I just discovered recently that my beloved 8% Ice has a branch in Zhongshan district. I don’t know how long they’ve been open – I saw it while I was walking down the street and immediately went in to buy a cup!
It’s a simple place without seats or tables – just the benches outside the door. But it’s conveniently located in the middle of the Zhongshan commercial district, so it’s the perfect spot to get takeout or stop for a quick break and a sweet treat while window shopping. The Zhongshan shop is a little different from the original Yongkang shop – the original is just an ice cream shop, while Zhongshan is a cafe offering beverages, cookies and French pastries. The sweets look amazing!
中山門市比較小，環境很簡單，沒有室內座位，也沒有桌子，只有門外的露天長椅，可是地點很方便，就在中山商圈核心裡，所以比較適合買外帶或是逛街時快速吃個點心稍稍休息一下。 中山門市跟永康總店有點不一樣， 總店只賣冰淇淋，中山店則是咖啡店，提供餅乾跟法式糕點，還有飲料。甜點看起來好好吃！
In terms of ice cream, it’s the same as the original location, offering all the usual flavours.
The first time I went I wanted something a little less sweet, so I chose roasted rice matcha (gen mai cha) flavour.
This matcha is pretty special, much better than most matcha-flavoured ice creams on the market. Its rich, full tea-leaf flavour pairs with the nutty flavour of roasted rice, followed by a kick of authentic green-tea bitterness. It’s not very sweet, so you can really appreciate the natural flavour of the matcha. The texture is amazing, satiny smooth. It’s my most highly-recommended flavour so far!
My friend ordered the roasted macadamia flavour, which is a completely different experience. Macadamias have a naturally subtle flavour, so the macadamia gelato isn’t strong-tasting like the matcha is, and its sweetness is a little more assertive. It’s also textured with finely-ground macadamia nuts. You can really taste their roasted flavour, though – it isn’t covered up by the taste of sugar and butterfat. It’s much better-made than Haagen Dazs’s macadamia ice cream – the flavour is fresh and natural compared to Haagen Dazs, which is way too sweet and has a very heavy, fake-tasting butterfat flavour; the macadamia is almost undetectable. 8%ice Cafe’s roasted macadamia gelato would suit people who prefer more traditional ice cream flavours; the matcha gelato would suit those who like to try new flavours.
朋友點了烘培夏威夷豆口味，完全不一樣的體驗，夏威夷豆本身味道比較微妙的，所以這個冰淇淋的口味沒有抹茶口味的濃重，甜味比較明顯，還有細細夏威夷豆碎塊的口感。真的可以吃出來夏威夷豆的烘培口味，沒有被糖跟奶油的口味掩蓋。 跟Haagen Dazs夏威夷豆冰淇淋比起來，8%做的好吃很多，味道新鮮天然，Haagen Dazs實在太甜，奶香非常重，有點假假的感覺，沒有什麼堅果香味。這個口味很適合喜歡吃比較傳統的，奶香較重冰淇淋的人；抹茶口味則比較適合試試新口味者。
The second time I came to 8%ice Cafe it was a really hot day, so I felt like having a light and refreshing sorbet. This time there was a new limited-edition flavour I’d never seen before – “Pink Modern”, or cranberry with lemon, vodka and Cointreau. Sounds like a summer cocktail. Be careful – don’t drive after eating this sorbet!
我第二次去，天很熱，所以想要吃比較清爽的雪酪。這一次去，他們有我沒看過的限定口味－－分紅摩登。此雪酪以蔓越莓加檸檬、橙酒跟伏特加酒做的 — 聽起來像一種夏天的雞尾酒似的。大家要小心，別雪酪後開車喔!
The flavour is nice and tart, with the cranberries’ characteristic slight bitterness, and you can even detect that natural grassy flavour that fresh berries have. It’s very authentic – you can tell that they’ve used fresh cranberries. At first I was worried that the alcohol flavour would be too strong, but it wasn’t – it was very light and refreshing and perfect for summer, not heavy or cloying at all. The cointreau flavour was very subtle, not obvious, and not competing with the taste of cranberries. It just adds to the sweet-tart flavour and makes it fuller and more balanced. Vodka doesn’t really have any flavour or fragrance – it just has the slight bitterness and heat of alcohol, which contrasts with and emphasizes the sweet-tart fruit flavours.
Overall, it’s a very fresh and balanced sorbet, unique and delicious. Unfortunately the texture isn’t so good, probably because of the alcohol content. Since alcohol doesn’t freeze, alcoholic sorbets and ice creams don’t solidify easily. Pink Modern is very soft, and it melted before I’d even eaten half. This kind of sorbet has to be kept super cold (or just eaten really fast!).
But it’s fine – even though it melts too quickly, it still tastes just as good!
Address: First floor, 15 Nanjing West Road, Zhongshan District, Taipei
MRT: Zhongshan Station
Phone:02 2581 7986
Hours: 11:00-21:30 Sun-Thurs, 11:00-22:00 Fri-Sat
Website: 8%ice Café