(SPOT.ph) If you live in Manila, Cebu, or Cagayan de Oro, then chances are, you might’ve already noticed this aesthetic ice cream brand. If not for its looks, then because Moonsky & Sunny has a ton of flavors—45 to be exact, we counted. Some of them are even quite novel: Amaretti e Varonnica (amaretto), B-licious (blueberry), Mango Passionfruit.
If that’s not enough to catch your attention—how can we trust you if you need convincing to eat ice cream though?—then their punny names might: Halong Day (Vietnamese coffee), Mintletoe (mint chocolate), Dark Vader (dark chocolate), and Say Cheesecake (blueberry cheesecake). The last two are crowd favorites. Prices vary per region, but a scoop goes from P69 to P89 while the 450ml mini tub (a little over a pint) ranges from P225 to P439.
A Family Affair
“Our family has been operating in the dessert space in Cagayan de Oro for more than 20 years now. My mom loves to bake and experiment with desserts so we decided to try out making ice cream one day—this was way back in 2016. We didn’t have an ice cream maker then so we made our first few batches of ice cream the traditional way! We manually churned the ice cream in a large bucket of ice. Our friends and family loved the ice cream so we decided to sell it—only for fun at first!” shares a member of the Regner family.
This little homemade experiment didn’t always start out as the aesthetic brand we know today. Sold by the scoop at the family’s convenience store, its reputation grew until they were making hundreds of pints a week.
“This gave us the courage to eventually set up our first stand-alone ice cream shop—then Freezie; we rebranded to Moonsky & Sunny in 2018—in the heart of Cagayan de Oro in late 2017. We have since then expanded to Cebu and Manila,” he said.
Each city has its own commissary, so you know you’re getting it fresh. The brand also prides itself on using only natural ingredients—no artificial flavoring or coloring here. A typical response to the strawberry ice cream would be “Wow, tinuod jud ang strawberry! (Wow, there are real strawberry pieces.)” As a result, availability does change with the day.
We ordered via the Cebu portal on the official website. After placing our order, we were told one of our flavors wasn't available in the small cup so they'd be sending a bigger size instead. The ice cream arrived on our doorstep a couple of hours later that same day.
Taste Test: Moonsky & Sunny Ice Cream
Following the family’s suggestions, we ordered a cup each of the Marmellata di Fragole (house-made strawberry jam), Dark Orange (dark chocolate with mandarin oranges), and Mount Uji (uji matcha). Dark Orange was also recommended by Michael Karlo Lim of Sugbo Mercado, one of the brand’s retail outposts.
Through some miracle of food science (read: emulsifiers), the ice cream didn’t melt despite traveling without an ice pack. (It was a good 20 minutes on a summer day.) They came in paper packaging—in line with the brand’s carbon neutral claims. Opening the cups, we expected a tiny puddle, but we were greeted by a perfectly solid, perfectly flat top.
The first thing that hit us was the strength and purity of the flavors. This was especially evident in the clarity of the matcha. The Marmaletta’s strawberry flavor was a bit milder than expected, but it had a caramelized aftertaste that was like yema. (Yes, you can detect the nuances in this ice cream.) The Dark Orange was the smoothest of the bunch; it was extra smooth. The chocolate flavor was rich, quite heavy on the palate, and the orange fragrance balanced it out nicely. We get why it’s everyone’s favorite.
The ice cream had an airy, whipped texture, but was somehow still so smooth and creamy. This is where those emulsifiers, like gums and starches, come in. Because the ice cream won’t turn into soup, you don’t run the risk of refreezing it with crunchy ice crystals (think granita) in the ice cream—even if your freezer isn’t the coldest. (Condo dwellers with tiny refrigerators know the struggle.) Despite that perpetually keeping it solid enough to enjoy as ice cream, we still recommend chucking it in the coldest corners of your freezer. The dissonance of ice cream without the risk of brain freeze just isn’t as fun—or as satisfying, especially on a hot summer day.
Moonsky & Sunny is at Sugbo Mercado IT Park and SM Seaside City Cebu. For Manila, Cebu, and Cagayan de Oro orders, it’s available online and via FoodPanda and GrabFood. For more information, visit their Facebook page or their Instagram page.
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