Restaurant Review: After’s

Vrinda Chauhan, Asst. A&E Editor

Though a promising premise with the trendy concept of combining two of the tastiest treats—doughnuts and ice cream—into one supreme dessert, the overall quality of the treats at After’s Ice Cream left a sickly aftertaste in my mouth.

After’s distinguishes itself with the idea of stuffing ice cream into a hot, glazed doughnut. When I first heard of this, I immediately set high expectations. The warmth and subtle sweetness of a doughnut should have done nothing but complement the deep, icy flavors of ice cream. However, my experience at the ice cream parlor proved me wrong.
When I arrived at After’s on a rather chilly evening, the place was bustling. This was no surprise, as it was a newly opened shop at the popular Shoppes at Chino Hills on a Friday night. The shop itself was a bit hard to spot in the evening, as the After’s sign was not lit up outside, but the bright lights from its glass doors caught my attention. The décor inside was black and white themed, striking me as simple yet hip.

Like a regular ice cream store, After’s presented ice cream behind a glass, with the flavors colorfully written on the glass. With a scoop of ice cream, I was offered the choice of a glazed doughnut, a non-glazed doughnut, and no doughnut, along with a topping of my choice. Toppings varied from typical ones, such as caramel and chocolate, to more unique ones, such as cereal and mocha. The staff was friendly and hospitable, explaining the idea of After’s to me and allowing me to try a number of samples before finally taking my order. Furthermore, they were patient and polite, adding a more personal touch to my experience.

Out of the numerous flavors I saw behind the glass, I ordered a Jasmine Milk Tea ice cream with a glazed doughnut, called the Milky Bun, and mochi. Someone else from my party ordered chocolate ice cream with a Milky Bun and caramel topping.

My order arrived within a matter of minutes, but I was then confronted with a new problem: there was no place to sit. There were no seats or tables in the entire shop, and I was forced to sit outside to eat. This made my experience rather unpleasant, but it didn’t bother me too much. What really bothered me was the food itself.

My first few bites into the ice cream sandwich-esque dessert were simply wonderful. As expected, the doughnut did come together with the ice cream in sweet concord. I expected the whole thing to be a bit too sweet (I realized after I ordered that mochi would probably make the entire thing too sweet), but the Jasmine Milk Tea ice cream had a very creamy and mild taste, making it perfect for the sugar-infested milky bun and mochi.

However, a few minutes later, I noticed that as the ice cream began to melt, the milky bun lost its warmth and delicious flavor. I found myself holding a sticky, toppling mess. A few bites into the monstrous dessert made me reconsider what I had once considered wonderful. The ice cream was watery, and its sloppy wetness brought out the saltiness of the bun in sharp contrast. The bun particularly began to taste more like a doughy version of what I had originally tasted, ruining the taste of the dessert

I then decided to sample the chocolate-caramel bun, and I found it in a similar, if not worse condition than my own. I did notice, however, that the ice cream was impeccable. Though the Jasmine Tea and chocolate did not go well with the Milky Bun, the taste of the ice creams themselves was perfect nonetheless.

After’s is, simply put, mediocre. Though it did not meet expectations, I would return to it if I were in the area. However, I recommend visitors to pass on the famous Milky Bun and just go for the ice cream.