A review of Billy Van Creamy, a hipster ice cream place in the heart of North Fitzroy, Melbourne, with an extensive vegan menu.
Billy van Creamy is on St Georges Road in North Fitzroy, Melbourne, not far from Edinburgh Gardens (which is great by the way) and just a hop, skip and a jump from the legendary Moroccan Soup Bar. Billy van Creamy is one of those hipster minimalist places with bare floors, wooden stools, reusable eat in crockery and an extensive vegan menu. They use fresh cream from micro producer St David Dairy (who knew there was a dairy in Fitzroy, and producing ethical dairy none the less!)
The kids and I were at Edinburgh Garden so decided to pop into review the place. To start with I tried the vegan peanut butter and choc chip. It was surprisingly good so I decided to get a scoop, more on that in a min. Next I tried the Expresso ice cream. It may have been because I only had a taste, but after the powerhouse of the vegan peanut butter and choc chip, the Expresso lacked a punch and staying power I would have liked, especially given its name sake.
The chocolate ice cream the kids had was a good, solid flavour. It tasted like hot chocolate which can be hard to achieve in a frozen dessert. A solid contender but perhaps not a home run.
Back to the vegan peanut butter choc chip. If you hand't told me it was vegan I would not have picked it. Unlike other vegan ice creams I've had this was rich and complex and surprisingly creamy. The only issue was the choc chips themselves. They were to small to have much of an impact and seamed to suffer from that waxyness that can plague chocolate when frozen in ice cream. The overall taste of the ice cream however is so good I'm prepared to forgive this and it did add some textural interest.
Moving onto the star of the show, the honeycomb ice cream. The honey caramel sauce swirled through the ice cream made my taste buds go to their happy place. Its oozy, singing with honey and utterly delicious. The ice cream itself was good, if a bit grainy on the aftertaste. It is crying out however for some pieces of honeycomb to give it some textural crunch.
This was liberally applied to the honeycomb sunday my husband had and would have been perfect. The caramel used to make it has been taken far enough to give those roasty bitter notes and temper the sweetness of the honey. It was so good I decided to have a go at making my own Hokey Pokey or honeycomb ice cream.
The only other real area for improvement would be the speed of service, which was a surprise given it was relatively quiet. The metal lidded barrels were pretty, but looked difficult to scoop out ice cream from. Queuing and waiting for good food seams to the hipster things these days so perhaps their regulars don't mind.
Over all Billy van Creamy lives up to the hype and and defiantly worth checking out if you're in this neck of the woods. The honeycomb ice cream is not one of their regular flavours so I highly recommend you get some before its gone.
Billy van Creamy gets 4 out of five cones.