Like its Dharmawangsa HQ, Cold Moo’s new home in Menteng opens early at 10 in the morning, just in time for a cheeky ice cream breakfast or a pre-lunch treat.
The grey stone wall and white battlements on the exterior might’ve put a pause on longtime regulars, but stepping in, it’s clear that one has made it to the right place. Spacious and sunny, an effect made more pronounced by the massive windows up front, the interior still carries the same characteristic cool metal tones, popping graphics and the cow with bowtie mascot one expects to find at a Cold Moo shop.
Observing how much at ease the establishment finds itself in the new location, it’s hard to imagine that Cold Moo began as an online home business selling cream pudding and cookies, which then grew into a tiny ice cream shop at the now-closed Pelaspas Dharmawangsa in 2018.
“[The shop only fit] like one chest freezer, and then one regular fridge-freezer combo, an oven, a mixer and one ice cream machine. We didn’t have any employees, it was just the two of us, and we did everything in that little shop,” recalled co-founder Ali Gonzales Gunawan, who runs the ice cream business with her husband and fellow co-founder, Nick Gunawan.
Their time in the United States (Ali’s home country) heavily influences the offerings at Cold Moo. The signature swirl-style ice cream that gained the business its moment of internet popularity, for one, took inspiration from a similar product by Kith Treats in New York, a cereal bar by fashion label Kith. Ali and Nick came up with their own mixtures though; diving into their memories, evaluating ingredients that are available around them and sometimes honing into flavours that they miss from the US.
First-timers can get a pleasant introduction to Cold Moo with the Milk n Cookies, where chunks of chewy cookies from their bakeshop section complement the soft texture of the ice cream, made possible by the swirl machine. This textural play also makes it into their newly launched ice cream scoops; and highlights include the Baskin-Robbins-inspired Mint Chip, which has a satisfying crunch from the thin but generous shard-like fragments of chocolate, as well as Ali’s favourite, the Super Fudge, a full-on chocolate delight with chunks of fudgy brownies inside.
Starting from one tiny shop to occupying an entire shophouse in Dharmawangsa, and then further branching out with three additional shops (including one in Bali), Cold Moo’s journey has had its fair share of ups and downs—most prominently, leaving their comfort zone in the US.
But they make it fun and genuinely enjoy the process—and this spirit is infused into their shops and shared with their customers. At Cold Moo’s Menteng home, both Batik-clad office workers on their lunch break and small children enjoying their school holidays find mutual enjoyment in the shop’s ice cream servings. As Nick put it, “Nobody is sad when they eat ice cream.”