Food and Drink
Posted by G. Raymond Leavold
16. Dec, 2010
Melbourne is renowned for it’s deeply ingrained coffee culture. I don’t really drink coffee, so I kinda feel left out sometimes. Sure, I’ll have a ’Cuppa Joe’ every now and then, but I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed coffee as much as others seem to. So what options do I have?
Well, it’s simple: I drink milkshakes. I admit they aren’t the most adult of beverages; while others are leaning back, sipping and savouring their lattes, I’m usually hunched over, elbows on the table, sucking through a straw with unbridled ferocity.
I feel like I enjoy a good milkshake as much as everyone else enjoys a good coffee. In fact, I think I enjoy it more, and hope to one day set off a trend of people meeting up or heading out for a milkshake instead of a coffee. Maybe franchises solely dedicated to milkshakes will spring up, like Starbucks and Gloria Jean’s, only awesome?
I’ve compiled a list of the best milkshakes I’ve had in the last few weeks—venturing to the furthest reaches of Melbourne—in order to help you all realise my dream.
The rating system I have chosen is out of 5 and based on amount of flavour, generosity of serving size and whether or not malt was used, though I warn you now that a milkshake without malt would never make this list. Anyway, here are my picks.
Though I’ve heard that the establishment is run by my mortal enemies, The Church of Scientology, the ‘Swiss Mountain Malt’ at The Pancake Parlour is a hard act to follow in the milkshake game.
Location: Take your pick. They’re everywhere.
Flavour: 5. Always maintains a balance between delicious and sickeningly rich.
Size: 4 ½ . Usually comes in a handled pint glass or a huge milkshake glass.
Malt? Yes, hence the title.
Anything else? Try putting some maple syrup in the glass when you’re nearly finished. Not that it makes it any better, really. It’s just an interesting thing to do while you’re waiting for the bill.
A charming little café located inside a garage in Kyneton, Winnebagel gets it’s name from the fact that the serving area is located in a small red caravan inside the garage. With a great lounge area, complete with vintage porno mags and an Atari for all to play, I loved everything about Winnebagel even before I had one of their milkshakes.
Location: 98 Piper St, Kyneton
Flavour: 3 ½ . Not overpoweringly strong, it reaches a nice middle ground.
Size: 4. A generous size, it comes in a metallic milkshake container.
Malt? Hell yes.
Anything else? Savour it for as long as possible. You won’t want to leave the place.
Newly opened Bianco café in West Footscray is part café, part video store, and has won my heart with it’s milkshakes and proximity to my house.
Location: Barkly St, West Footscray.
Flavour: 4 ½. Amazing. See notes below.
Size: 4. Comes in a metallic milkshake container.
Malt? You know it.
Anything else? What really sold it for me was that you can choose the flavour of ice cream used to make the milkshake. Choc-gelato milkshake, anyone? Also, drinking a milkshake whilst browsing for DVDs is pretty awesome.
The intersecting point for every single person in the city who has 25 minutes to kill until the next Nightrider doesn’t exactly sound like the greatest destination for a milkshake connoisseur. Seems as though you’d be lucky to get a Big M there, but I’m glad I took a chance.
Location: 7A Elizabeth Street, Melbourne
Size: 5. You really get your money’s worth with this one.
Anything else? Sure. What makes this one of the best is that they serve it to you in a glass and bring out the rest of the milkshake in the metallic container they made it in which—though not entirely scientifically accurate—makes it feel like you’re having 2 and a ½ milkshakes instead of just the one.
Overall: 4 ½
I guess I should confess now that I only drink chocolate milkshakes, which kind of makes this a flawed experiment. I have often tried to venture out and try something different, but whenever I get to the counter or the waitress comes swaggering over to the table, I get an overwhelming sense of nearly missing out on something great, and have to order my Old Faithful.
Where Most Milkshakes Go Wrong
Here are some common mistakes made by milkshake merchants that have ensured that they never receive my patronage again:
I can rarely overlook this one. Usually the maker has to overcompensate with extra chocolate ice cream to make it bearable. New Zealand All Natural seems to do the best Non-Malt.
Lack of flavour:
I have found that this is sometimes less to do with the stinginess of the maker and more to do with the fact that the proper care has not been taken during the blending process. Usually whilst drinking a weak milkshake, you’ll notice that a lot of the flavour is stuck to the side of the receptacle: a skid-mark of waste and disappointment.
Don’t listen to them when they tell you size doesn’t matter. Rather, remember the tagline for the 1997 movie Godzilla:
Seriously, where’d the rest of the milkshake go? I bet those assholes in the kitchen are drinking it, laughing. Also, I bet they spat in it.