Hakiki Turkish Ice Cream, Newtown

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A street vendor churn­ing a long stretchy mass was someone we encountered in Shinsaibashi in Osaka dur­ing 2011. The sig­nage sug­ges­ted the mass was Turkish ice cream, or don­durma, but none of the hoards of people walk­ing past were inter­ested in what he was selling, and so neither were we.

I’d for­got­ten all about this encounter until four and a half years, later, when Hakiki Turkish Ice Cream popped up in Newtown as being the new place for try­ing chewy ice cream, or don­durma.

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They spe­cial­ise in don­durma and bak­lava. I first vis­ited on a 40 degree day back in January — the kind where you sweat just by being out­side — so only the don­durma was on my mind.

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They have many Turkish influ­enced fla­vours with pomegranate, bak­lava, grape molasses and tahini, turk­ish delight, as well as your more stand­ard fla­vours like cacao, rasp­berry and straw­berry, water­mel­on and strawberry.

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On my first vis­it with H and K, I get the bak­lava and water­mel­on and straw­berry in a medi­um cup ($6). I’d heard good things about the bak­lava and was suit­ably impressed. It’s a honey based ice cream with bits of filo pastry and nuts through­out. The lay­ers of filo pastry give an addict­ive crisp­ness to the chew­iness of the ice cream. Even on a hot day, I found the cream­i­ness of the ice cream refresh­ing and not too heavy. But per­haps that was helped by the refresh­ing water­mel­on and straw­berry gelato. Compared to the bak­lava, the water­mel­on and straw­berry was chew­i­er — the chew­iness is addictive!

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On my second vis­it with D, N, T and DT, we get the bowl with five fla­vours ($13). It was the bet­ter option with 5 of us, with a small cup being $4.50.

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Our five fla­vours were turk­ish delight, water­mel­on and straw­berry, burnt car­a­mel, tahini and grape molasses and bak­lava. I’ve already tried the water­mel­on and straw­berry and bak­lava so –

  • Turkish delight (top) is a beau­ti­ful pas­tel pink with a subtle, but genu­ine and pleas­ant rose fla­vour. They sell rose water at the store, so I can only ima­gine that they achieve this fla­vour with it.
  • Burnt car­a­mel (bot­tom left) is a vanilla based ice cream with rib­bons of burnt car­a­mel through­out. It was recom­men­ded as a fla­vour you can’t go past and while nice, it was the least inter­est­ing of the flavours.
  • Tahini and grape molasses (bot­tom right) is a ses­ame based ice cream with rib­bons of grape molasses through­out. It has a beau­ti­ful nutty fla­vour with hints of sweet grape fla­vour akin to the taste of bal­sam­ic vin­eg­ar. H and I don’t usu­ally see eye to eye on foods, but we both agree that this is a winner.

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Without the heat cloud­ing my brain dur­ing my second vis­it, I remembered to try their bak­lava. This is the pista­chio bak­lava. It was gen­er­ous with nuts but tasted a bit too dense with the filo.

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And, of course, N and I try their turk­ish apple tea. It’s a tea that’s equal parts sour and sweet in its apple fla­vour and its sour­ness is intens­i­fied here by the accom­pa­ny­ing ice cream.

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D and T opt instead for a Turkish cof­fee. We were a bit con­fused as to how to drink this cof­fee, so the wait­ress kindly explains that you drink water to cleanse your pal­ate, then sip the cof­fee, and take bites of the turk­ish delight to sweeten the taste of the cof­fee. Importantly (although T does not heed to this part), it’s an unfiltered cof­fee so you don’t drink the sludge at the bottom.

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The first sips of the cof­fee weren’t all that pleas­ant — it was intensely gritty, like muddy water. But after let­ting it settle for a few minutes, it was a pleas­ant black cof­fee. That said, though, we’d still prefer it filtered.

Hakiki could eas­ily become a reg­u­lar haunt if it weren’t so far away. But, don­durma may be just the ice cream for hot Australian sum­mers with its a high­er res­ist­ance to melt­ing than ordin­ary ice creams that do not use salep and mastic.

Haiki Turkish Ice Cream is at 1÷6371 Enmore Rd, Newtown NSW 2042