*header photo credits to Yolkin
Yolkin is not just an ordinary ice cream shop in London. It specialises in ice cream sandwiches, more specifically macaroon ice cream sandwiches which has been a complete game-changer and has brought the concept to a whole new level.
Back to their pop-up days, Yolkin has already been sweeping the London foodie scene because it’s the first and only place serving macaroon ice cream sandwiches. In fact, they might still be the only one now. I used to stalk their social media on whereabout Yolkin would be popping up on the weekends. Fast forward a few years later, Yolkin has managed to open a shop by Rupert Street at Chinatown.
The story behind Yolkin
The story behind the ingenious idea of macaroon ice cream sandwiches comes from the excess amount of leftover egg yolks. The owner and baker behind the business, Sammie, used to make macaroons often with her daughter. As we know, macaroons use egg whites in the recipe. With all the leftover egg yolks, there comes a point where she felt fed up having to throw them away. After some research, she ended up using them to make ice cream. Then at some point, something clicked and the two have been combined together, and the rest is history.
The Soho shop is small but charming, greeted with neon lights hanging over their macaroon ice cream display. Apart from the macaroon ice cream sandwiches, you can also get just ice cream (there is a range of unique flavours available), and even a Brown Sugar Boba Soft Serve, and many more dessert creations.
Ice Cream Sandwiches
The Red Velvet was first flavour I tried from Yolkin and it was back in their pop-up days in Soho back in 2015. I’m a sucker for Red Velvet-flavoured desserts and I just couldn’t pass on the opportunity to try it in a macaroon ice cream sandwich form.
In a nutshell, it is a cream cheese frosting-flavoured ice cream folded with red velvet cake and rolled with red velvet cake crumbs. The macaroons were airy and sugary, with a generous amount of ice cream firmly sandwiched in between. The cream cheese frosting flavour tasted fairly light on the ice cream and wouldn’t feel too heavy in general. It comes in a pretty big portion and I got a little bit of a sugary hit halfway through. But I loved it overall and I’ve been following Sammie’s journey since.
Milo / Pandan / Cookies & Cream
One thing I absolutely love about Yolkin and keep drawing me back is the range of Far East-inspired flavours available. It’s not just the cliche matcha flavours (nothing wrong with that either), but really thoughtful flavouring combos that bring up fond childhood memories and a nostalgic taste of home. The Milo Ice Cream Sandwich (front) and the Pandan Coconut Ice Cream Sandwich (middle) pictured, alongside with many other unique flavours, are examples of it. The blue one at the back is the Cookies & Cream Ice Cream Sandwich.
Out of the three, my utmost favourite is the Cookies & Cream one, which resembled this one particular ice cream branch in Hong Kong that does cookies & cream flavour like no other. It’s hard to describe what’s the difference with everyone else’s cookies & cream flavour, but you just have to take my word for it that it’s the best. I haven’t been able to find the same flavour anywhere else in the world, but Yolkin has made an exceptionally similar take here which absolutely stole my heart.
The Milo flavour brought me through some childhood moments of after school moments, coming home drinking milo. Whilst not the most outstanding flavour here, it’s one to put a smile on your face if you grew up with milo. I really enjoyed the Pandan Coconut Ice Cream too. It’s got this delicate pandan fragrance that made it impossible to not love.
There are also plenty of seasonal creations for occasions like Halloween, Christmas, Chinese New Year, Mid-Autumn Festival, etc. They are seriously adorable and totally worth trying out.
If you don’t fancy a macaroon ice cream sandwich, you can go for just ice cream scoops. Pictured is the Matcha Oreo Ice Cream (top) and the Vietnamese Coffee Ice cream, which both truly impressed me.
Starting with the Matcha Oreo flavour, it’s got this delectable matcha fragrance seeping through and blended nicely with the Oreo. The matcha taste wasn’t overly strong and it’s light enough for everyone to enjoy. It also had a similar touch to the cookies & cream ice cream mentioned above, featuring that unique flavour that no other brand/shop in the world seem to replicate. Because of that, it’s got me quite obsessed over the flavour, to say the least. As for the Vietnamese Coffee flavour, it’s got a nice strong hit and a creamy touch to it. If you’re a coffee-lover, it’s a must-try.
Other flavours I’m dying to try out as well: HK Milk Tea, Horlicks, Chinese Egg Tart
*Update: In 2020, Yolkin has launched their own ice cream pints/tubes to purchase in store and take home.
Brown Sugar Boba Soft Serve
When I heard about Yolkin launching this, I just knew this is THE dessert for me. I went to their shop on the dot as they opened their doors on the launch day (April 2019) and the dessert totally made my day.
First of all, I absolutely loved the contrasting hot and cold sensation here. The tapioca pearls were freshly made and had been kept warm in the brown sugar syrup to maintain its al dente texture, hence the warmth. The soft serve was, of course, cold and was of such luscious velvety texture. It’s got a lovely touch of vanilla in it and everything just blended so well together. Honestly, I’m loss for words to describe how much I love this one.
…Yolkin is a must-visit. The macaroon ice cream sandwich concept simply wins all hearts and bellies. Their ice cream flavours are truly unique and exquisite. Who would’ve thought an ice cream scoop could offer such a fond taste of home? Yolkin is constantly pushing for new flavours and new concepts as we see over the years and is no doubt a force to be reckoned with on the foodie scene.
Nearest station: Piccadilly Circus
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