Stepping back in time...
I've only known about the old Magnolia place from bits and pieces my parents would randomly talk about. Once when we were in the area, I suggested going to Robinsons Magnolia, and my mom excitedly pointed out eating at Magnolia Flavor House. Wanted to walk down memory lane, maybe, but I wasn't about to say no to a good-sounding establishment I haven't tried yet.
The place was this standalone, oval structure located at the open grounds of the mall. The set-up was pretty simple, but exuded a nostalgic vibe. We opted for a table inside instead of al fresco to cool down.
The kids easily opted for ice cream and candies and went for the Thor's Almighty Crepe (P190). I didn't get to taste the crepe, but if messy little hands and ice cream for mustaches were any indication, I'd say they pretty much enjoyed this one.
A bright purple ice cream juxtaposed with a canary yellow one immediately caught my eyes and held my gaze on the white, ceramic boat in front of me. I was ecstatic to see the sliced bananas covered in chocolate syrup and drizzled with nuts in Magnolia's Banana Split (P240). I'm not a fan of too much whipped cream on anything, and so I pushed most of it to the side with my dessert spoon. Overall, I was kind of disappointed with the flavors, particularly with the taste of each one. Every variant, I have tasted better from other brands. How could this be? Memory serves that I used to love Magnolia when I was a kid. Tubs and tubs were stored in our freezer, and piling scoop after scoop in my pink Hello Kitty mug spelled happiness. Maybe it's a matter of palate change or maybe I didn't have options back then. Whatever it is, I'd rather have Pancake House's version any day. Simpler, yet the ice cream scoops were good (I believe they use Nestle).
I remember ordering Banana Overload (P175), and was quite disappointed when my order came and my first bite consisted of a cookie crumble?! I'm not really a cookie fan so the incorporation of this pastry into my beloved frozen dessert came as a not-so-good surprise; scratch that, it was a bad surprise. On top of that, the ice cream was melting, which made the cookie soft in an unpleasant way. I didn't say anything at that time since I also tasted bananas and thought maybe it really had cookies, too, which I just hadn't noticed in the menu. A second look at their menu later however, showed that cookies were only part of the Cookie Monster's--another ice cream waffle variant--ingredients; maybe the people behind the counter got confused and mixed it all up.
I appreciated the Chocolate Sundae (P75) not for the taste of its scoop, but more for its simplicity and how it is a trademark of classic ice cream parlors. The chocolate itself was okay (as I've previously mentioned, I'm not a fan of plain chocolate ice cream or plain chocolate anything for that matter), but combined with the chopped nuts that tumbled slowly down a sloping trail blazed by chocolate syrup, and the whipped cream on which a lone crimson cherry nestled, it still felt comforting. The pretzel stick was an added treat, an additional texture if nothing else.
The Four Cheese Pizza (P290) was okay, nothing unusual in this thin-crusted pie. I wasn't expecting anything more since it wasn't a flagship product anyway.
I may seem to have stepped back in time, but I figured maybe I have moved on. Apart from some new flavors they concoct every few months or so that pique my interest, Magnolia will be just that, a part of my childhood memory. That won't stop me from trying out new combinations that Magnolia comes up with, but for tried and tested ones, I'm all for Selecta. For a decade now, I've yet to find a flavor that can overthrow Selecta's Coffee Crumble from the top of my commercial ice cream list. Magnolia has the same one, but the taste very subdued in comparison. Moreover, I haven't even mentioned the artisanal ones yet---Carmen's Best, Pinkerton, Sebastian's, Merry Moo, Fog City, etc.---more than I can count, so really, mediocrity can be very fatal in this field.
Still, trying out this place was an experience. If you're a Magnolia fan, I'm sure you will love it here. I must say though, I still love their Pinipig Crunch and Twin Popsies.
Magnolia Flavor House
Spot: Ground Level Robinsons Magnolia (outside grounds), Aurora Blvd. cor. Dona M. Hemady St. New Manila, QC