I had heard good things about SkyIce, but was still hesitant when I approached the store front. I was here for a scoop of ice cream to take back out onto the hot pavement’s of Park Slope. But the whiffs of savory pad thai and the tables of customers eating salads, confused me. Is this a Thai restaurant or an ice cream shop? It’s both!
Even the famously exotic Chinatown Ice Cream Factory doesn’t serve dumplings. This was sort of a groundbreaking idea in New York. And it has the added hipster bonus of being a hidden ice cream shop for those in the know. Unless the word Ice in the name alerts you or you happen to observe customers emerging with scoops, you’d never know this Thai restaurant specializes in unusual flavors of ice cream.
I worked up the courage to walk past the tables and chairs and check out the ice cream freezer. The employees couldn’t have been nicer. I usually limit myself to two samples and then settle on a cup or cone. I figure that’s the responsible thing to do. After two samples, the employee saw that I was still agonizing and cheered “Let’s try some more!!!”
So with his guidance, I sampled some of their more exotic flavors. The Thai Iced Tea was rich, but thankfully not as overly sweet as I’m used to. Durian is a fruit that many people say tastes like raw onions or dirty socks. The sorbet had a slightly intense flavor, but it was crisp and refreshing. The salted caramel was also rather muted (in a good way) with the salt and sweet balancing each other well.
Of course, I settled on something completely different. I probably knew I was getting this as soon as I looked at the flavor list. Since I could only have one flavor in a small, it had to be the Black Sesame Seaweed.
To me, Black Sesame is the Asian version of cookies and cream. It’s probably the similar coloring, but I find that the ground sesame seeds yield a similar texture to crushed chocolate cookies. Am I crazy?
The scoop of ice cream looked like it was going to be rather icy (which would have been appropriate for the name), but instead it had a wonderful fluffy quality. There was a light, airiness to it that I found just perfect.
And the flavors were beautiful. There were hints of roasty sweetness, not unlike coffee or chocolate, but then there were notes of smoky brininess (or saltiness) from the strange addition of seaweed. My words can’t quite do the combination justice because you have to trust me on this one – it just works!
Maybe the secret is to have a little Pad Thai cooking in the air. But Sky Ice has succeeded in bringing savory and sweet flavors to a light, fluffy base of everybody’s favorite confection. Now that I know their ice cream is top notch, let’s see how they do with some Massaman Curry.
Is SkyIce Sweet & Savory the best ice cream in NY? Certainly can’t be deemed as traditional, even down to the fluffy, airy texture which I quite enjoyed. But their flavors were spot-on so I have to give them a 8 out of 10 since it put a huge smile on my face.
|SKYICE SWEET & SAVORY|
|63 5th Avenue (between Prospect Place and St. Marks Place),
Park Slope, Brooklyn