Titas of Manila Is One of the Best Things About the New Carmen's Best Ice Cream Shop

Get milkshakes, sundaes, and more!

Carmen’s Best
Level R2, Power Plant Mall, Rockwell, Makati City
Open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. (Monday to Thursday), 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. (Friday), 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. (Saturday), 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. (Sunday)

PHOTO BY Jericho San Miguel

(SPOT.ph) Whether it’s to cheer yourself up after a bad breakup or to celebrate a small victory, you can always count on ice cream. And if you want to treat yourself to one of the best, you can go for homegrown brand Carmen’s Best. Using only fresh milk from their own farm and churning out intriguing and fun flavors, the gourmet ice cream is a favorite of many. But for owner Paco Magsaysay, there’s still a wider audience waiting to be tapped.

“When we first opened our kiosk at Alabang Town Center in June of last year, siguro 80% to 90% there have never tried Carmen’s Best,” shares Magsaysay. “And I was freaking out. So I said, ‘we need to open more kiosks.’”

PHOTO BY Jericho San Miguel

Opening the first Carmen’s Best ice cream parlor was not originally part of their plans. “I just wanted to do [business to business] selling,” says Magsaysay. “It was less problematic for me, and I could control my time. Whenever I talked with the folks at Rockwell, it was only about doing farmers' markets with them, but never a sit-down place.”

But when a space unexpectedly opened up at Power Plant Mall’s new wing and was then offered to Magsaysay, he knew it was a chance he had to take. He describes the space as "hulog ng langit.

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A sit-down nook, with a counter fashioned after traditional Filipino ice-cream carts, meant a chance to offer more than just single-serve cups of their ice cream—though they still have all their flavors on rotation for P150. “This is like our showroom,” explains Magsaysay. “I just want to make as many people as possible try our ice cream, and I want them to see what we can do with them.”

Exclusive to the ice cream parlor are their sundaes and milkshakes. The sundaes (P280) are inspired by Magsaysay’s childhood favorites and go-to combinations, subtly highlighting their excellent ice-cream bases. Plus, all their sauces are made from scratch.

Titas of Manila
PHOTO BY Jericho San Miguel

Fans of Carmen’s Best would be familiar with their habit of giving their concoctions fun names, and an early crowd favorite is Titas of Manila, whose popularity Magsaysay attributes to Filipinos' love for sweet-tart combinations. With cheese ice cream, candied almonds, figs, and an orange-saffron syrup, this sundae is a mix of sticky-sweet, salty, and zesty—a complex flavor profile any tita or tita-at-heart would enjoy.

Strawberry Shortcake
PHOTO BY Jericho San Miguel
Dark Secret
PHOTO BY Jericho San Miguel

A classic combo is the Strawberry Shortcake: the blend of Madagascar vanilla ice cream, strawberry syrup, and crushed streusel is sure to evoke childhood memories. If you want something with a strong kick, the Dark Secret with Vietnamese coffee ice cream and coffee syrup will perk you up.

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Strawberry Milkshake
PHOTO BY Jericho San Miguel

Because Magsaysay also owns Holly’s Milk (bottles of which they also offer in the store), their milkshakes (P195/regular, P345/large) have a distinctive fresh-milk flavor that makes them extra rich. Malted Milk is sure to be a favorite among kids and kids at heart with the addictive malty flavor of Horlicks, while the Strawberry has the familiar fruity tang fans of the flavor will love.

“It’s very heartwarming for me when people approach me and they tell me how our ice cream has become part of their lives,” shares Magsaysay. With the treats they have at their new ice cream parlor, we're pretty sure everyone will know the deliciousness of Carmen's Best soon enough.

Photos by Jericho San Miguel

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