CLOSED 關門了 ~ Cool N2 Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream (Shilin Night Market, Taipei) | Cool N2 分子虎 分子雪糕專賣(士林夜市)

2015-08-29 16.55.40-1

Update | 更新

Cool N2  分子虎 分子雪糕專賣士林夜市分店已2015年9月關門了。

Cool N2 Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream’s Shilin Night Market location is now closed, as of September 2015.

第一次聽到「液態氮冰淇淋」的時候,我只把它當噱頭來看,只有依賴外表漂亮的冰淇淋店才會採用這個方式來吸引客人。看到冰淇淋如高中化學實驗課般滾滾冒出水氣時,誰在意它好不好吃?反正大家都忙著拍照上傳,沒時間注意它的味道跟普通冰淇淋有何不同。但我發現了士林夜市有「Cool N2 分子虎 分子雪糕專賣」這家液態氮冰淇淋店以後覺得,還是去吃吃看比較好,還可以順便溫習我的冰淇淋科學知識!

When I first heard of liquid nitrogen ice cream, I dismissed it as a silly gimmick used by ice cream shops that have to rely on visual appeal to attract customers. Who cares how ice cream tastes when it’s billowing steam like a high school chemistry project? Folks will be too busy uploading photos to taste the difference, anyway. But when I found out about Cool N2 Ice Cream at Shilin Night Market, I thought I might as well give it a try — and brush up on my knowledge of ice cream science in the process!
2015-08-29 16.52.23-1 結果發現了,使用液態氮方式做冰淇淋除了很適合拍「瘋狂冰淇淋科學家」照以外,還有多個優勢。雖然聽起來很高科技,其實它很簡單:將液態氮加入已備好的冰淇淋基地中攪一攪,它馬上就結冰,冰淇淋就做好了

It turns out the liquid nitrogen technique has several advantages beyond mad-ice-cream-scientist selfies. It sounds high-tech, but it’s actually very simple: churn super-cold liquid nitrogen into prepared ice cream base and the mixture freezes on contact, creating instant ice cream.

2015-08-31 17.01.42這種現點現做的方式不僅比傳統冰淇淋快,還比較新鮮又更容易依個人口味調整。

This single-serving, made-to-order style of ice cream is fresher, faster, and more customizable than standard ice cream.

2015-08-29 16.47.36-1

因為結冰速度比較快,所以來不及形成粗大冰晶,結果是冰淇淋的冰晶細小,口感特別滑順

The faster freezing process gives ice crystals less time to grow, so the finished product has super-small ice crystals and a smoother texture.

2015-08-29 16.51.38-2

像很多液態氣冰淇淋店一樣,「Cool N2 分子虎 分子」的裝飾和配件以化學科實驗室為主題。冰淇淋的配料都在玻璃罐裡一罐罐陳列在櫃台上,還有蜂蜜等液體配料保存在注射器裡。

Cool N2, like most liquid nitrogen ice cream shops, exploits the science-experiment novelty by accessorizing with laboratory equipment. Toppings are displayed in glass jars, while liquid flavourings like honey are stored in syringes.

2015-09-01 12.28.47

我不太懂這個老虎圖案跟化學科實驗室的裝飾主題有甚麼關係。反正這就是全台北最擁擠的夜市裡面的小店,裝修不會受到那麼多注意!

I’m not sure where the tiger fits in with the laboratory theme. In any case, it’s a tiny shop in Taipei’s most crowded night market, so the decor barely registers!

2015-08-29 16.56.37-1

MENU上只有六款口味。 我平常在一般採用比較費時費力傳統冰淇淋製作方式的冰淇淋店看到這麼短的menu會覺得是好事,因為應該是代表那家店重質不重量,但液態氣冰淇淋不一樣!因為它在幾秒鐘之內可以結冰,每一杯是現點現做的,完全依客人需求量身訂做,可是我覺得在這個方面「Cool N2 分子虎 分子」完全忽視了他們的產品的這個主要優勢。如果他們提供更多訂製選擇,生意應該很紅--像這家位於美國的冰淇淋店iCream的概念,讓客人自己選冰淇淋的基底(比如牛奶、豆漿、優格等)、香料、配料、甚至色素,是在太好玩!

There are only six flavours on the menu, which I’d normally be thrilled about in a shop where ice creams are made using labour-intensive and time-consuming traditional methods, but this is liquid nitrogen ice cream! The ice cream takes seconds to freeze and each cup is made to order. The options for customization are endless. I feel like Cool N2 really overlooked the main asset of their product here. I can only imagine the lineups they’d have if they offered the variety and customizability of places like iCream, where customers can choose their base (ice cream, soy, yogurt, etc), flavourings, mix-ins, toppings, and even colouring.

2015-09-01 14.21.09

好吧,「Cool N2 分子虎 分子」保持簡單,簡單也有簡單的好處。但他們的冰淇淋吃起來怎麼樣?讓我們嘗嘗看!

