Hi, Sam here and welcome to the first of many food articles we here at B&C will write on our culinary explorations, which originally started as a means to try as many different nationality cuisines as possible, and to some degree continues to do so, but now both Rodney and myself try our best to sample as many weird but delicious delights the world has to offer on our monthly catch ups.
In the past we have sampled:
- Mexican Grasshoppers
- Japanese Sushi
- Polish Kielbasa
- Spanish Squid 3 ways
But today I am going to not only start our foodie Category but also my début blog entry for the site on a food that is loved and adored all over the world, Ice Cream.
Now I wouldn’t exactly call myself an Ice Cream connoisseur, but I know my way round an Ice Cream cone and have sampled many an Ice Cream flavour in the past from vanilla to lemon curd, green apple to Red Bull, Gelato to Sorbet.
For me there has always been a style of Ice Cream I have savoured to try, Nitrogen Ice Cream. Now Nitrogen Ice Cream may sound weird but it is the magic that combines science (Liquid Nitrogen) with everyone’s favourite Summer Holiday Treat (the Ice Cream).
I first learnt of the ability to make ice cream in seconds using Liquid Nitrogen, as well as Dry Ice, through Heston Blumenthal and his Scrambled Egg and Bacon Ice Cream, you can watch him make it here Heston Scrambled Egg and Bacon Ice Cream, and thought the only way I was ever going to try such an Ice Cream would be visit his Fat Duck Restaurant, with a waiting List of 2+ Months.
That is until I came across Chin Chin Labs in Camden Lock, which boasts to be Europe’s First Liquid Nitrogen Ice-Cream Parlour. After a quick conversation with Rodney, which contained DM tweets along the lines of “@Isemann Nitro Ice Cream?” “@Seagles777 Yes Please”, we arranged a visit with curiosity.
From the outside the parlour is small & blends in nicely with the surrounding shops right under Camden Lock bridge. Inside was small but kitted out like a Laboratory, with Beakers, Test Tubes and staff in Lab coats, not to mention 3 massive cylinders filled with Liquid Nitrogen.
After what seemed like and age of umming and ermming over what flavour and topping we were both going to have we settled on the following:
- Rodney: Vanilla with caramel pretzel & green tea peanut brittle
- Sam: Raspberry Waffle Cone (i.e no cone, but the Ice Cream tastes like Raspberry Waffle Cone) with Chocolate dipped Potato Chips and Griddled White Chocolate
I can’t speak for Rodney, though he says the Green Tea Peanut Brittle was excellent, but I can describe my experience with the Raspberry Waffle Cone. Easiest way to describe it is to imagine the best raspberry ripple Ice Cream you have had, double the intense raspberry flavour, scoop it into a couple of waffle cones and then you come close to the flavour of the Ice Cream, and thats before you are hit with the silky smoothness of the quick frozen Ice Cream courtesy of the Nitrogen.
Freezing Ice Cream with Liquid Nitrogen allows the Ice Cream to freeze so fast that it doesn’t allow any ice crystals to form, allowing the Ice Cream to stay silk smooth and intense in flavour.
The griddled white chocolate complements the Ice Cream in a way that only white chocolate and raspberry do, but with an added smokiness from the griddling, while the white chocolate dipped potato chip introduces a crunchy and salty undertone.
Would we visit again? In a heart beat.
Whilst the selection is small, only 4 flavours, one of which is a weekly special, coupled with 10 or so topping choices and 4 sauce choices, it is still a difficult decision to make as you want to try them all in one go but know you want to savour the taste and have a reason to return for more. and at £3.95 for Nitro Ice Cream not a bad price either. Bring on the Summer!
If you would like to try Chin Chin Labs for yourself you can find them here: