Food

Aqua S

Houston is home to the only Aqua S in North America, and that’s pretty freakin’ awesome.

Aqua S in Sydney has been on my foodie bucket list for the last three years. Ever since I saw that blue soft serve tip peaking out of a cloud of fairy floss on Instagram, I lusted for it and cursed my previous ill-timed holidays in Australia when it didn’t exist yet. I assumed I would need to fly to New York when they opened a location, but they came to Houston first. Thank you, Aqua S, for making my Instagram soft serve dreams come true!

The optimal time to visit the shop is on a weekday right after they open at 11am. You’ll have the best chance of finding a parking spot close to the store, and you’ll most likely be only one of a handful of people inside. No people = no line = best photo ops.

 

The inside of the shop is the an Instagrammer’s dream. The walls are painted with clouds and angel wings, a pretty chandelier hangs in the middle of the store, and there are cute telephone booths and neon signs all perfect for your soft serve backdrop needs.

 

As you walk in, you are greeted by a G'Day Mate! speech bubble and a wall of clouds.
As you walk in, you are greeted by a G’Day Mate speech bubble and a wall of clouds.

 

A chandelier hangs from the ceiling.
A chandelier hangs from the ceiling. And how cute is the back of her employee t-shirt?

 

Another view of the cuteness that is Aqua S
Another view of the cuteness that is Aqua S

 

Neon signs photo ops
Neon signs for photo ops

How to order: Choose cone or cup, choose your flavor (they rotate between 2-3 flavors every 15 days), and/or choose your toppings. I recommend the toasted marshmallows.

The flavors available to me when I visited were Sea Salt (their signature flavor and always available), Matcha (also available as a twisted flavor with Sea Salt), and Lychee (also available as twisted with Sea Salt).

The Sea Salt has a nice sweet and salty taste to it. If you are bringing the kids, be warned that they might not love it because of the bit of saltiness. The Matcha is great if you are a true fan of its intense flavor– they use the highest quality of matcha powder imported from Japan. The Lychee was probably my favorite. It tasted like I was eating the actual fruit, but in soft serve form. The cones are specially designed for Aqua S (they are more narrow than your average ice cream cone), and they’re imported from Australia. The soft serve is imported from Italy, and the Carpigiani machines that churn it all out are from Italy. During my visit, they mentioned there are only 6 of these floor soft machines in the US, and Aqua S Houston has 4 of them.

The menu. Add on a toasted marshmallow. They have their own special torch for toasting the marshmallows, and it leaves a wonderful smokey flavor.
The menu and those elusive Carpigiani machines. Add on a toasted marshmallow. They have their own special torch for toasting the marshmallows, and it leaves a wonderful smokey flavor.

 

Left: Sea Salt & Matcha with caramelized popcorn and toasted marshmallow. Right: Sea Salt & Lychee with caramelized popcorn and toasted marshmallow (plus that pretty chandelier in the back).
Left: Sea Salt & Matcha with caramelized popcorn and toasted marshmallow. Right: Sea Salt & Lychee with caramelized popcorn and toasted marshmallow (plus that pretty chandelier in the back).

 

Sea Salt soft serve with toasted marshmallow, sweet popcorn, pop rocks on top of fairy floss. This is very hard to eat. I recommend you get this in a cup instead of a cone. The fairy floss/cotton candy is super fluffy and sweet. The pop rocks are fun and bring a light popping sound to your treat (and on your tongue). The popcorn is nice and crunchy, and the toasted marshmallow is perfect with its smokey flavor and soft, sticky texture.
Sea Salt soft serve with toasted marshmallow, sweet popcorn, and pop rocks on top of fairy floss. This is very hard to eat. I recommend you get this in a cup instead of a cone. The fairy floss/cotton candy is super fluffy and sweet. The pop rocks are fun and bring a light popping sound to your treat (and on your tongue). The popcorn is nice and crunchy, and the toasted marshmallow is perfect with its smokey flavor and soft, sticky texture.

 

He likes it!

 

If you missed a flavor that’s been rotated out, there’s a chance you’ll get to taste it via their mini-tubs. Some of their standard tub flavors are durian and jackfruit. Be advised that if you want to enjoy the durian flavor, you can only do so outside the store as the fruit gives off a putrid smell (the smell fills the store even by just opening the lid).

 

Black Sesame mini-tub. Black sesame is one of my favor ice cream flavors. Aqua S's version is great-- it tastes exactly like black sesame and has a bit of grittiness to it.
Black Sesame mini-tub. Black sesame is one of my favorite ice cream flavors. Aqua S’s version is great– it tastes exactly like black sesame and has a bit of grittiness to it.

 

If you’re looking to up your Instagram game, definitely stop by Aqua S! Not only is it pretty in photos, but it tastes good, too.

 

Love that fairy floss!
Love that fairy floss!

 

Perfect photo op neon sign
Perfect neon sign photo op

 

Trying to take as many photos of this before it melts.
Trying to take as many photos of this before it melts.

 

Matcha and Sea Salt with sweet corn and toasted marshmallow
Matcha and Sea Salt with sweet popcorn and toasted marshmallow

 

One last shot of this before it starts to drip onto the floor!
One last shot of this before it starts to drip onto the floor!

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