MANILA, PHILIPPINES - The pop-up store that everybody awaits for is finally here in Manila! Magnum Manila opened last April 8 in the magnanimous SM Aura in Bonifacio Global City and is proudly standing along the line of the other new restaurants facing the Sky Park.
We grabbed the opportunity to visit the new "It" store during a non-working holiday, a day after it opened, to avoid the usual throng of cars flocking around SM Aura's vicinity. Yes, we may have been successful in doing so but the dessert haven was abuzzing the moment we arrived in the establishment! So much for avoiding long lines! Anyway, a diner host stands in front of the main door prior entering. She had let us decide whether we just wanted to customize a Magnum or to try out their other dessert offerings. We asked what's the difference since we were still kind of lost on what to do and she told us that the customized Magnums are only good for to-go but ordering from their menu would immediately entitle us a table to dine into. Since we want to customize our own and at the same time try their creations, we asked to be seated.
Upon leading us to our seats, a waiter immediately approached our table to collect our orders. Everything in the menu looked fine but we just settled on a plate of Rainbow Dream and a skillet of Cookie Dough; no need to overload ourselves with all their offerings since we can always go back here and try their other stuffs in the future. The moment the waiter (who they fondly call “pleasure makers”) left, we immediately fell in line to customize our own Magnum; it beats waiting for our orders to arrive and it proves to be an efficient use of our time.
The long line for the make-your-own-Magnum looks kind of intimidating, but try to fall in line first before giving up as the line moves faster than expected. With just under 10 minutes of waiting time, we already found ourselves standing in front of the line. See? It is not so bad! The cost of each customized Magnum is Php 100 and we were asked to pay the amount upfront before proceeding.
From here is where the pleasure and magic starts! As a starter, we were asked to pick three (3) toppings. This does not prove to be daunting at all if not for the eighteen (18) toppings we have to choose from, which ranges from the healthiest, like dried mangoes, to the most absurd, like chili flakes! In our case, we settled for toppings like Speculoos cookies, potato chips, gold nuggets, crushed oreos and mini mallows, which were not entirely out of the box per se but were pleasurable! After we chose our toppings, which the lady who assisted us mixed in a metal glass, she then asked us the flavor of Magnum that we would like to have: Vanilla or Chocolate. Since we wanted a more neutral flavor for us to taste and differentiate all the toppings we hand-picked, Vanilla is the more reasonable choice. As she tore up the plastic package containing our Vanilla ice cream, she asked us if we wanted it to be dipped in White Chocolate, Milk Chocolate, Dark Chocolate or their limited edition Gold. Of course we want the more regal choice of Gold! As she raised the bar up from the tub filled with golden lava, the white Vanilla ice cream bar that looked plain before was then gleaming and shimmering right before our eyes. Oooh, it looked good! She then poured immediately the toppings on both sides of the bar before the dip can even have the opportunity to freeze up and harden. After which she drizzled it up with our choice of Milk Chocolate and placed an itsy bitsy M-logo on top of it all for the final touch. That’s it! Our own Magnum creation out of 156,672 possible combinations we can make!
You can stay in this little corner opposite the customization bar for you to enjoy your creation but this space here could easily get a little crowded so I really suggest that you get a table for you to enjoy fully your Magnum.
Here are our creations: Gold Magnum bar topped with gold nuggets, crushed Oreos and potato chips drizzled with Milk Chocolate.
Another creation is this gold Magnum bar topped with the same gold nuggets, mini mallows and Speculoos cookies drizzled with Milk Chocolate. Delish!
After we got back to our table, almost immediately that our orders came in! The Rainbow Dream (Php 250) consists of a white chocolate covered vanilla Magnum bar covered in dreamy rainbow cake crumble, on a moist slice of cream cheese rainbow cake. I love how the color combination panned out, so colorful and bright! I think that this is the reason we got attracted to it in the first place.
The Cookie Dough Skillet (Php 300) composes of a warm chocolate chip cookie dough with two vanilla Magnum bars, dark chocolate and chopped pecans. This one was so sinful and sweet that we were only able to trim down an eight of the whole pan! But of course, we were successful in consuming the two Magnum bars. We just could not get enough of Magnum!
I loved the earth colors that abound the restaurant. Add to it the fact that the walls are covered in wood. Wood gives off a vibe that makes for a cozy and warm atmosphere conducive for an equally warm and friendly get-together with your long lost friends. Just make sure to visit it on a weekday to avoid having to shout at each other due to the inevitable number of enthusiastic people flocking the place on weekends.
Aside from the ambiance, the artworks around the place are also worth noticing. This artwork at the back is a gem. I was not able to make out what it was the first time I looked at it but the more I squinted my eyes and walked farther backwards, the more I was able to make out that it is indeed the Banaue Rice Terraces. It was so beautiful and very indicative of our heritage, which I strongly appreciate. I also adore the sustainability of the art as it made use of Magnum popsicle sticks.
After we have eaten our ordered desserts, we asked our Pleasure Maker to wrap up for take-home those that we could not anymore consume because of satiation. We were floored by the magnanimity of what we have eaten that’s why we have decided that this would replace our should-have-been dinner.