Okay, this isn’t really Asian but Deep Fried Ice Cream is something I first had at an Asian restaurant and it seems that mainly Vietnamese & Japanese restaurants offer this. Some Mexican restaurants also have their own version too. This list also includes a Thai restaurant and a Cambodian restaurant too. The tricky part with this dessert is that the ice cream has to be extremely cold so that it doesn’t melt much when it’s quickly deep fried. If it’s been properly prepared, the ice cream inside will be quite hard when it arrives at your table. I personally like to wait a bit for the ice cream to soften and melt a bit before consumption.
Pho Tay Ho
6414 St. Denis
At $5 (which already includes tax), this is a pretty good version that wraps green tea ice cream in a deep fried crepe. It’s not too sweet which I like. The scoop of ice cream is generous and not too hard. They also give you a small container of pancake syrup on the side giving you the choice of using it or not. This may be my second or third favourite deep fried ice cream so far.
It’s pretty good but one of the most expensive ones at $7.50. It comes with some slices of fresh fruit. They charge $1 extra for green tea ice cream.
Thai Sep (Cash only)
1900 Jean-Talon E
If I remember correctly this was $5 and not bad. The batter wasn’t super crispy but adequate. A solid version.
La Belle Thailandaise
4514 St. Denis
At only $4.95 it is the best value I have seen for this dessert. The scoop of ice cream was in my opinion one of the largest I’ve had and can easily be shared with at least one other person. It came topped with a cherry with an umbrella with coconut shavings, some sticky syrup and chocolate syrup. The coconut shavings didn’t really have much coconut taste though. Although I don’t like coconut so I would’ve preferred no coconut at all. The batter was not bad, crunchy but nothing remarkable. The sweet vanilla ice cream inside was not rock solid hard but was also not melting rapidly either. I didn’t have to wait for the ice cream to soften before cutting it with the spoon, which didn’t require much effort. Although some ingredients are a bit lackluster, it’s a solid version of this dessert at a good price.
La Petite Mangue
300 Mont-Royal E
They make a pretty decent fried ice cream for $5. The batter in particular has a nice crunchy texture to it with some black sesame seeds and what may have been nuts (not entirely sure). The size is smaller than at other places. It’s drizzled with syrup and chocolate syrup. It’s not cut for you so you’ll have to break it with a spoon or keep the butter knife at your table. You also have the choice of vanilla or chocolate ice cream.
1850 Ste-Catherine O
While expensive at $6 they do give you a very large scoop of hard vanilla ice cream encased in a nice batter. The large ball which could easily be shared with someone else comes cut into four quarters for you to facilitate easier consumption. It’s drizzled with some sweet syrup and topped off with a bright red preserved cherry. For me what makes or breaks fried ice cream is the batter. I would say this is one of the better batter coatings I’ve encountered, maybe could’ve been a bit thinner and less hard but good enough for me. The ice cream was also very hard so one had to wait a bit for it to be easier to consume. Of course, it’s better for the ice cream to be too hard than the opposite extreme.
486 St. Catherine O
It’s listed on their dessert menu as Ice Cream Tempura and costs a whopping $7.95 although you do get a large scoop of deep fried ice cream deliciousness. I couldn’t tell if the batter actually used tempura but it does contain corn flakes or a similar type of cereal. It gives the batter a subtle sweetness which I liked very much. You have a choice of three flavours of ice cream: vanilla, green tea and mango. I chose mango. The fried ice cream came cut in four quarters and was accompanied with blueberries and slices of strawberry. There wasn’t any syrup but that was fine by me. This is probably my favourite version so far.
80 Jean Talon O
Instead of the ice cream being encased in batter mix it was wrapped in a deep fried crepe. It was drizzled with a very sticky syrup (might’ve been honey since it was so sticky) and dark chocolate sauce that had a hint of liquor in it. Not bad but the sweetness of the crepe overpowered the ice cream a bit. It also wasn’t cut apart so breaking it apart with only a spoon was a clumsy, messy affair. I should’ve asked the waiter to leave the knife. Price was $4.50 which is fairly cheap for this type of dessert.
5499 Cotes des Neiges
They have something called a deep fried ice cream pancake for only $4.50. It’s an okay version, it’s wrapped in a fried crepe which seems to be the Vietnamese way to do it.
La Maison de Seoul
5030 Sherbrooke O
They wrap white bread around ice cream and deep fry it. You can’t tell from the outside since it looks like pretty much any deep dried item but once you break it open you can easily tell and it’s as disappointing as it sounds taste-wise. However, their main dishes are not bad with my favorite being the Jjamppong. Just avoid the fried ice cream.
1007 St Laurent
This one had mango ice cream deep fried and topped with strawberries, whipped cream and chocolate sauce drizzled over it. It’s a great combination but I didn’t like the batter which is exactly the same as the batter used for their fried seafood or tofu. It confused my tongue and almost ruined the dessert for me. If they changed the batter, it would improve the dessert immensely.
Not good but that may have been more due to the black sesame ice cream which turns out is a flavour I don’t like. The batter had a texture that reminded me of those toasted multi-grain breads. The ice cream melted fairly quickly which means it wasn’t cold enough or deep fried for a wee bit too long. On an unrelated note, I had sashimi here for my main which was not bad.