Twisted: Unserious food tastes seriously good.

The brands doing weird and wonderful things with ice cream in London

21/07/2022

Twisted: Unserious food tastes seriously good.

Article by Joanna Sarah-Freedman

05m read

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At this time of year, ice cream is a staple part of most of our diets.

Whether it actually cools you down or not is debated by experts, but what we do know is that it’s damn tasty, and a simple pleasure in the middle of our ever warming summer days.

The problem is that nowadays there are so many ice creams available that we don’t know where to start. From Magnums to Soleros to Flake 99s, there’s plenty of oldies-but-goodies in your local supermarket.

But if you’ve had one too many of those and fancy something different, there are tonnes of brands taking the humble ice cream and taking it up a notch, too.

From bubble waffles to unreal ice cream sandwiches, these are some of the best ‘alternative’ ice cream brands in London, who are changing up the game:

Milk Train

milk train ice cream

Milk Train offers seriously Instagrammable ice creams (Credit: Milk Train/ Instagram)

What could be better than ice cream, you might ask? Well, how about ice cream stuffed into a bed of candyfloss?

This experimental ice cream brand, based in Covent Garden, is literally a fever dream for Gen-Z bloggers. You cannot get more aesthetically pleasing than this.

All the soft serve scoops are as bright and colourful as they are delicious, with quirky ever changing flavours, from tropical to matcha and even Oreo.

Throw you cone around a ‘cotton candy cloud’ and you’re guaranteed to walk out with an ice cream which will be the envy of everyone you pass.

Just make sure to eat your ice cream before it melts into your candy floss and leaves a sticky mess…

Bubblewrap

oreo bubble waffle bubblewrap

Bubblewrap has become a Chinatown institution (Credit: Bubblewrap/ Instagram)

Bubblewrap set up its first branch in London’s Chinatown, and can now be found in Covent Garden and Spitalfields Market, too.

An über Instagrammable bite of hot and cold pillowy goodness, the concept is a fresh take on Hong Kong’s popular street snack egg waffles, which have been found in markets there since back in the 1950s.

A Bubblewrap is essentially an ice cream stuffed into a waffle made up of bobbly spheres, but the best thing about them is how customisable they are.

You can pick a variety of waffle flavours like original, matcha and chocolate, and there are tons of gelato varieties to stuff inside, too: think vanilla, hazelnut and strawberry shortcake. You can top your ice cream with everything from Oreos to Nutella, too.

These guys are so much more than an ice cream parlour. Intrigued? Read our interview with Bubblewrap’s founder here.

Chin Chin Labs

chin chin labs

Chin Chin uses liquid nitrogen to make its ice creams (Credit: Chin Chin Labs)

Chin Chin isn’t just normal ice cream, it’s the UK’s first liquid nitrogen ice cream parlour. Nifty, right?

Based in Camden and Soho, like mad scientists, the folks at Chin Chin basically pour liquid nitrogen over their flavoured creamy mixes before churning them into ice cream.

Expect elevations of classic flavours, like Tonka Bean ice cream (a fancy take on vanilla), Valrhona Chocolate (a richer version of normal choccy ice cream) and Burnt Butter Caramel – a truly delicious option for anyone with a sweet tooth.

Plus, there are tonnes of creative toppings like bee pollen honeycomb, truffle crumble and hazelnut sand, too.

Enjoy your ice cream in a tub (boring), or in a selection of other delicious cases, like a brownie cookie sandwich, a marshmallow-stuffed waffle cone, or griddled cookie dough.

In case you hadn’t clocked by now, Chin Chin don’t do things by halves.

Happy Endings

happy endings ice cream sandwiches

Happy Endings’ ice cream sandwiches are something special (Credit: Happy Endings/ Instagram)

You might think of an ice cream sandwich as cheap vanilla soft serve stuffed in between two slices of shit white bread, but thats not how they do it at Happy Endings.

The brainchild of highly skilled pastry chef and chocolatier, Terri Mercieca, these ice cream sandwiches are something special, with soft serve and cakey casings all lovingly made from scratch.

With products like ‘The Naughty One’ (miso salt caramel parfait between squidgy slices of chocolate Guinness cake) and Strawberry Shorty (strawberry cheesecake parfait, vanilla marshmallow and jam stuffed between shortbread), it’s quite clear why restaurants up and down the UK have snapped the brand up.

You can buy Happy Endings at a whole manner of restaurants in London (and around the UK), as well at regular pop ups and supper clubs around the city.

We spoke to Terri about Happy Endings recently, so if you wanna know more, check that out here.

Soft Serve Society

ice cream marshmallow fluff

Fancy ice cream on a bed of marshmallow fluff? (Credit: Soft Serve Society/ Instagram)

Soft Serve Society claim to serve “fun loving desserts,” and they’re not lying.

Their uniqueness comes in their bright colours and flavour combos. You won’t just find bog standard ice cream, here.

Instead, expect matcha and charcoal coconut scoops, as well as a whole bunch of seasonal flavours.

Plus, there are loads of toppings you can select, or go for a pre-made combo like ‘Matcha Madness’, made with matcha ice cream, Oreo crumbs, red bean paste & mochi balls, and ‘Espresso Yourself’, made with vanilla ice cream affogato, oreo crumbs & butter cookie. 

Best of all, you can get your ice cream served with brownies or waffles, or – our personal fave – on a bed of marshmallow fluff. What more could you want?

Find Soft Serve Society in Shoreditch’s Boxpark if you fancy trying it for yourself.

With all these options, we promise your ice cream game will never be the same again…

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