OTT milkshakes with various dessert toppings have become the newest craze to hit Aussie cafes in recent months. This trend has taken the internet by storm in such a way that imitations have already begun popping up at cafes abroad in Singapore and Malaysia, in an attempt to follow behind Australia’s success.
As more and more places started offering up their own ostentatious concept of the “freakshake” – with each version trying to outdo the other in terms of wow factor – I couldn’t help but roll my eyes at the entirety. But I only thought it to be fair that I at least try one first before dissing the hype completely.
After having waffle sandwiches, Adeline and I decided to make our way up to Naughty Boy Cafe in Carlton North. For directions, take either the number 1 or 8 tram up north from Melbourne Uni and eventually you will bypass this cool cafe on Lygon St.
It is quite hard to imagine how spacious this place really is until you’ve actually been inside. The cafe is divided into two (visually distinctive) seating areas, with a coffee station located right in the center when you first walk through the door.
On the left is a more playful setting completed with industrialised lights hanging from wooden beams and a hard-to-ignore cheeky mural (above) by Melburnian street artist Michael Fikaris.
On the opposing side of the cafe, you will find exposed brick peeking through open holes in the walls and rustic wooden back rests. I especially love just how light-filled the entire cafe was.
Although their lunch items did look pretty interesting and appetising, we were still pretty full from the waffles earlier. So instead we chose to just stick with the “Insta Shakes” below:
Nutella Fudge Shake $12
For pretty much the price of a typical dessert dish at a restaurant, you can get this milkshake which comes topped with a (gluten free) brownie, white chocolate mousse, freeze dried fruits and nutella spread around the rim of the glass. The drink itself was unsurprisingly, overly sweet. But for someone with a really sweet tooth like me, it didn’t bother me at all.
However it was the brownie on top that was the real standout to me. It was warm, moist and not too sweet. I particularly enjoyed its pairing with the light chocolate mousse which I couldn’t get enough of. The freeze dried fruits on top were also a pleasant surprise to bite into.
Pavlova Shake $12
Our second shake was a blend of lime, vanilla and coconut milk with drizzled passionfruit curd around the rim. A small piece of pavlova meringue sat on top, along with some mixed fruits and strawberry fairy floss. Even though I didn’t enjoy this flavour as much (that meringue was hard to crack into!), I would certainly suggest it to those that enjoy a more lighter fruitier drink as the chocolate one can be a bit heavy.
The service here was good and the waitresses were nice enough to repeat the off-menu specials to us more than once. Even though our milkshakes did take longer than 20 minutes to come out – once we saw the final presentation, the wait time made a lot more sense.
Although this milkshake craze has certainly forced cafes to step up their game in terms of visual appeal for milkshakes all over, the pairing of its (sometimes random) toppings is a puzzling one. Although I am open to trying out other versions of the freakshakes, it’s probably safe to say that I’d just be coming back to Naughty Boy out of interest to sample their other menu items only.
As for my overall verdict of the trend, I would say just that: it’s just a trend.
Really love the interior of this place. However would only come back to try the food and not their milkshakes again.
499-501 Lygon St,
Princes Hill VIC 3054