When the simple Magnum bar was relaunched in the Philippines around a year back, people lined up outside the 7-11s, waiting to get their hands on the expensive ice cream bar, taking Magnum Instagram selfies to the extreme just to show off their favorite flavors to friends (or that they had simply gotten to eat a Magnum bar). Now that is viral social media marketing for you!
That being said, the guys behind the Magnum brand are flexing their social media muscles once again, and invited a few bloggers, friends, family, and press people to check out what they have lined up for everyone once the store officially opens next week. One can only imagine the chaos that’ll ensue once Magnum Manila opens its doors on April 8, selling custom-made Magnum bars and special Magnum creations!
From the outside, Magnum Manila looks like it was built for Louis Vuitton, but for ice cream. The rich, dark chocolate exterior with the shiny gold logo and Fabergé Magnum bars screams luxury, yet behind the expensive-looking facade lies affordable custom ice cream bars and signature creations.
Your Magnum Pleasure Maker greets you before you go custom-crazy and quickly explains how the whole concept: First up is picking out three toppings. Go can stick to Classics (made up of almonds, crushed crushed Oreos, pistachios, etc.), Specials (freeze-dried raspberries, Biscoff cookies, gold nuggets, etc.), and for those who live on the wild side, Experimental – Parmesan popcorn, chili flakes, quezo de bola, etc.
I spied honeycomb and thought of a combination that would go great with the very Mediterranean ingredient. Greek yogurt came to mind, so I also added yogurt nibs and chopped almonds. My Magnum Pleasure Maker put everything into a cocktail shaker and gave it a good rattle around, so you don’t get too much of one ingredient with each bite.
Next up, you choose your ice cream flavor: chocolate or vanilla. All I heard was chocolate.I went with their rare Chocolate Truffle option on my first go, and went back to try combinations with the Classic vanilla on my next few tries. Yes, I went back more than twice!
Step 3 is picking out your dip. They have four flavors: milk chocolate, white chocolate, salted caramel, and dark chocolate. I went with a sweet Belgian chocolate for my first custom Magnum.
Step 4: Your Magnum Pleasure Maker will then proceed to pour half of the toppings onto your newly dipped ice cream bar while it sets, flip it over, and shake the remaining toppings on the other side.
For Step 5, you choose what flavor of ice cream you’d like drizzled on top. I went with bright gold to compliment my pale yellow honeycomb. The last touch is adding the dainty chocolate logo and voilà, I had my very own Magnum masterpiece to take Instagram photos of to share with the rest of the world!
If you’re feeling even more adventurous (or hellbent on leaving the store in an ice cream coma), you can also choose from beautifully plated dessert dishes created by award-winning and well-respected Pastry Chef, Chef Miko Aspiras.
If you’re not as big a chocoholic as I am, the Cookie Dough Skillet (Php 250) is a good choice to go with! Dig into the tray with gusto and enjoy the warm, oh-so-chewy cookie, biting into bits of chocolate chips and chopped pecans, scooping up some of the vanilla ice cream from the two Magnum bars sitting atop the tray, in the process.
Magnum Manila’s Pink Friday (Php 290) looks very flirty and feminine, presented with a generous chunk of strawberry-marbled cheesecake laid out on a bed of Speculoos tea cookie crumbles and strawberry nerds, topped with a pink chocolate dusted vanilla Magnum and strawberry coulis, surrounded by plump, red strawberries.
My personal favorite was none other than the pop-up store’s Death by Chocolate (Php 250) – a dark chocolate lava cake hidden underneath bits of fudgy brownies, holding up a chocolate truffle Magnum topped with crisp chocolate pearls and a good dusting of confectionery sugar.
The bright and colorful Rainbow Dream (Php 250) is Instagram-worthy with the white chocolate-covered vanilla Magnum bar working as a canvas for the delicate rainbow cake crumble, leaning up against a moist slice of cream cheese rainbow cake.
For my second go at creating a custom Magnum bar, I wanted to try something weird, so with a base of the classic vanilla ice cream dipped in milk chocolate, I had it topped with chili for spice, potato crisps for saltiness, and chocolate balls to just balance it all out. The result? Delicious! The salty potato crisps hits you first, the sweet chocolate and ice cream cover your tongue second, and you have a little bit of heat from the chili lingering on your tongue after, just teasing you to take another bite. On yet another go, I had vanilla ice cream dipped in salted caramel, and finished off with pistachios, quezo de bola, and chocolate balls, finished with a dark chocolate drizzle.
Much like the Magnum pop up store in Singapore (that was open for 500 days), Magnum Manila will be open a mere 12 months – a good excuse for you to keep coming back for your Magnum fix, mixing and matching ice cream bars, tops, toppings, and drizzles, ’til you come up with your perfect combination.
On the 8th of April, head for the Skypark on the fifth floor of SM Aura and seek out Magnum Manila to make your own Magnum! Aside from the dessert they are already known for, they’ll also be serving serve comfort food soon enough – amazing dishes that have been put together by Chef Him Uy de Baron (of Nomama fame). Go on and give it a go once it opens as this special place will only be around for 365 days!
Magnum Manila is located at the SM Aura SkyPark Dining, Level 5, SM Aura Premier, 26th Street corner McKinley Parkway, Taguig.