Almost every customer at Rooty Hill’s Filipino dessert shop Mix Mix Co takes a photo of their dessert before digging in. Husband-and-wife team Andy and Kim Ambrose take that as a good sign.

“As a chef, I feel that Filipino food is so delicious, but I think it’s still unfamiliar in Australia,” Kim tells Broadsheet. “Dessert is fun, engaging, colourful. If we can win people’s hearts with dessert, we’re making a good start.”

Most of Mix Mix Co’s desserts fall into the con yelo category, which is Tagalog for “with ice”. There’s mais (corn) con yelo, the bright yellow kernels tinting the sweet milk and shaved ice a delicate yellow, and saging con yelo, which has the same sweet milk and ice base plus caramel-coated sugar bananas and crumbled Biscoff.

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It’s also a stop for a range of palamig drinks, which are sweet, chilled beverages that are beefed up with various jellies; the sago and gulaman, for example, has tapioca pearls with palm sugar jellies and syrup. There’s also taho, a classic street food sweet of house-made warm silken tofu custard topped with chewy tapioca pearls.

Halo-halo, Mix Mix’s namesake, is the flagship dessert. “It’s a shaved ice dessert that has layers of beans, jackfruit jellies, coconut strings, coconut gel, a smear of ube jam, ice milk, and soft serve, which is a twist of leche flan and ube,” Kim says.

The Ambroses – chefs by trade – started Mix Mix Co as a food truck in 2019, frequenting Blacktown’s Parklea Markets (where they continue to trade on the weekends). “We wanted to offer all things we really miss eating back home. These are the drinks and desserts you would get from pedlars on the streets of Manila.”

The vibrant shop opened in May in Rooty Hill Plaza, neighbouring a handful of other Filipino food businesses. It’s predominantly takeaway, but there are five small tables inside. “We also provided some stools outside, Manila-style, so people can eat halo-halo on a bangko, a stool in the street.”

Offering Filipino desserts in Australia is a powerful way for the Ambroses to connect with their culture, particular for their Australian-born children.

“We’re Filipino by blood, no matter what our nationality, and we want them to feel proud of our culture and heritage. We thought the best way to do it is with food. We thought we could make something not only they could be proud of, but future generations too.”

Mix Mix Co
5/52 Rooty Hill Road North, Rooty Hill
Entry via Weston Lane

Tue & Wed 11am–6pm
Thu & Fri 10am–7pm
Sat & Sun 10am–6pm