A couple of months ago, I decided to undertake the challenge of sampling all of the Halo Halo that Winnipeg has to offer.
For those who aren’t familiar, Halo Halo (pronounced HAH-lo HAH-lo) literally means ‘mix-mix’. The hearty dessert usually consists of a layer of sweetened tropical fruits such as jackfruit, macapuno (julienned soft coconut), Nata de Coco (coconut jellies), candied beans, and corn. The middle layer is usually shaved ice and evaporated milk, often topped by ice cream, leche flan, ube jam (purple yam), pinipig (crisped rice), and other colourful treats.
I created the hashtag #HaloHaloWinnipeg on Instagram and posted pictures and descriptions of my Halo Halo adventure. I discovered eight different eateries in Winnipeg that offer a different take on the famous Philippine dessert, presented below in the order which I visited them.
Jimel’s Bakery (471 Bannatyne Ave) – A Mix of Colour and Flavour
With a top layer of ube, flavoured jellies, leche flan, and a wafer tube, this Halo Halo had a beautiful presentation. The thick bottom layer had nata de coco, macapuno, candied beans, corn, jackfruit, and more jellies.
Jeepney Restaurant (714 Sargent Ave) – An Ube Lover’s Delight
The first thing that struck me was the lovely purple top layer with ube ice cream, some regular ube, leche flan, and a sprinkling of pinipig (crisped rice). The bottom layer had candied beans, jackfruit, and nata de coco.
Asia City (519 Sargent Ave) – A Fresh Approach
Although there are three locations in the city, I only tried the Halo Halo at the Sargent site. Topped with pinipig, the milk in the icy layer seemed to be a sweetened regular milk as opposed to evaporated milk. The bottom layer contained candied beans, a variety of flavoured jellies, tapioca pearls, and slices of avocado which added a creamy freshness.
Green Ninja Eatery & Bakery (240 McPhillips St) – A Sweet Treat
The toppings on this Halo Halo were phenomenal with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, ube, red nata de coco, a pretty rectangle of leche flan, and ube frosted pinipig, which delightfully reminded me of the frosted cereals of my childhood. The bottom layer had candied beans, jackfruit, white nata de coco, and corn.
Supreme Ice Cream Shoppe (11295 Jefferson Ave) – We All Scream for Ice Cream
Loaded with vanilla and ube ice cream and a wafer tube, this Halo Halo was a summer delight. The bottom layer was full of candied beans, pinipig, tapioca pearls, red nata de coco, macapuno, ube, leche flan, jackfruit, and small bits of what tasted like sweet plantain.
Juvian’s Catering (506 Notre Dame Ave) – Love That Leche Flan
The top was colourful with vanilla ice cream, sweet ube, red nata de coco, pinipig and a good amount of ultra-creamy leche flan. The bottom layer was loaded with candied beans and chickpeas, corn, more nata de coco, jackfruit, macapuno, and chunks of cassava (sweet white yam), which was a unique addition.
Mangkok International Cuisine (1075 Nore Dame) – When Size Matters
By far, the largest serving of Halo Halo, the take-out version was presented in a 32oz container that could easily feed two or more people. A straightforward take on Halo Halo, the top had ice cream, corn and ube, while the bottom layer had candied beans, nata de coco, jackfruit, macapuno, and palm fruit.
La Merage Restaurant (99 Isabel St) – Turon Meets Halo Halo
Topped with vanilla ice cream and a generous amount of velvety leche flan, bottom layer was laden with candied chickpeas, red and green palm fruit, corn, juilliened slices of jackfruit, and large chunks of sweetened saba banana. It pleasantly reminded me of eating turon with my Halo Halo.
Let me know if there is any place that I have missed. I am always open to adding to my list.
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