To start, I should explain that I’ve been wanting to blog about this place for absolutely aaaaaages now, but every time i’d visited over the summer it was either ridonkulously busy, or i’d found myself to be without my camera. Yup, always prepared.
Yesterday, however, I made sure my camera was definitely in my bag before heading out to Camden (with my cousin Jono) to FINALLY blog about it!!
Yes, summer is over.
No, it doesn’t matter.
ICE CREAM EVERYDAY PEOPLE!
Chin Chin Labs is not your ordinary ice cream parlour. Oh no! It’s safe to say it’s definitely more ‘lab’ than it is ‘parlour’. Why, you ask?
They serve nitro ice cream.
Cue the inconspicuous nitrogen gas tank.
Basically, all of their ice cream is prepared right in front of you simply by whizzing up the fresh ingredients in a mixer and simultaneously cooling it by means of liquid-nitrogen steam. Boom! Science!
The result being a super smooth, thick, creamy gelato-like ice cream. Oh yeaaaah.
I mean, look at that nitrogen cloud! How seriously cool is that?! Pun intended.
What I especially love, is the fact that they’ve also completely embraced the sciencey theme… with all of their sauces and toppings being stored in conical flasks/beakers/test tubes, the 5ml medicine spoons, the gas canisters/equipment – all adding to the laboratory feel of things!
So you can imagine why a science technician with a food blog would feel right at home in this place! 😉
Though, don’t be fooled into thinking it’s all style over substance! Their flavours are probably the biggest selling point for me!
Despite the small menu, you’ve got plenty of options!
The first two flavours remain constant: a flavoursome Pondicherry Vanilla, and a decadent chocolate ice cream made with luxury French Valrhona Chocolate (80%).
The third and fourth flavours change on a weekly-ish basis, and are usually something seasonal, or just something completely unique! Oh, and one will aways be dairy-free too!! Past examples include: passionfruit with chilli and lime, purple thai basil choc chip, rhubarb lemonade, mango and hot sawwce, and summer classic… green grass! Yes. Green grass.
Usually i’ll see a tweet about a bizarre new flavour, and that alone is enough to awaken my foodie senses and have me running to Camden!
The last option is ‘The Brownwich’ – an ice cream sandwich made with chewy chocolate cookies (baked fresh in the shop) and a scoop of the Pondicherry Vanilla. Nom.
As well as this, you get a free topping with every scoop… and this could be anything from heather honeycomb, caramelised pretzels, pistachio & cardamom powder, grilled white chocolate (how do you even grill chocolate?!), chocolate sauce, fleur de sel caramel……
Basically, if you want options, they got you covered.
They also do a preeeetty mean hot chocolate and various other hot drinks if you’re not a fan of cold. You can also buy their ice cream to take away, as well as buy pre-packaged toppings.
I would happily eat caramelised pretzels all day.
Yesterday, the weekly flavours were a dairy-free Caramel Apple & Crispy Sage and a Fig Jam Doughnut ice cream.
We had both.
The apple and sage was so gloriously autumnal, and unbelievably creamy for a sorbet! We topped ours with even more caramel sauce, because caramel.
The fig jam doughnut… WAS a doughnut. I mean, it genuinely felt like I was eating a sugary jam filled doughnut! But cold. I still don’t understand. Pure wizardry!
We then finished with a Brownwich, because well… it would be rude not to.
Such simple classic flavours, but so delicious!
In short, I cannot sing enough praises about this place.
The ice cream is beautiful.
The flavour combo’s are always so exciting.
The staff are lovely and will happily dance for you whilst they make your ice cream.
They will also remember that you go there pretty much every two weeks.
What? I like ice cream ok!
Go follow them on twitter (@ChinChinLabs), though I warn you… every time they tweet about an exciting new flavour, you will probably be there the next day!
And tbh, so will I.
So, see you there!