Fine art student and freelance writer from Paris, living in London.
Published June 3rd 2017
The original nitrogen ice cream place
Chin Chin Labs ice cream is not so much an art but rather a small scientific wonder offering the perfect equation of flavours and liquid nitrogen. It was the first in Europe to serve nitrogen ice cream. Made in front of you, the ice cream is made in a machine in less than a minute. It is all very impressive.
All around, the decor recalls that of the chemist's labs with popping candy in test tubes, gourmet formulas on the whiteboard and sugar and homemade sauces in beakers. The idea is simple but appealing. A handful of flavours are offered each week - two "classics" (exquisite vanilla and decadent chocolate) and limited editions which are always creative.
Mine was inspired by Mint Julep: fresh mint, elderberry, cucumber, and whiskey. To this is an added sauce or a topping of your choice.
When you get the ice cream, the staff first advises you that it has the consistency of snow. Everything lights up at the first bite. A normal ice cream melts terribly quickly in the mouth, leaving a taste of cream and sugar. Here, the texture is more united, giving you time to roll it in your mouth, to enjoy its freshness and aroma.
If you're not a fan of ice cream, Chin Chin Labs also offers an amazing hot chocolate, which is very dense and covered with melted marshmallows. Aside from the simple ice cream, they now also have ice cream sandwiches, with their famous ice cream in between two cookies. They also have sundaes and vegan ice cream.
If the restaurant is too crowded, as it usually is, you can go enjoy your treat on the edges of the canal, which is a stone's throw away. You could also eat it while cruising through the Camden stalls but it's better to completely savour this amazing ice cream on site.