It must say something that I travel to Chin Chin Laboratorists in the dead of winter, woolly scarfed and gloved, to get my ice cream fix. I’ve been travelling to Chin Chin’s in Camden Markets for a while now. The chap who started this place is amazingly passionate about what he does and creates out of this world ice cream with a few unassuming electric mixers and huge vat of liquid nitrogen. The science bit: the use of liquid nitrogen as the freezing agent means that the scary sounding -196 degree boiling point enables a speedy freeze and resulting tiny ice crystals, creating a ridiculously smooth texture.
Our first excursion of 2013 has just taken place and, as per usual, it hit the spot. My old faithful is the deliciously rich and velvety valrhona chocolate with fresh raspberry sauce. It takes a will power to refuse that I clearly don’t possess. The creamy blend is poured into said mixer and a good glug of liquid nitrogen then added. The nitrogen fog that subsequently engulfs us makes my fellow ice cream guzzler think of Shakespeare’s three witches cauldron and me think nostalgically of the atmospheric ‘stars in your eyes’ mist, make of that what you will.
In addition to the chocolate, the other staple offering is the vanilla, beyond that it’s anyone’s guess as to the starring weekly specials. This trip they are English trifle and a kir royale sorbet. Luckily, I’m allowed a taster of the latter to try and tempt me away from my constant, it’s delicious with creaminess equal to ice cream itself. The former is ordered by my companion. The ice cream takes on the flavour of the sponge and custard and a frozen berry jelly is added to complete the interpretation. It of course tastes like the best trifle ever made (sorry mum). Previous highlights that I recall fondly include a ‘walnut whip’ concoction made of marshmallow, walnuts, chocolate and the ‘apple and cinnamon doughnut’ creation.
Ice creams are around £4 depending on the gluttony that takes hold with the toppings and sauces on offer. My London ice cream favourite hands down.