Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Original Chinatown Ice Cream Factory

After our heavy lunch in Katz's, we decided to walk it off and head over to Chinatown to walk around. It was a pretty long walk and by the time we arrived in Chinatown, we were all tired out. Since it was a relatively hot day, we decided to go look for some Hong Kong style desserts. We were not too sure where to find a good dessert house, then Kevin remembered watching something on the Travel Channel about this place called the Chinatown Ice Cream Factory. It is said to have the best ice cream in the whole of Chinatown, in fact, some people even say the whole of Manhattan :P So, with the help of Poynt on Kevin's BB, we headed off to look for this place.
It was a good half an hour's walk (yes, we took our time and made a few stops along the way :P) before we ended up at this tiny shop on Bayard St. If there wasn't such a huge crowd standing in front of the shop as well as our GPS guiding us, we might just miss it altogether. So, here we the ever so popular Chinatown Ice Cream Factory.
As you can see from the picture, it is actually really really tiny. From what I hear, it's constantly filled with this many people and everybody doesn't mind waiting in line, just to get a taste of their ice cream. Wow! It must be really good. So, we joined in the line and waited for our turn.
While waiting for our turn, I noticed many photos of famous people/celebrities who have visited this shop. Also, there were all kinds of awards lining the walls. Looks like they were winners of City Search's "Best Ice Cream in NYC" for three consecutive years, a recipient of Zagat's Award of Distinction and they were also nominated for "Best Ice Cream" by TimeOut NY. Boy, they must have really good ice cream.
Here is part of the menu as well as some of the flavors available that day. You can get your ice cream in a cup, cone or pack them in tubs to take home (available in three sizes: pint, quart and 2 and a half gallons). If you want something different, they also have milkshakes, freezes, ice cream soda floats as well as egg creme. They are also famous for their ice cream cakes. You can order the ice cream cake in your favorite flavor or even a combination of flavors!
As you can see, they are not your regular "American" ice cream parlour. They carry a lot of Asian flavors that you cannot find in other ice cream parlours around these parts. Yes, they do have your regular Rocky Road, Mocha Chip and Oreo but they also have more exotic flavors like Pandan, Durian, Yam, Red Bean, Taro, Black Sesame and Lychee. You can check out their full list of flavors here. Not only do they have a whole lot of flavors, there are also quite a number of toppings and home made sauces to choose from. Nice!

So, what did we order? Since it was such a hot day, I decided to go with the Factory Freeze ($7.25). I got to choose a flavor (or a combination) from the whole selection of sorbets that they have and also my favorite soda (soda water, coke, root beer, sierra mist...etc) to go into the blend. I initially couldn't decide between Lychee, Longan, Tangerine or Mango-Papaya, but I went with Lychee Sorbet & Sierra Mist in the end. What a good choice! It was soooo yummy, I cannot even begin to tell you how yummy it was!! There were big chunks of lychee still in the blend (yes, even after blending!). Good stuff :D Kevin ordered a Papaya Milkshake (Reg - $6.25, Lg - $7.25). He loved it too! I took a sip of his milkshake and wow! It was so creamy and thick, really really good. Now I understand why there are always so many people in line and why some people swear that Chinatown Ice Cream Factory has the best ice cream in the whole of Manhattan! I totally agree, their ice cream is way better and different than the rest. Oh well, looks like we will have to make this our regular 'snack stop' whenever we are in Chinatown! :P

The Original Chinatown Ice Cream Factory
65 Bayard Street
New York, NY 10013
Tel: (212) 608-4170

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