Douglas has been a professional food writer since 1986. He is also an award-winning actor and director in Community Theatre and has been for many years. His blog may be found at: www.urbaneguerilla.wordpress.com
Published June 29th 2013
Hokey Pokey, Penny a Lump
Hokey pokey penny a lump. That's the stuff to make you jump
So sang innumerable grandparents to babies ever since the nineteenth century. My own grandad when I was little would slip me a shilling with the instruction to 'Buy yourself some Hokey Pokey, boy.'
I was always happy to oblige, 'Hokey Pokey' being ice cream sold by a passing vendor from a cold box mounted on a tricycle.
The name, I am unreliably informed by the internet comes from the Italian for 'here's a little' - ecco un poco. Most ice cream in the early part of the last century was made by Italians, who make the best. The Italian for ice cream is gelato, a corruption of the Latin gelatus, which means 'frozen'.
It is, almost certainly the oldest dessert in the world, the dish going back to ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome.
None of which matters a damn when faced with a nice bowl of the cold confection.
For example, I tried the Cherry Ripe which is both actual cherries and dark chocolate in vanilla - just, wow (he said eloquently).
I also tried the cappuccino gelato, which is rich with coffee and the best of those I tasted, which is saying plenty.
As well as the gelati in tubs (hence the name) at $4.80 for a single scoop or $7.80 for a double either of the same, or two different flavours, you can get this icy deliciousness in Belgian Waffle cones, one or two scoops at the same price or on top of a freshly made, hot off the griddle waffle with cream, berries and maple flavoured syrup.
Small, as illustrated, is not that small and with syrup and cream is $6.20. With syrup and gelato $7.80.
In addition to these one can have a sundae ($8.90) of two scoops of your choice of flavour, whipped cream, and either caramel or chocolate fudge sauce and optional toppings of cookie pieces, Smarties, nuts or flaked chocolate.
Or you could try one of several cakes with cream ($6.20) or gelato ($8.90). Here my selection was Sour Cherry and Chocolate sponge with cream. It was good, but not up to the standard of everything else, being slightly dry I thought. It wasn't bad, just not quite as good as everything else.
If you are one of those rare birds that don't like sweet things and prefer savoury then you don't have to twiddle your thumbs while everyone else tells you how good everything is with their mouths' full.
Also Tubs opens very early and you would have to have a very sweet tooth indeed to eat ice cream at 7am. So instead they offer a small, tasty range of hot savoury muffins - the one I had was cheese, corn, diced bacon, sun-dried tomato and herbs - delicious.
As for drinks you have a wide selection - Gatorade, soft drinks, Monster, Spring Valley Juices and super milkshakes as well as chai, hot coffees (flat whites, long blacks, cappuccino, macchiato, latte etc.) and hot chocolate with those delicious little marshmallows.
Tubs is open til 8pm weeknights and from 10am til 'late' weekends, so you could have a burger at Alfred's over the road and finish off with a huge dish at Tubs. What a good idea.