There's a tiny soft-serve stall in a Zetland shopping centre serving ice-cream that looks like it was designed to be photographed: it's brightly coloured, intricately designed and covered in textured, equally colourful toppings. But The Blob isn't about gimmicks, regardless of its attention-grabbing name. "This isn't an Instagram cafe," says the owner Stanley Anjaya.
For Anjava, and his partner (both in business and in life) Alicia Soebawa, The Blob is about providing a quality, wholesome and healthy alternative to soft-serve ice-cream.
Even the most visually intense combos – with names such as Cookie Monsta (coconut and butterfly pea soft-serve with hunks of choc-chip cookies and chocolate-peanut butter) and Blamington (Ferrero Rocher soft serve, Tim Tams, desiccated coconut and freeze-dried raspberries) – are dairy-free, gluten-free and vegan-friendly.
Broadsheet Access members get special tables at busy restaurants, tickets to exclusive events and discounts on food, coffee, brand offers and more.Find out more
While some of the toppings include Oreos and Tim Tams, most of the options to pimp your soft serve can also be found in health food isles: berries, freeze dried mandarin, various kinds of dried coconut, pistachios, quinoa puffs and more. The waffle cones, made in-house with beetroot or chia, are completely gluten-free but retain the same snap and crunch as any good gluten competitor.
"One of the things we want to do is change the image of GF [gluten-free] and DF [dairy-free]. There's a perception it's too dry, not tasty. We want to have a healthy dessert that has no compromise on taste," says Anjaya.
Apart from the soft serve being a tad denser than "regular versions" (non-GF, DF options) – and, if eaten in a certain way (i.e. with downward pressure), you might encounter cone-crumbling disasters – there's no discernable difference. The Blob is producing well-made, tasty soft serve.
And, there's much more in its future than soft serve, too. "There's nowhere right now you can get a good gluten-free waffle or pancake. We'd like to do the first GF and DF dessert bar," says Soebawa, who adds any plans need to wait until they find a permanent site.
Until March, when their Zetland pop-up finishes, it's just accidentally Instagram-worthy soft serve - that won't hurt your stomach or your conscience.