What does the rich life taste like? The verdict is in.
I tried all four Ontario Lottery “Millionaire-Inspired” Dream Bars and ranked them on taste and presentation. (Spoiler alert: Grail Sneaker is good, but Designer Handbag is even better).
On Aug.15 the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) alongside Lotto Max debuted its “millionaire-inspired” Dream Bars. The collaboration – which also included Toronto-based ice cream shop Creamery X – is meant to give Ontarians a taste of things only millionaires could afford.
A few pop-ups have already occurred throughout the Greater Toronto Area. But none at a location where I could get my hands on one. That piqued my interest. So much so I went on a personal quest to sample all of the Dream Bars.
Field research we’ll call it, I told my editor.
After wolfing down everything from a Designer Handbag to the Grail Sneaker, I’ve made my choice.
Packaging is spectacular on Ontario lottery
Before taking a bite, gamblers – or anyone for that matter – will appreciate the packaging. For a $5 ice cream bar, the presentation exudes luxury and the millionaire lifestyle. That’s because each Dream Bar is presented in a beautifully tailored design specific to its theme.
For instance, the Designer Handbag (below) comes in Fendi’s iconic Baguette bag styling.
Meanwhile the Private Island (below) sits in a melting tropical oasis of yellow, blue and palm trees.
I know, you want to know how the Bars actually taste. But for me, this aspect of the consumer experience is also worth mentioning. Not to mention, my bars also came in a nice Creamery X bag to keep them cold.
Private Island: Presentation a summer breeze, but flavour needs work
The Private Island (above) captures the essence of its theme – and if nothing else, that should be appreciated.
A tiffany blue coating fills the outside while sprinkled toasted coconut flakes wrap around the edge of the bar. If you closed your eyes and someone said, “imagine a beach on an ice cream bar,” you’d likely think of something similar to the Private Island.
When you actually bite in, expect a classic vanilla-base mixed in with a crunchy, coconutty taste. And while the effort to integrate seawater can be applauded, the aftertaste didn’t sit well with me.
Lychee and orange blossom were also included in the tasting notes. I didn’t pick up on the former, but the latter, I did.
Overall, the bar was good but not great. If there was nothing else in the beach cooler, I’d probably eat it again.
Rare Oil Painting: Imagination lacking in design but tastes good
No one will confuse it with the Mona Lisa of ice cream bars, but the Rare Oil Painting (above) will do.
Flavourful white chocolate covers the outer layer with a thin and crispy shell. At first patrons may shiver at the idea of consuming an ice cream bar filled with olive oil and hints of paint. But I was pleasantly surprised with the Rare Oil Painting.
My main objection would be its appearance. I was underwhelmed by the bar’s “millionaire” or “rareness” feeling. It looked like someone just slapped on some food colouring.
Maybe the creators were going for the abstract look but I was looking for a Starry Night masterpiece.
Grail Sneaker: Clean design that also tastes (surprisingly) good
Rubber can actually taste…good? Yes, I think it can.
Out of all the Bars, the Grail Sneaker (above) was the biggest surprise.
A three-layered chocolate design hits your mouth as soon as you take a bite. From the laces to the tongue and outsole, sneakers have a lot of different components to them. Thus, the Grail Sneaker stringing together multiple elements simultaneously felt authentic.
Taste wise, expect something funky. Don’t worry It’s not athlete’s foot bad. But there may be a reason you smell – and not bite – your fresh new pair of J’s.
With that being said, the chocolate triad seemed to do a good balancing act with the rubber.
It works for me.
Designer Handbag: Winner in design and taste
Designer Handbags are carried with pride in Toronto. But now patrons should be equally as joyful to eat one.
Customers will immediately be drawn to Designer Handbag’s (above) beautifully dark and rich layout complete with white-candied pearls on the outside. A buttery white chocolate and licorice taste awaits on the inside. It’s smooth, flavourful and – most importantly – doesn’t overdo it.
From appearance to taste, this is the definite winner.
Ranking the Lotto Max Dream Bars
Three more Dream Bar pop-ups remain
Plenty of opportunities remain for punters to do their own taste tests. But the Dream Bars are only available, for now, in the Toronto area at the following pop-up dates and locations:
- Sept. 9: Rolling Loud Music Festival at Echo Beach
- Sept. 15 – 16: King West Neighbourhood
- Sept. 21: Post Malone concert outside the main entrance at Scotiabank Arena
For each Dream Bar ($5), patrons also get a free scannable Lotto Max code making for a great value purchase. Even if players strike out, they will be doing it for a great cause.
One hundred percent of Dream Bar proceeds go to the 2SLGBTQIA+ youth charity Friends of Ruby.