Friday, 25 February 2011
Gelato is having a bit of a revival in London right now. Walking through Soho having ice cream after dinner suddenly seems much more fun than sticking around a noisy restaurant for dessert. Good ice cream makes me happy. But I often want something more exciting than a vanilla cone.
Enter The Icecreamists, and their new digs in London's Covent Garden.
You may remember The IceCreamists from their stint in Selfridge's last year. Matt O'Connor has now set up shop (two in fact) and we were the first to check out the new venue. First off, it's very swanky. They're going down a rock 'n' roll route, so the decor is black and glam. It feels like a cocktail bar and I like that.
They've gone for some unusual ice cream flavours too. Chilli and lemongrass was actually very tasty indeed. And the pistachio was practically inhaled by us. Creamy, artery clogging and so very yummy. Everything you want from an ice cream.
But that's not the main attraction here. The cocktails are. Certainly not cheap with prices between £9.95 and £14.95, but unique and so fun. Fancy chocolate ice cream mixed with frangelico? What about when it's spread on toasted panettone? It's every bit as sexy as it sounds. Or how about an absinthe-infused number, with the absinthe poured from a medical drip?
The highlight for us was the banoffee concoction. A mix of dulce du leche ice cream, creme de banana and a blowtorched meringue topping. So very tasty (yes, even after we'd tried everything else on the menu.
Matt has so many crowd-stopping ideas (including breast milk ice cream which will leave you guys divided, I'm sure). The ice cream is very good indeed. My only worry is that the exciting touches like the drip-pouring and blowtorching is going to massively slow things down and you're going to be left waiting a long time for ice cream. I'll come back to the Icecreamists, but I'd be tempted to pop in when it was quiet. That way I'll be sure to get the full experience of the ice cream creations.
Want to check it out for yourself? You'll find them on Maiden Lane (they've only just opened), and in a couple of weeks their second branch in the Piazza will be open too. Nearest tube is Covent Garden, but it's a short walk from Charing Cross too.