There’s a certain sense of nostalgia to a really good milkshake. Served in a tall, frosty glass, they’re the epitome of decadence, innocence and fun all at once. But it’s not as simple as “make mine vanilla” these days. In fact, if you look around town, the milkshake has become decidedly grown-up and, in some cases, more than a little complex. With everything on offer from the good old originals right through to pavlova, sticky date or peanut butter and jelly, it seems that even though we gravitate towards the memories of a simpler time, we’re still reluctant to abandon our more sophisticated palette preferences.
With that in mind, here’s our pick of where to get your fancy flavoured milkshake on.
Reuben Hills – Salted Caramel ($7.50)
Easily voted one of the best milky indulgences in town, it comes in a tall, frosty cup that would put any 1950s diner to shame. Described as everything from transcendental to life changing, there’s a huge following for this salty-sweet dairy treat. But the Reuben Hills team also have a couple of other fancy flavours on the menu – so watch out for Mexican Ibarra Choc Chilli.
The Milk Bar by Cafe Ish – Miso Caramel
The queens of elaborate flavours, you’ll find Lime Time (lemon, lime and yuzu curd with finger lime caviar) and PBJ (salted peanut butter ice cream, crunchy peanut butter, raspberry and blueberry jelly) on the menu here, along with a PG-rated Pina Colada and super choc, but it’s the miso caramel that’s got our attention. Yep, you heard us: vanilla ice cream, miso and caramel.
The Boathouse Palm Beach – Chocolate
Sit back and relax on the deck in the sunshine, or nestle yourself among the florist buckets while you sip your original chocolate milkshake and feel like you’ve slipped into your childhood holiday memories. This beauty comes served in a not-so-little glass milk bottle, complete with candy-stripe straw and streaked with a stream of chocolate sauce.
Cornersmith – Peach & Rosewater
Focused on seasonal ingredients and in-house condiments and dishes, flavours here change up regularly depending on what’s fruiting. Right now they have an amazing peach and rosewater milkshake. But our hearts belong to the mulberry version, when the little berries are hanging on the branches for three weeks each year. It’s something about the way the house syrups and compots colour the milk.
Jazz City Diner – Peanut Butter Malted Milkshake
These guys have created a real deal diner experience. They use their own house-made ice cream and all their shakes come in tall glasses worthy of a Lolita remake. The classics are all here: strawberry, vanilla, chocolate and coffee. But the peanut butter malted milkshake, loaded with homemade ice cream is a winner.
Jazz City Milk Bar
It’s the same kind of deal here as at big sister Jazz City Diner, only flavours might also include coconut or raspberry as well as the much-loved peanut butter.
Chur Burger – Heilala Vanilla
The newly opened burger bar attached to Albion Street Kitchen keeps their menu tight, but it always includes a classic shake. Served takeaway style in a tall paper cup with a vivid swirl down the side, it’s all about the simplicity of good ingredients. So when you order the vanilla, it’s made with Heilala vanilla. Now that’s a vanilla milkshake as it should be.
Micky’s Café – Pine Lime Splice
Another joint with an extensive list of intense flavours. The best ones are found in the thick-shake section, so expect loads of ice cream in the mix. Sit in the courtyard and work your way through dense Malteser or cookie dough option, but we reckon a takeaway in a dome-topped cup is fun too. The pine lime splice (yep that’s pineapple juice and lime with your ice cream) tastes just like the iceblock of our childhood and you can turn it up a notch by adding choc-coated pop rocks to the topping for an extra $2.
268 Oxford Street, Paddington