One of my favourite things about being a student at UBC is…the simulating classes? Meeting a variety of different people from all over the world? The scenic campus? Well, all of these things, but most of all: the U-Pass. I love the carefreeness of not having to worry about FareSavers or DayPasses or whatever and simply boarding the SkyTrain or bus whenever I want to, wherever I want to, and just flashing that little blue piece of paper. Early in June I had to take a trip all the way to UBC (about an hour for me) to get my U-Pass, having been away in May. Since I was out in Kits, I decided to take advantage of the situation to visit one of the many restaurants on West 4th. Sam, Dolph and I weren’t in the mood for a whole meal, so we decided to jump off near Scoop!
I’ve personally never been into the froyo craze–Qoola is pretty much all I’ve had. Well, Scoop is a somewhat more rustic venue, with a variety of clearly labelled toppings you add yourself, and four possible flavours for your froyo itself: chocolate hazelnut, mango, green tea, and raspberry (in addition to plain frozen yogurt). The four flavours are created through blending plain froyo with flavoured syrup, which means that except the plain froyo, the aesthetic appeal is pretty lacking. Ah well. As you can see, there are a variety of different toppings, ranging from fruit to chocolate chips, and also a number of syrups for you to douse your froyo in. While I liked the variety of the toppings and the fact that you can add them yourself, I didn’t like how the containers appeared to have no lids. The area didn’t appear cooled, either. While my toppings tasted fine, I can imagine some will get stale since they’re left to the open air.
I decided on the Chocolate Hazelnut, with my toppings being strawberries, kiwis, honey graham granola bits, and dulce de leche syrup. Personally, I could taste very little of the chocolate or hazelnut flavour in the froyo itself–all I could taste was the addition of strawberries. Perhaps that’s my fault, but I do believe that the chocolate should have had a more pronounced flavour. I was satisfied with the fruit, though, since it seemed decently fresh, especially considering it’d been left in a lidless container for a while. I liked the textural contrast that the granola bits provided, and I could actually taste the dulce de leche syrup, which was a plus. I enjoyed my froyo, but for the lack of chocolate flavour I tasted, I might as well have had the plain version instead. For five dollars, I thought this was an alright deal considering the portion size and the location in Kitsilano. We all agreed that you could definitely get a fuller cup of froyo at Qoola for the same price. Personally, however, I think all froyo is quite overpriced–the prime example of that being Pinkberry, which SB persuaded me to try for the first time last week. (Six bucks for a small?? Are you kidding me?) Anyways, I digress. Moving on…
Sam’s cup consisted of the Raspberry, with mango, chocolate chips, kiwi, lychee jelly, mochi, dark chocolate syrup, and raspberry syrup. Drawing on our experiences at Qoola, she commented that the raspberry flavour could have been stronger, due to their method of simply blending raspberry syrup with plain froyo. Her toppings tasted fresh, although the mango was a tad sour (although that isn’t really the restaurant’s fault). She found that the mochi was less than adequate, being neither firm nor chewy enough (echoing Dolph’s sentiments from a previous visit). For Sam, like me, Scoop! didn’t prove a solid competitor to Qoola, especially considering the price difference.
And lastly, Dolph’s cup of Green Tea, with mochi, yogurt chips, mango, graham crackers, almond slices, and white chocolate syrup. Please excuse us for the photo of something partially eaten–Dolph sat down before Sam and I did and apparently couldn’t resist digging in? Unlike Sam and I, Dolph had previously been to Scoop! and commented that the mochi, like those on her previous visit, was limp and uninspiring. She found her toppings to be a little stale, and the price a little steep for what she got. Sam and I both sampled a little of her cup, and we found a stronger taste of green tea than the chocolate hazelnut and raspberry in our cups.
I do like the overall atmosphere of Scoop! The guy behind the counter seemed friendly enough, and it’s clear the owners gave some thought to the overall decor. It had an after school neighbourhood vibe, and there’s also a foosball table and board games available for your amusement. We didn’t touch the board games, however, as they seemed a little old and…well, we’re picky people. I personally am kind of a, um, germaphobe, and don’t relish the thought of touching games dribbled on with froyo. Although this definitely wasn’t a bad visit, I think in the end, the three of us definitely preferred the corporate cleanliness and value of Qoola. Guess this is why small businesses don’t last? …Although Scoop! (with its adorable name, sign, and that enthusiastic exclamation point) could definitely prove us wrong with a couple of improvements.
2050 West 4th Avenue