The concept of rolled ice cream is nothing new. You can find it in Thailand where it’s a staple to their street food culture, in Australia where they add a bunch of toppings in an effort to make it Instagrammable, and in New York where it’s a frontrunner with 10Below. Meanwhile, here in Manila, we’re just getting started.
A passion project, FLOW Ice Cream was built from scratch in the kitchen by three twenty-something corporate slaves who just happen to have a passion for desserts. Kyle Tan, Adrian Ong, and Kenric Uy met in high school, attended college together, and entered adulthood like any other business major would. But after a few years of diving into the 9-5, they decided to venture into their shared interest: Food.Kyle, on one hand, has been into homemade ice cream since his college years. Originally just for family and friends, it eventually became the source of the idea for FLOW. At the same time, the three were intrigued by the Thai street food staple of rolled ice cream because hey, who were they to resist?
Currently, FLOW has 10 flavors. There’s the sweet Honey Crunch, the banana and cinnamon infused Bananamon, and Peanut Butter Cups. If you’re feeling rich, there’s the Tsokolate-ughh (ughh because it apparently went through 6 revisions), and the bittersweet Thai Milk Tea. You can also go for the adventurous Hokkaido Sweet Corn, or the ones in season like the refreshing, sorbet-like Cocomanggas made with coconut and mangoes, and of course, the classic Avocado. I repeat: Avocado. For their all-time bestseller, it would be the Cookie Maltser made with crushed Oreos and malted milk ice cream.
We’ll let you in on a secret: The off-the-menu item called Rock Salt & Cheese is a flavor that incredibly resembles a drink from a place that rhymes with lappy hemon.Instead of relying on trends, they prioritize being unique by using authentic ingredients sourced from all around the globe—like how Hokkaido Sweet Corn is made with corn fresh from a specific store in Sapporo. Admittedly, they’re meticulous when it comes to sourcing ingredients because to them, it’s how they set themselves apart from the rest. They don’t want just any corn; they want that corn.
In FLOW, there’s no fuss with toppings. What’s mixed in the custard is to be enjoyed for what it is. Each flavor has their own customized custard to differentiate them from one another as well as adjust to the needs of the ingredients. As for its consistency—or the “rollability”, as they say—FLOW has figured out their own perfect formula. Kyle shares, “We make sure it rolls because our customers watch us while we prepare their orders. We want them to enjoy that sensory experience.”FLOW hasn’t set up shop just yet, claiming that they don’t want to be tied down to just one area. Plans of expansion are in the air as they’re getting a second machine. This way, they can participate in different events simultaneously (they do birthday parties, too). And, by the way, it takes around 2 minutes to roll one ice cream. Because of this, lines get long and the backlog stretches to an hour—but people wait. It’s that good.
Produced by Alyssa Castillo
Photography by Renzo Navarro
YOU CAN FIND FLOW IN THE GROVE SUNDAY COMMUNITY MARKET EVERY SUNDAY FROM 10AM-6PM. FOLLOW THEM ON FACEBOOK AT FACEBOOK.COM/FLOWICECREAMPH AND INSTAGRAM AT @FLOWICECREAMPH FOR MORE UPDATES. CONTACT THEM VIA MOBILE AT 0917-528-8629 OR E-MAIL THEM AT FLOWICECREAMPH@GMAIL.COM FOR INQUIRIES.