I was first introduced with Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream back home in Hong Kong several years ago. It was quite a huge trend at the time and everyone loved that dramatic effect of smoke surrounding the ice cream upon serving.
This photo was a place back home in Hong Kong called Soft Creme who first introduced the concept with soft serve ice cream into the Hong Kong market. It was a Honeycomb with Hokkaido Milk Ice Cream which I absolutely fell in love with.
What’s the difference between normal ice cream and liquid nitrogen ice cream you may ask. Liquid nitrogen ice cream gives better texture and flavours than your normal ice cream. It is quicker to make ice cream with liquid nitrogen – the difference is a matter of seconds versus hours for freezing time, which results in much less ice crystals to form in the ice cream. With less and smaller ice crystals, the ice cream comes out creamier. Also, a colder temperature inhibits the taste buds to pick up sweetness, therefore at liquid nitro cooled temperatures, the flavours of the ice cream are enhanced.
So there is this place called Chin Chin Labs here in London at Camden which specializes in liquid nitrogen ice cream. They only accept cash so make sure you’ve got some in your wallet before heading in. Other than selling their scrumptious ice creams, they also do coffees (provided from Monmouth!) and sell their homemade toppings in packages plus a few other products and merchandises.
Their menu includes just ice cream with a topping or ice cream sandwiches. For ice cream sandwiches they have the Brownwich (their bestseller which involves two freshly baked dense chocolate brownie cookies stuffed with vanilla pod ice cream) , Cookiewich (burnt butter caramel ice cream sandwiched between two freshly baked chocolate chipcookies), and the Warmie (a warm brownie cookie topped with a large scoop of ice cream and encased in molten chocolate which sets hard to create a chocolate shell on top).
I was rather full from all the scrumptious food from KERB so I just settled for the standard scoop of ice cream with one topping of my pick. I decided to try out their special Coconut & Kaffir Lime Ice Cream (suitable for vegans) and chose the Cinnamon Toast as my topping.
It took a little longer than usual to prep it as it just got sold out and they needed to remake a new batch. Anyhow, visually doesn’t it look stunning? I especially loved that little chip of chocolate with their brand name printed on it – smart marketing here for sure.
After the first spoon, it’s clear as crystal how Chin Chin Lab received some amazing titles such as
‘the best ice cream parlour in England’ by The Times
‘the future of ice cream’ by The Observer.
The ice cream was perfectly velvety, creamy and smooth. It was dense and absolutely explosion of coconut flavour. The ice cream was light to taste but the coconut flavour was incredibly rich and simply explosive. That intense coconut flavour actually reminds me of this Chinese dessert called Coconut Sago Sweet Soup which is my ultimate favourite since a young age. It has given me a nostalgic taste as well as an impressive mind-blowing explosion of flavour.
The cinnamon toast was super crunchy and mildly fragrant. It complemented with the coconut ice cream impeccably. It just matches with one another so well and simply bring out the best out of each other. This ice cream was simple bravo.
Every single element of the liquid nitrogen ice cream just hits the point. This is the definition of liquid nitrogen ice cream and it has truly set the trend and benchmark for the future of London’s ice cream!
P.S. I wish they can have a place to show more of that dramatic smoky effect to customers instead of having us peaking over the counter – I’m sure it’d make the whole parlour an even more attractive point 😉
My Rating: 5/5
Address: 49-50 Camden Lock Place, London, NW1 8AF