk sat at the bottom. The ice cream itself was a little grainy which was an unpleasant sensation.

The Oreo on the top was a curious addition since there was no utensil provided with the milkshake that I could use to scoop it out. Perhaps I was meant to start with the cookie, but this wasn’t made clear.

But it was by no means a bad tasting milkshake. It tasted good, it was cold and to the frappista’s credit, the ice cream ratio to milk was good (but just not mixed together enough/correctly).

5.5/10