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Ice cream takes a turn for the better as signature creations headline the Häagen-Dazs Café in Oman Avenues Mall.
When an ice cream-maker has decades of experience under their belt, it’s hard to imagine them veering into any new venture that could possibly reinvent the wheel on what they’ve already perfected for years in the market.
The recipe is simple: keep serving the masses quality ice cream in a variety of decadent flavours.
But as they say, diversification is the core of any business venture – and that’s given birth to some of the greatest ice cream parlours we know and love… some of whom have even perfected the concept of mall dining for hungry shoppers looking for a quick sweet fix.
Sitting atop the line-up of Oman’s bespoke ice cream cafés is the Häagen-Dazs Café, which is an offshoot of nearly six decades of fine-tuning and perfecting its range of creamy-cold delights.
Though, we see there’s more to it than that as we enter their mall outlet in the heart of Oman Avenues in Baushar. Lined in beautiful shades of red and tastefully decorated with chic furniture, the café steals the attention of those passing by the first floor of the crowded shopping complex.
It’s also hard not to stare – or at least glance on in amazement – at their range of fresh ice creams that are lined up, ready to be scooped and coned for you.
Sitting down with a friend at the outlet on a leisurely Wednesday evening, we peer into the brand’s enticingly wide range of signature creations – some of which are exclusive to the region.
It’s hard to put a finger on what we want, but we opt on a plate of the Kenafeh Skillet, Chocolate Fondue, and a glass of the Frozen Forest Chocolate – an elaborate order for two on any given day.
The Frozen Forest Chocolate drink is the first to arrive. It’s a tall glass, filled to the brim with a blended chocolate milkshake that’s topped off with a scoop of Belgian chocolate ice cream and syrup, brownie chunks, walnuts, marshmallows, and a Ferrero Rocher stick thrown into the mix.
With no artificial flavourings to mask the original depth of the Belgian chocolate ice cream, the milkshake is a delicious intermingling of indulgences that strike the perfect balance of sweetness from the chocolate with the crunchiness from the walnuts and the softness of the fresh marshmallows. At RO2.5, it’s also a steal when you pit it against its competitors.
Next to arrive is our Kenafah Skillet. Neatly presented on a cast iron pan, the kenafah comes topped off with a generous scoop of fresh strawberry ice cream. A combo that’s unlikely to work in theory, comes together to fuse the soft tartness of the hot kenafah cheese, and the crunchiness of the kataifi (which are long, thin strands of shredded phyllo pastry) and the natural sweetness of the strawberry in the thick ice cream.
It’s a dish to savour slowly, as every passing minute infuses more melting ice cream into the kenafah, leaving behind the perfect amalgam of cold sweet cream and warm kanafeh. It’s hard to remain objective of the kenafah given how much we enjoy it; but, given the opportunity, we’d head there again for a heaping helping of this delicious dish.
Last to arrive is our Chocolate Fondue set – one of the brand’s best-sellers.
An elaborate display of presentation, the Belgian chocolate fondue is brought in a tall container and surrounded by 16 assorted scoops of ice cream, which includes Belgian chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, raspberry and strawberry sorbets, pastries (cookies and brownies), and fresh fruits.
The melted Belgian chocolate is a delight to scoop up, while the ice creams add to the sweet tingle offered by the dish. There’s enough in one fondue order to feed four people – though it’s best to keep in mind that it should be finished quickly before the ice cream melts.
It’s a blissful (and calorific) ending to our cheat day, and it’s hard to imagine us spending our hard-earned rials anywhere else but at the Häagen-Dazs Café – mainly because it offers up varieties of dishes that you just wouldn’t expect from your average ice cream parlour.
But whether it’s in the supermarket cold-case aisle, or through their bespoke Häagen-Dazs Café outlet, the brand stays true to its identity of offering ice cream and sweet dishes of unmatched quality as it looks to make its mark in an ever-demanding market.
And, given their take on signature creations that fuse flavours from around the globe, they’re definitely enroute to setting the trend for tailor-made ice cream inventions that’ll stand the test of time. Just don’t let them melt!
First floor, Oman Avenues Mall, Baushar
Opening hours: 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. (Sun to Thur); 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m. (Fri to Sat)
Contact: (+968) 2450-9333
A fresh take on ice cream sees signature dishes from the Middle East make their way onto an elaborate menu that doesn’t skimp on lip-smacking variety.
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