Soft-serve Seoul: Milkcow
I’ll bet my bottom dollar that if you’ve rummaged through Seoul, you’ve brushed shoulders with Milkcow at some point. The brand has managed to raise itself above the noise of Hongdae and Gangnam, as well as making itself at home in the upscale back alleys of Apgujeong. Its aim? To maintain classy simplicity all the way to ground zero: our stomachs.
At first glance, Milkcow looks like it was plucked right from a 1950s middle-America town square — it’s all smiles, milkshakes and bobby socks. The flagship store in Gangnam, however, puts a modern spin on this golden era homage; the building, composed of several floors for its consumers’ convenience, is wall-to-wall glass. Put simply, what you can see from the outside — customers taking an hour for themselves with teacup-sized frozen comfort — will entice you to walk in.
The names of the flavors add another layer of intrigue: Golden Angel? Greenlight? Snowdrop? These aren’t the typical Smurf monikers you see on menus elsewhere. Golden Angel is made with white chocolate and white chocolate syrup. Greenlight, by contrast, uses mint syrup to give it its green color, and Snow Drop includes cotton candy and jelly beans. I went for their signature flavor, the one that everyone’s craving these days: honeycomb (again). A pinch of salt and a luscious honeycomb scoop later, I was over the moon.
The flavors were all there in that first bite. “Easy to make, easy to take,” I thought. With that first spoonful of flavor, I began to suspect that Milkcow boils down to two things: milk (the obvious one) and honey. And I was right. “We’re using 90 percent organic milk for our soft ice cream, and the syrups we use are made of honey to suit our customers’ needs for a healthy life,” a representative of Milkcow explained.
It’s a quick in-and-out at Milkcow: an easy-to-eat treat on the go, and with its signature flavor keeping customers returning regularly, it’s clear that Milkcow is in this for the long run. Plus, having two of Korea’s finest faces, Lee Jong-suk and Go Jun-hee, in their advertisements? Well, that doesn’t hurt either.