Ok, so Cool N2 keeps things relatively simple. Simple is good. But how does it taste? Let’s try it and see!

2015-08-29 16.36.44

今天有特價限定口味,玉米片巧克力冰淇淋,一杯才NT$100!店員首先將巧克力冰淇淋基底倒入了攪拌機裡攪拌幾分鐘,然後從櫃檯後的液態氮容器拿了一壺液態氮加入了冰淇淋基底。短短幾秒鐘後他就開始將我的冰淇淋挖出來!

They were offering a special off-menu promotion today – chocolate ice cream with cornflakes for only $100/cup! The staff poured liquid chocolate base into the mixer, let it churn for a minute, and added the liquid nitrogen from the tank behind the counter. Seconds later, he was scooping out my ice cream!

2015-08-29 16.37.27-1

冰淇淋杯裝滿了以後(也沒有留下任何的空隙!)再噴上一大堆生奶油泡...

After filling up the cup (no hollow spaces!), he topped it with a pile of whipped cream…

2015-08-29 16.37.52-1

...再撒上了些脆脆玉米片(還有些玉米片在攪拌時加入冰淇淋裡面)。

…and a sprinkling of crunchy cornflakes. (They mixed cornflakes into the ice cream during mixing, as well).  2015-08-29 16.39.30-1

巧克力冰淇淋,NT $100。分量蠻大的,大概150 ml以上,以現打手工冰淇淋來說算蠻平價!

Chocolate ice cream, NT $100. The portion is quite large – about 150 ml or more. Not bad for fresh-made ice cream!

2015-08-29 16.43.06-1 這款巧克力冰淇淋說實話沒有很特別,味道還好,好像不是很高級的原料,就是普通巧克力冰淇淋的味道,吃起來有點淡,但我喜歡它的甜度偏低。我最喜歡綿密的冰淇淋裡面有玉米片的脆脆口感,可是因為加入了這個口感所以感覺不到液態氮製作方式的結果到底有沒有比傳統做法滑順。可惜的是,我發現這個冰淇淋很油很油,在嘴巴裡留下一層黏黏的乳脂,最後就覺得太膩了,沒辦法吃完。

This chocolate ice cream tasted…ok. Nothing special about it, although I was happy with the relatively low sweetness. The chocolate tasted really mild and common, not particularly high quality. My favourite thing about this ice cream was the pleasant crunch from the cornflakes, although this added texture made it difficult to determine if the liquid nitrogen method really did produce a smoother ice cream. Unfortunately, I found this ice cream way, way too fatty – it left an unpleasant oily feeling in my mouth, and I couldn’t finish it.
 2015-08-29 16.47.41-1

我另外試吃了他們的招牌「夏日沙灘」焦糖餅乾口味冰淇淋,但結果是一樣的,口感油膩,奶油味道很重,完全掩蓋了淡淡焦糖味。

I sampled their signature Speculoos ice cream and found the same thing – a greasy texture and heavy butterfat flavour that completely overpowered the Speculoos.

2015-08-29 16.49.07-1

另外一個夏日限定口味「芒果分子雪酪」事實上不太像雪酪而比較像冰淇淋笆菲,但我可以確認他們使用的芒果是新鮮現切的!

Another limited-edition summer special, the mango sorbet didn’t really resemble sorbet so much as an ice cream parfait, but at least they used fresh mangoes!2015-08-29 16.49.55-1

...又是當地台灣芒果!

…fresh, local mangoes!

2015-08-29 16.39.01-1

總之,雖然「Cool N2分子虎分子」的冰淇淋不太合我的口味,但我覺得他們的觀念不錯,環境與地點也蠻好的,而且我喜歡他們的產品的新鮮與服務的熱情。我覺得如果他們把食材調整一下,並提供更多客製化服務,比較DIY的體驗,就會讓它在台北冰淇淋店中很突出。

Overall, although their ice cream didn’t suit my tastes, I think Cool N2 has a good setup and a fun concept in an ideal location, and I appreciate their fresh churned-to-order product and friendly service. I think if they adjusted their ingredients a little and offered customers a more customizable, DIY experience, Cool N2 could really stand out in Taipei.

Cool N2 Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream | Cool N2 分子虎 分子雪糕專賣

地址:台北市士林區文林路29號
捷運:劍潭站
電話:02-2883-8400
時間:週日至週四 下午2:00~晚上23:45; 週五、六 下午2:00~凌晨 1:00
臉書www.facebook.com/coolN2

Address: 29 Wenlin Rd, Shilin District, Taipei City
MRT: Jiantan Station
Phone: 02-2883-8400
Time: Sunday-Thursday 2:00 pm ~ 11:45 am; Friday & Saturday 2:00 pm ~ 1:00 am
Facebook: www.facebook.com/coolN2

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