Do you Froyo?

With end of year exams approaching and dreams of warm days sitting outside with a frozen treat trickling in to students heads, Niamh O’Regan looks at Dublin’s Froyo options and where students should be visiting for their fix

IMG_0950Frozen Yoghurt, frogurt or Froyo, whichever your preferred term is doesn’t matter, what does is your preferred shop. Froyo has been quietly growing in Ireland over the past few years, and now it is quite popular, but where should you buy it? In Dublin city centre, three places spring to mind the minute you think froyo namely Póg, Yogism and Mooch.

All three are centrally located, all have different flavours of froyo, all have a variety of toppings, but which of the three is arguably, the best? In the spirit of investigative journalism, Otwo bravely decided to venture forth, and eat what is supposed to be, creamy goodness. Unfortunately, not everywhere knows what creamy goodness is.

Póg is at the end of Bachelor’s Walk, just before O’Connell Street, with a bright friendly colourful interior, potted plants, wooden benches and cushions; things only looked promising. Unfortunately this is where a lot of the positivity ended. The staff, while friendly, seemed slightly distracted. This wasn’t a problem, the yogurt however, was a major problem. Frozen yogurt came to popularity when people wanted something as creamy and as tasty as ice cream, but with a healthier reputation; maintaining the texture and flavour without the sugar. Póg did not deliver on this front, the yogurt was watery and icy rather than cold and creamy.

There were four flavours available (natural, raspberry, cookies & crème and peanut butter),the natural flavoured one is what was experienced so it is possible that the other flavours complied with the creamy standard, however as natural is the most basic form, this reviewer is doubtful of the others being up to scratch. Toppings consisted of fresh fruits, nuts and sweets but not too a wide range. An 8oz tub with three toppings will cost €4.95 and in all honesty, is not worth it. Póg also sells sandwiches salads and wraps which are all in a similar “build yourself” style, as well as teas, coffees smoothies and juices, so they needn’t be written off just yet, however it’s a no no for Froyo.

Yogism on the other hand was a much more pleasant experience. Living in George’s Street Arcade since late 2011/early 2012 it has recently expanded to another shop at the top of Dawson Street. Yogism is completely self-service, there are three tub sizes available, (8oz, 12oz and oz) and four flavours of yoghurt (natural, peanut butter, passion fruit and chocolate), in the interest of balance natural was chosen once more, but to a completely different standard. It was exactly like a 99’ in terms of terms of texture, with a slightly thicker consistency, the topping range was much wider and also self -service, so you can take as much as you choose, and the range is much more extensive than in Póg, mainly with a wider variety of confectionary.

The price of your tub is based on the weight, you get to guess before you buy and if you guess correctly your yoghurt comes to you, for free. My guess of 184g was just slightly off the mark and my 8oz tub with three toppings and raspberry coulis weighed in at 178g and came to €3.56. The staff are incredibly friendly but not overbearing in the slightest. The shop is not exactly homely but definitely relaxing, the tables and chairs are wooden and it’s all very pared back, not fussy. The only possible downside is that they only take cash, but as there is an ATM around the corner, this isn’t really an issue.

Frozen yogurt came to popularity when people wanted something as creamy and as tasty as ice cream, but with a healthier reputation

IMG_2169The last place on the whistle stop Froyo-ing of Dublin was Mooch on Dawson Street. Mooch has two froyo shops in Dublin (one in Blanchardstown S.C and the other on Dawson Street). Mooch proved equal to Yogism in both yoghurt quality and topping selection. Yoghurt flavours were natural, peanut butter, chocolate strawberry and lime and once again there was a wide range of toppings to choose from. There are four tub sizes; baby (2oz), small (5oz), regular (8oz) and large (12oz), with toppings priced at 50c each, they do however have a student discount so a small with three toppings only came to €3.50 as opposed to 4.25. There’s also a different atmosphere in Mooch, where Yogism and Póg were more relaxed, Mooch is busier, it’s a place where things are happening. It has somewhat of a nightclub feel to it, bright lights but dark paint and description. The staff are friendly, but in line with the “happening” atmosphere, they are efficient, that being said, they are very busy so they need to be. The location of Mooch at the bottom of Dawson street is also a great advantage. For any UCD student travelling through town, Mooch is probably the most accessible as it is almost directly beside the 39a, 46a and 145 bus stops on Dawson Street.

While Póg did not live up to the other two shops, there is a tough call to make between Mooch and Yogism, who both have good quality fro-yo and a good selection of toppings, almost identical in what they are. Ultimately it comes down to value for money and atmosphere. In my book, Yogism comes out on top. With the quality of the product, the staff, the friendly relaxing atmosphere and the potential of getting your yoghurt for free, Yogism is definitely the best froyo experience in Dublin, and now that they have also opened on the Stephen’s Green end of Dawson Street too, they are very easily accessible and not as expensive as you might think.