Tuesday, February 23, 2010

On light ice

The temperamental weather in Sydney leaves no doubt in my mind, or all-weather catering tendencies, that climate change is doing something - I don't know what, but I don't remember summers like this as a kid.

The childhood memory of summer involves sunshine, bike rides, picnics in Centennial Park, outings to Darling Harbour and ice cream dripping down my arms. Always ice cream. It's no wonder I'm a bit of an ice cream fiend these days, but one must try to restrain the nostalgia a little, if only for the brain freeze. Saying that, I never got brain freeze as a kid because I couldn't eat ice cream that quickly; hence the sticky arms.

Red bean ice with sticky rice and green tea ice cream from
LNC Dessert House,
Sussex Street, Haymarket

In search of some refreshing sweetness one day finds us tripping down Sussex Street and directly to the last outdoor table at LNC Dessert House - an almost psychedelic Asian dessert establisment at the less bustling northern end of Chinatown, boasting colourful ices and ice creams, J-Pop (or was it K-Pop?), traditional sweets and even savoury snacks.

They've got it all for late night munchies, sweet tooth calling or any in-between meal really. And while that red bean ice with green tea ice cream isn't our order, it gives me insight as a first timer at LNC as to what's ahead of me. Initial thoughts: it looks watery. In the hot humidity of the afternoon, the melty, drippy trail of red bean ice down the table takes me back a few years(/decades).

Mango ice with mixed jellies, rice balls and mango sorbet

I'm a little taken aback with my vibrant mango ice choice - there's just so much going on although this shot doesn't show off the crazy multicoloured bean ball-like minature sticky rice balls, which were actually one of my favourite parts.

The beauty of this is that as much as I like ice cream, I can't consume three scoops of it. Furthermore, I don't like mixing my flavours - yes, I'm an ice cream separatist. However, this isn't mixing ice creams - genius! The bottom of the martini glass is filled with a mango flavoured ice slush that's not too sweet nor too heavy like two scoops could be.

And then there's jelly cubes to top it off: mango, some white one that could be vaguely coconut but maybe not, and the mildly bitter and medicinal grass jelly, which goes surprisingly well with mango ice slush. I'm a convert to this ice cream-mix-jelly-ice-hybrid-dessert-combination thing.

Black sesame ice with strawberry ice cream

We also order the contrastingly-hued black sesame ice - which pops with the creamy and strong taste of the black seeds, and is actually slightly milky with seed bits as opposed to the non-dairy, smooth mango ice - topped with a ball of speckled ruby strawberry ice cream that's utterly and pleasurably refreshing. I wouldn't have thought strawberry and black sesame as a matching combination, but this place just keeps surprising me.

The beauty of it all is that the ice is nowhere near as heavy or stomach-filling as ice cream or gelato. One could almost pretend that it was kind of healthy; if you squint and and turn your head in just the right way. And there's no melting stickiness running down your arms - sometimes it's good to be grown up.

LNC Dessert House on Urbanspoon


Kristy Sayer said...

Ooh these look really interesting, and have given me some ideas for icecream flavours I can make.
Thanks for posting :)

Lorraine @NotQuiteNigella said...

Yum! I also have trouble eating more than 1 scoop. LOL at ice cream separatist-it sounds like a political persuasion! :D

missklicious said...

I have trouble eating more than one scoop too. The trouble is, I always want to try more than one flavour!

Tina said...

Hi Kristy - Good luck with the creative flavours!

Hi Lorraine - It does; perhaps I could start a party?

Hi missklicious - The trick is to steal mouthfuls of other peoples' ice creams - as long as you know them :)

Sarah Vino said...


Leona said...

ice cream separatist lol.. i never knew such existed. I always assumed ppl loved to mix up their flavours.

Ive walked past this joint numerous times always wanted to try but hardly anyone was ever seated in there so i always went to passionflower.

Deserts look really good! Bring on the red bean!!! goddddd i love anything and everything red bean!

Tina said...

Hi Sarah - Drool-worthy, yeah?

Hi Leona - Oh no, no mixing! Eww, the melted mixed-ness... :)


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