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!
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.
This single-serving, made-to-order style of ice cream is fresher, faster, and more customizable than standard ice cream.
The faster freezing process gives ice crystals less time to grow, so the finished product has super-small ice crystals and a smoother texture.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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!
After filling up the cup (no hollow spaces!), he topped it with a pile of whipped cream…
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!
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.
I sampled their signature Speculoos ice cream and found the same thing – a greasy texture and heavy butterfat flavour that completely overpowered the Speculoos.
…fresh, local mangoes!
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
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
Address: 29 Wenlin Rd, Shilin District, Taipei City
MRT: Jiantan Station
Time: Sunday-Thursday 2:00 pm ~ 11:45 am; Friday & Saturday 2:00 pm ~ 1:00 am