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Lab: The Future of Ice Cream is Here

By Jun 13, 2014 Dining


I was hoping for a hoverboard or a personal jetpack by now, but I guess I'm going to have to settle for ice cream made with liquid nitrogen at Lab.

It's a small storefront the size of a walk-in closet that's tucked slightly away from the street. Much of the space is taken up by owner Dennis Zhao's ice cream making apparatus. It's quite an inventive system, comprising an array of improvised KitchenAid mixers tricked out with hoses connected to a high-pressure tank full of liquid nitrogen.

Zhao pours the ice cream base—on display, appropriately, in Erlenmeyer flasks—into the mixing bowl, gets the mixing arm spinning and then turns a release valve that delivers liquid nitrogen into the bowl. As it mixes, a cool vapor fills the room, and the base freezes into a creamy treat. All the while, throbbing techno music plays in the background. Seems fitting.

Is it any good? It's okay. On our visit, we tried two flavors: blueberry yogurt and Chocolate. We both preferred the former. But, ultimately, you're coming here more for the novelty value of it all, aren't you. The theatrics are about the justification for paying 56rmb for two small scoops of ice cream.


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  • TSkillet

    Is this related to Lab Made from Hong Kong or just a copy of the idea? In either case, Lab Made was tasty but way over-priced.

  • Justin Fischer

    I'm going to guess probably not. I think this is a one-man operation. However, it's entirely possible that the proprietor was inspired by Lab Made in Hong Kong.

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