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I resisted for as long as I could. The current fad sweeping the city heralds from Thailand: rolled up ice cream. This had all the makings of a gimmick, so I was very surprised to find it tasting as look as it looked — at least at the Juicy Spot Cafe in Chinatown.
A handful of shops have already sprouted up across lower Manhattan, and we found ourselves at the doorstep of one of them on Labor Day weekend when Jay was away.
Juicy Spot offers some pretty enticing customized selections, along with all the basic flavors for a build-your-own creation. But no point in going conservative with something like this. In fact, the drier texture of rolled up ice cream could be a little off-putting in the form of plain vanilla or chocolate.
We had the “Unique Dragon” — a dragon fruit flavored yogurt base, topped with diced dragon fruit, strawberries and chocolate shavings. The fruit gives off this vivid hot-pink hue. But aesthetics aside, the airiness that comes with how it’s curled up after solidifying on a flat frozen slate makes the ice cream less dense–and less guilt-inducing.
It’s somewhat flaky at first, like the dippin’ dots we know all so well from the 90s and its flash-frozen texture. But then it melts in your mouth like good old fashioned ice cream, without the heaviness.
Fruitier flavors are probably the better bet, and the actual fruit bits served on top are notably fresh at Juicy Spot. Winter will be a test to see how many of these places can manage to stick around, but hopefully at least a few of them will.