The Times nominated it as the best ice cream parlour in England. The Observer named it as the future of ice cream. I had a cup of their decadent goodness a few years ago when they just opened up and keep on coming back for their sinfully delicious scoops whenever I have an excuse to visit Camden Town in London. The place is called Chin Chin Laboratorists and that is for a reason.
First thing what you would notice through their wide opened front windows when walking past is cylinders, beakers and bulbs. Back in the days when I visited this place first, the guys were wearing white lab coats and goggles, that made them look like real scientists. These days they switched to aprons, but that does not diminish the overall effect.
Even if you are not a big frozen dessert fan, when you see the white clouds rising in the air in the process of ice cream making, it will at least make you stop by. Chin Chin Laboratories is Europe’s first liquid nitrogen ice cream bar, where your ice cream is made to order and you watch the magic happening in front of you in the matter of minutes when the liquid nitrogen is poured into the cream base and churned with a mixer emanating white fumes.
The spectacle itself is pretty impressive to watch, but the magic continues with the first spoonful of ice cream that you taste: the texture is very smooth and the flavours simply burst in your mouth giving an incredible flavour sensation. Their classics are Pondicherry Vanilla, made with loads of real vanilla seeds and Valrhona chocolate, that does taste like rich frozen chocolate with 80% of cocoa in it. The other flavours vary seasonally, so you’ll never get bored here.
The toppings are suggested depending on your order and are equally creative. The choice range from caramel, chocolate or raspberry sauces to candied pretzels, honeycomb, grilled white chocolate, to popping candy or fizz powder in the vials. The best part is that the toppings are made on the spot too. I happened to witness a huge sheet of freshly baked honeycomb being pulled out of the oven to cool down with a divine sweet smell evolving in the air.
Do I recommended this place? Definitely. But I have to warn you: this may be the best ice cream you’ve ever had and you will have cravings for it long after you try it. Oh yeah, and you can get a perfect cup of Monmouth Coffee here. What’s not to love?Chin Chin Laboratories, 49-50 Camden Lock Place, NW1 8AF, London
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