Thai Rolled Ice-Cream
This legendary frozen treat, which has dominated Instagram since last year, is originally from Thailand. Born out of street vendors’ creativity, it has become a worldwide trend. It’s made to order, highly customisable, and fun to watch constructed before your eyes.
A cup of flavoured milk-based liquid is poured onto a chilled flat pan, the add-ins — berries, Oreos, brownies, Nutella — get smashed together into a mixture and spread out into a layer thin enough to freeze.
Then the sweet icy strips are shaped into pretty rolls. One serving can hold five to seven rolls, depending on the size of the cup and the generosity of the shop owner.
Saigon has adopted this fun-looking creation and named it sautéed ice-cream and the best-known place to get it is Bella (107 Tran Hung Dao, Q1).
Magnum’s Dipping Bar
This fun one actually dates back to 2012 when Magnum launched its very first dipping bar in the historic Paris district of Le Marais. A recent pop-up in Soho in New York City has brought it back to life.
It’s creating a much-needed buzz for Magnum, which has become too much of a household name and could do with refreshing its brand. The dipping bar gives ice-cream lovers the option to personalise their ice-cream bar with a variety of toppings — nuts, gold flakes, chocolate chips, coconut, sea salt, flavoured drizzles and so on. The do-it-yourself nature of this renewed trend has made it among the most pinned topics for foodies on Pinterest.
La Vanille Paris ice cream shop in Takashimaya (93-95 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia, Q1) offers 15 toppings and five sauces, including the well-loved dried Vietnamese jackfruit, and bold flavours such as seaweed, wasabi beans, crushed ramen, and chilli sauce. We will have to wait and see how the dipping bar survives the enthusiastic yet easily bored palate of the Saigonese.
Following the craze over rolled ice-cream and soft-served covered in 24-carat gold leaf, the current Insta-famous ice-cream trend has finally made its way to Saigon.
Rose-shaped ice-cream has been gracing the feeds of all the hottest Instagram celebs and foodies, especially those in London, Sydney and Seoul. Believed to have been invented by Amorino, the Paris-based gelato chain, this blooming delight is crafted from flat, wide petals of gelato layered one after another until it becomes a full bloom in a waffle cone.
At Roseice Saigon (64-64 Ngo Duc Ke, Q1), just a few steps away from Bitexco Tower, you can choose up to three flavours from their 12 daily options.
Apart from traditional must-have flavours for any ice-cream parlour, Roseice also comes up with some interesting ones, such as Thai iced tea, banana and peanut, and green apple.
It is, however, more challenging to eat a rose-shaped gelato than the conventional scooped ones, as the delicate rose petal shape makes it way easier and faster for the ice-cream to melt, especially when you are standing in the sun or in front of a fan.
Hokkaido Soft Serve Double Ice-Cream
Soft serve ice-cream is anything but new. However, soft serve at gourmet level, the Hokkaido way, served on a double cone, is something else.
Hokkaido’s infamous rich, creamy milk is what makes this kind of elevated soft serve so special. It’s extremely smooth and soft, rich and fragrant, yet low-fat and doesn’t easily melt.
Many people love a solid Hokkaido soft serve, but enjoy it even more when their ice-cream comes as twins. More is always more, especially when it comes to dessert.
Azubo Sabo, a Japanese dessert chain with stores all over Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Singapore, has been a success in Saigon since opening a booth at Takashimaya (93-95 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia, Q1).
People queue up for over an hour for their ice-cream, so the Hokkaido soft serve looks like it really is here to stay.
Trends come and go, but one thing is for certain; Saigon catches up fast when it comes to ice-cream, proving that it’s not so far behind New York, Sydney, or Tokyo, in this area of endeavour at least.