The area between Zhongxiao Dunhua and Zhongxiao Fuxing in Taipei’s Da’an district is a gourmet paradise. Along with all kinds of local and international eateries, it’s also home to several of Taipei’s most popular and innovative hand-made ice cream shops. One of these is Crème French Ice Cream, which specializes in low-fat, flavour-rich French-style ice cream. French-style ice cream is unusual in Taiwan – the only other French ice cream shop I’ve found in Taiwan so far is Le Pélican in Kenting.
Crème’s owner fell in love with ice cream while traveling in France and proceeded to make several trips to France and Italy to study the art of European-style ice cream and adapt it to the Taiwanese market. Creme uses some imported ingredients, as well as locally-grown seasonal fruits.
Creme also pays attention to nutrition. They’ve created a line of ice creams and ice pops supplemented with collagen, which is purported to have all kinds of beautifying health benefits. The owner also tries to develop low-calorie ice cream recipes, and the calorie content of each ice cream is posted on the company’s website for customers’ reference.
Rich sesame, crunchy hazelnut, fresh strawberry and golden mango flavours. The mango is made with premium mangoes grown in Kaohsiung! The strawberry is pretty good, with a rich strawberry flavour, but I found it too sweet for my taste. I also tried hazelnut, which is a personal favourite. I thought the flavour was quite good, very natural, but sadly the ice cream had dried out on top, making the texture unpleasant.
Rose chocolate, banana hazelnut, rum raisin, and honey lavender. A traditional flavour in France, lavender is quite uncommon in Taiwan. Crème’s lavender ice cream is very strong. The staff told me people either really love it or really hate it. I thought it was quite good, but it’s easy to get tired of such a strong flavour – it’s better in small doses. I really wanted to try the rose chocolate but I didn’t get it this time – I definitely won’t miss it next time!
Collagen milk flavour, black forest, blueberry cream cheese, and maple pecan. The collagen milk is one of Crème’s house special flavours. It’s a very clever creation – ice cream that makes you more beautiful! The staff told me blueberry cream cheese is their most popular flavour, but I don’t really like cheese-flavoured sweets because they’re always too sweet and heavy, so I didn’t order it. But looking at the depth of the colour, you can see that it’s probably got a relatively high fruit content, and according to the company’s website it’s got less sugar and lower calories than most of the other flavours, so it seems it’s probably quite different from most cream cheese ice creams out there. I’ll give it a try next time.
The ice cream menu is very helpful. You can choose according to the description rather than just by the appearance of the ice cream in the display case. The fact that there’s a menu for the ice creams means that they probably don’t rotate flavours – the daily offerings are fixed. The price is about the same as other hand-made ice cream shops – $80 NT for a single scoop, $150 NT for a double scoop, and $210 for a triple scoop. You can swap your ice cream cup for a house-made waffle cup for just $10 NT, which is quite cheap. Crème also offers home delivery!
Along with ice cream, Crème also makes ice pops. They have two types: fruit flavour and the special collagen series. The fruit flavoured pops are all made from locally-sourced fruits. The collagen pops come in very intriguing flavours such as pumpkin, cashew, lotus seed and snow fungus. The fruit pops are slightly cheaper at $40 NT each, while the collagen pops are $65 NT each.
Banana hazelnut ice cream, single scoop, $80 NT. At first glance this ice cream looks a little off – it’s a pile of chunks instead of a scoop. I worried it was too frozen and the texture would be coarse and icy.
The portion is quite large. Compared to similar shops, Crème offers good bang for your buck.
The banana hazelnut ice cream is very natural, not too sweet, with a nice gentle nutty flavour. Although the texture is not pretty on the spoon, it’s got a good mouthfeel – not crunchy or powdery. It tastes like real hazelnut, not hazelnut extract. I also detected a hint of salt, bringing out the rich caramel notes of the banana and hazelnut. This is going on my best-of list. An unexpected success!
You can see little bits of finely-ground hazelnut in the ice cream. The texture gets smoother as the ice cream slowly melts.
One scoop black forest + one scoop rich sesame, $150 NT. A huge portion! My friend had to work hard to finish it. I helped, of course.
The black forest ice cream looks pale and bland, but my first bite was a pleasant surprise – the chocolate flavour is very pure and rich, and it’s clearly made with very high-grade ingredients. Chocoholics will be very pleased with this one! This ice cream is textured with grainy bits of pure chocolate. It’s very different from other chocolate ice creams I’ve eaten – really awesome! However, I don’t know what’s going on with the sesame ice cream – I think something may have gone wrong during production. It was extremely sugary and the texture was sticky and gummy, like frozen syrup – not at all like normal ice cream. Furthermore, it didn’t taste anything like sesame. Actually, I thought it tasted a little like lavender. Maybe the staff didn’t clean the machines properly after making lavender ice cream. I love sesame and I was really excited to try Crème’s sesame ice cream, because their other flavours are all so pure and natural-tasting, but I was quite disappointed in their sesame! If you go to Crème, I suggest you give this one a miss.
Besides ice cream and ice pops, Crèmealso sells coffee, tea, smoothies and light meals. My friend ordered a mango smoothie, $130 NT.
The main floor and basement both have seating areas. At the back of the main floor you’ll find the washrooms and a water station. The shop offers free wifi. The interior is very clean and well-lit. The decor is simple and a little bland, but overall it’s a very pleasant space, definitely worth a visit.
Crème法式冰淇淋專賣店 | Crème French Ice Cream
Address: No. 25-2, Lane 107, Section 1, Fuxing South Road, Da’an District, Taipei
MRT: Zhongxiao Fuxing Station
Phone: 02 2775 2526
Hours: 10:00 – 22:00 Daily