Jason Go is one-half of the team behind Manila Creamery. We’ve loved the brand since 2015, and a lot of that’s thanks to Jason’s innovative ice cream flavors. Having studied in Carpigiani Gelato University in Bologna, Italy, it’s safe to say he knows a thing or two about gelato. We asked him to recall his five most creative flavor combos—some of which you can try in their stores.
Our creative goal in Manila Creamery is to elevate traditional desserts in the form of a scoop. We’d like each product to be a new experience but at the same time a familiar one.
Jason crafted this vegan flavor right out of pastry school. “This was the most challenging flavor I ever had to make and it’s possibly my best work,” he says. He deconstructed the Filipino dessert, which was hard “because the flavors were simple, specific, and delicate.” His version is made out of caramelized coconut milk gelato, caramelized coconut curd, and sticky rice—these three bringing out the biko taste; as well as coconut oil/coconut sugar crumble and pandan for a hint of umami.
“If you taste the elements separately, you’d never think biko, but when you combine it all together you get the right flavor but in cold and creamy form.”
Cinnamon Strawberry Crumble
A few years back, a contestant from Vietnam made this flavor during the Gelato World Tour in Singapore. Jason, who was a volunteer in the event, enjoyed it so much that he recreated it and released it as a flavor in Manila Creamery for six months. It’s made up of cinnamon bark-infused gelato, strawberry compote (the chef gave him her original recipe!), and crumble. The flavors are extremely well-balanced, and the dessert itself is quite refreshing despite its dairy base.
Mangga’t Suman is one of the first flavors ever produced in Manila Creamery. It’s a good representation of the brand, as it modernizes a beloved Filipino dessert into gelato. So there’s no surprise that it’s been a crowd-favorite ever since. The flavor is made out of sticky rice gelato, mangoes, caramelized coconut curd (poured once served), and pandan. “It [was] our first dive in mixing rice and gelato. The cool thing about this is that the rice is still sticky and chewy even when the product is frozen.”
Quatro Leches Cake
Quatro Leches Cake is a deconstruction of the popular cake of the same name. It was originally a plated dessert served in a charity event, made with blood orange gel and dulce de leche mousse. But Jason wanted their customers to enjoy it, too, so they turned it into gelato and sold it in their stores as a seasonal flavor. It uses Madagascar vanilla gelato, hazelnut chocolate crumble, dulce de leche, and tres leches cake.
Roasted Milk & Cookies
Roasted Milk & Cookies is Jason’s way of taking your regular “Cookies ‘n’ Cream” flavor up a notch. It took a lot of R&D to craft this flavor, since he wanted to make “the best cookie ever.” Once he made a cookie he was happy with (which turned out to be a type of double chocolate chip cookie), he mixed it in with caramelized milk gelato.
“Cookies are already sweet to begin with so the challenge here was bringing out caramel flavor from the milk without adding more sugar into the base.”