You've gotta love a one-hit wonder. Not the musical kind, that you don't gotta love. But the dining kind, where an eatery chooses just one food they love, hones it to a fine art and doles it out identically to patron after patron — that's simplicity at its most delightful.
Aqua S's desert-island dessert is the soft serve, available on its own but ordered by everyone in line as an 'all you can eat' ($8, better name pending). This means it is crowned with a bounty of toppings a la your familiar froyo shop. Popping candy, sweet popcorn, fairy floss, grilled marshmallows — all unite to make this one very blinged up cone.
The grilled marshmallow and caramelised popcorn are the highlight here (and you do have the option to get just those two toppings, for $6.30 small/$6.80 large). The former is gooey, the latter crisp, and they both have that sweet/burnt harmony down perfectly. The popping candy is good, in so much as all popping candy is good. The fairy floss, which comes spun around the cone or cup like a ferocious halo, is there purely for the drama. In order to adhere to the cone, it's made to a strange, stiff and sticky consistency. So much so that it stuck to the wall when we took this photo.
The reason you can heap this plenitude of sugar on the soft serve, is that it's sea salt flavoured — yum. The hit of salt almost provides a balance to your topping profligacy. Almost. Sugar overload is kind of the point here. If salt doesn't appeal, a couple of alternate rotating flavour are also available — currently, lemon tea and biscotti. The soft serve is prettily piped and pleasantly creamy, though a bit pricey without the accoutrements ($3.80/$4.30).
The fun of Aqua S is indisputable. The pastel-hued Instagrams, inevitable. But will you be returning for a second visit? Unless you're a sweet tooth for whom pick 'n' mix is just a regular afternoon snack, probably not. The novelty wears out, and the sugar coma comes in fast.
Still, that first time: it's one sweet dream come true.
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