Chocolate Shake @ In-N-Out, San Francisco

US$2.65 – 2 February 2018

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For a fast food restaurant, the service speed was slow. However it was a busy time of the day.

The shake was very thick and very creamy. It was actually quite hard to draw through the straw at times and this is due to the use of real ice cream, not soft serve, which is a great choice and a commendable effort for a chain. However, the reminder that this was a fast food shake came from the chocolate flavouring, which aligned more with McDonald’s than Cottees.

The serving size was not huge but the price was right.

8/10

 

Large Chocolate Thickshake @ Krispy Kreme, Sydney Central Station

$6.95 – 30 January 2018

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Krispy Kreme have historically done a great milkshake. This is to be expected given its positioning as an American doughnut and coffee house. On this occasion, I went for the chocolate thickshake and it is also very good.

The store itself had no only two prominently displayed Roband machine on the front counter, but also (what I believe was) a Hamilton Beach Triple Milkshake Mixer and a blender. Somewhat surprisingly, the blender was used for my thickshake. The reason became clear on my first sip. It was very thick, with a heavy ratio of ice cream. This meant it was also very creamy but too thick for there to be any meaningful bubble distribution (which is what you want in a thickshake). There was a lot of chocolate sauce used so the flavour was strong.

The serving sized was advertised as large and it probably scrapes in to that category (as opposed to actually just being a medium).

Overall, a good experience but left me wishing I had just ordered the milkshake.

7.5/10

 

Nutella Banana Milkshake @ Devon, Surry Hills

$7.50 – 27 January 2018

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A common mistake amongst inner city cafes is not offering a basis milkshake but overreaching by offering ‘fancy’ milkshake varieties. Sadly Devon falls squarely in this category, by offering a Banana Nutella Milkshake and a White Chocolate Macha Milkshake, but no other options. No chocolate, no vanilla, no strawberry.

The service speed at Devon was good, but there is really no correlation between speed of service and quality of milkshake. The milkshake was served in a very small glass sauce bottle (washed prior to filling fortunately/obviously). This was far too small and completely missed the mark on novelty value.

The milkshake itself was far too heavily flavoured by banana, with the nutella being hardly noticeable. In fact, it was hard to tell if it was a nutella flavour or just a plain chocolate flavour that had been added. The mouth feel was completely ruined by little chunks of banana that remained in the milkshake. Otherwise, the mouth feel was actually pretty good.

But there is no escaping the obvious conclusion for Devon. All frappistas need to learn how to master a standard chocolate milkshake before trying more ambitious options. All venues need to offer these standard options, just as they do with coffee. Devon failed on both these accounts.

3.5/10

 

Chocolate Milkshake @ Kepos Street Kitchen, Redfern

$8.00 – 26 January 2018

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While I was assured by the very friendly and bubbly waitress that the ‘Our milkshake is better than yours’ with labneh, honey, cinnamon and homemade churros was the best option on the menu, I insisted on the chocolate milkshake as this is the basis on which I can compare milkshakes across establishments and frappistas.

The milkshake came in a glass jar and the volume was small-to-medium. The flavouring was a powdered based chocolate which made for a different flavour to the typical sauce based milkshake but was still very nice. The strength of flavour was perfect and the milkshake was nice and cold. The bubble distribution was good as was the mouth feel.

However, there was a small amount of graininess to the milkshake which suggests that either the frappista used ice to get the temperature down or the ice cream itself was grainy. Ice is categorically never allowed in a milkshake – this is non-negotiable and would impact a rating severely. However, in this circumstance the graininess was hardly noticeable so I am prepared to give them the benefit of the doubt.

Overall, despite the graininess, the milkshake was very easy drinking.

7/10

 

Chocolate Milkshake @ Privé, Singapore

S$11.00 – 1 January 2018

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The first thing you will notice when browsing the Privé brunch/lunch menu is that they succeed where many other establishment often fail. The milkshake menu is a great mix of classics (chocolate, vanilla) and more ambitious milkshakes (banana nutella, Oreo cookies & cream, sticky date pudding).

The service speed wasn’t up to the same standard, but it was by no means slow. The milkshake came with a lot of embellishment in the form of whipped cream, chocolate sauce, chocolate fudge chunks, a bread sticks (!) and chocolate flakes. This was all served in a classic style steel cup but the serving size was too small (especially given the price).

But under all the cream and fudge and bread sticks was a good milkshake. It was thick, it had a rich flavour and have a good, frothy mouth feel. The straw was a thick plastic one (thick is good, plastic not so much). There was a lot of ice cream used in the milkshake which gave it a great smoothness and flavour. It was over too soon.

8/10

 

Chocolate Milkshake @ Mel’s Drive In, Universal Studios, Singapore

S$6.00 – 28 December 2017

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Mel’s Drive In, styled as a classic American 50s diner, serves up a typical fast food style, soft serve milkshake. But it wasn’t the typical thickshake you’d get at, say, McDonald’s given it had a decent portion of milk. The service was fast given how busy the restaurant was and the milkshake came in a plastic cup.

Unfortunately though the milkshake really wasn’t mixed together well and the bubble distribution was poor (it is rarely good with a soft serve milkshake). The milkshake had a strange top layer of froth which didn’t mix with the rest of the milkshake. The mouth feel was average but the chocolate flavour was decent (albeit tinged by the soft serve flavour).

If I were to compare this to a McDonald’s shake, it would score worse. It was an OK effort from a restaurant where I had low expectations to begin with.

5.5/10

 

Chocolate Milkshake @ Dubbo French Hot Bread, Dubbo

$5.00 – 26 December 2017

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Being served a milkshake in the classic ‘Daintree’ pattern paper cup is generally either a very good sign, or a very bad one. It either means you have; A) a frappista who cares only about the quality of the milkshake itself (and not its appearance) and you will get a very good milkshake or B) somebody who is likely not a frappista at all and therefore doesn’t care much at all about appearance or taste or bubble distribution.

Fortunately, despite its name suggesting otherwise, Dubbo French Hot Bread belongs to the first group. The serving was generous, there was a great balance of chocolate flavour and the bubble distribution was reasonable. The balance of milk to ice cream was too heavily weighted towards milk, but outside of this, this was a very tasty milkshake. The trendy cafes of the inner city have much to learn, starting with more effort on the milkshake and less on the appearance.

8.5/10