One of the reasons I started this blog was to promote local products and small businesses to both Taiwanese and foreign audiences. I’m always pleased to find ice cream shops like Snow King, Midori and O Rose that emphasize Taiwanese products. I was especially excited to try Jason’s Fruits Store, a cute little shop in Songshan that specializes in Taiwanese fruits. Like any fruit experts, they know how to show their product in its best light — by making it into delicious, fresh ice cream!
Jason’s target market seems to be Japanese tourists, who are famously willing to drop serious cash on a grade-A honeydew or perfect box of apples. Along with premium locally-grown fruits, they also sell all kinds of dried fruits, preserves, jams, vinegars, and of course, ice cream.
They also offer a menu of fresh juices and smoothies, fruit plates, and treats like shaved ice and banana split. The menu has Chinese and Japanese versions, but no English.
The fruit prices here are, frankly, a little shocking – I spotted a small box of grapes (exquisitely perfect grapes, to be fair) for NT$2000. The preserves and dried fruits are also quite expensive. Luckily, the ice cream is in the normal price range, at NT$80, $150 and $300 for single, double or triple scoops, respectively. Sorry, vegans – Jason’s only sells ice cream, not sorbet. All of their ice creams contain dairy.
Today’s flavours: grape, plum, pineapple (rear); banana (front).
Chocolate, roselle, mango (rear); orange, watermelon (front).
The mango ice cream is quite special, made with cantaloupe-sized Keitt mangoes (pictured below). The taste was very natural and refreshing. However, as an ice cream, the mango flavour is diluted with milk – it’s not as rich and dense as mango sorbets like the one I fell in love with at Maison de Glace a few blocks away.
Keitt mangoes for sale at NT$120/600g. Each mango must have weighed a kilo or more!
Grape ice cream is another unusual find. This one is also very pure. Notice the natural greenish color and little bits of grape skin!
I knew as soon as I saw the roselle that I’d probably end up ordering it. Roselle ice cream is an unusual find, and the only other place I’ve seen it is the temporarily-closed Snow King. Jason’s, like Snow King, uses grade-A roselle buds grown in Taitung.
As soon as I sampled the roselle, I was hooked! Not a difficult choice at all.
Roselle ice cream, small size, NT$80. The cup is tiny, but they heap it generously.
Jason’s roselle ice cream is soft, light, and sophisticated. Although it’s clearly dairy-based, it doesn’t have a heavy butterfat taste – the flavour is all fresh, tangy roselle. Unlike Snow King, which leaves chewy roselle bits in the ice cream for a bit of interest, Jason’s strains theirs out so it’s perfectly smooth. Both are delicious, but Jason’s is a little stronger and more tart.
My friend ordered the single-scoop Fruit Snow Bowl, NT$220 (NT$280 for a double scoop of ice cream). If a single scoop of ice cream is NT$80, then the fruit must be NT$140! It was all very good fruit (especially the luscious, juicy honeydew), but frankly I think the ice cream is the better deal.
My friend chose the grape ice cream for his fruit bowl. It has a very pure, delicate flavour. You can taste the whole grape, peel and all. None of that artificial “purple” taste! It’s quite light, however – we both thought the grapes were too delicate to be diluted with milk and would have been tastier as a sorbet (although I imagine the cost of grape sorbet would be extremely high!).
The shop is tiny and quiet, with a fun, colourful atmosphere that’s a little different from your typical ice cream shop. It’s a pleasant spot to sit and enjoy an ice cream. The fruit tables are too cute – I really wanted to smuggle one home!
Their free citrus water is a nice touch.
Looking for a flavour that’s not on today’s menu? Want to bring some ice cream home or treat a friend? Jason’s has an entire freezer full of tubs of ice cream which you can take to go, including currently unavailable flavours left over from previous batches.
The small (NT$80) tubs are about the same size as a single-serving cup. The medium (NT$150) and large (NT$300) tubs are fairly large, offering a better deal than eat-in ice cream. They also sell frozen roselle buds (top) and preserved mullet roe (second from top). Mullet roe? Ok, it’s a little outside of the fruit theme, but I gather it’s such a hot seller in Japan that it’s pretty much a requirement in any store catering to Japanese customers.
Overall, Jason’s Fruits Store is a very special little place, and a great choice for local ice cream. Locals and visitors can all enjoy their uniquely Taiwanese ice cream treats made with top-quality local ingredients. I really liked it and I’ll definitely be taking my friends and family here when they come to visit!
Jason’s Fruits Store | 陳記百果園
Address: No. 2, Lane 7, Alley 100, Dunhua South Road Section 1, Songshan District, Taipei City
MRT: Zhongxiao Dunhua Station exit 8 (five-minute walk); Zhongxiao Fuxing Station exit 4 (five-minute walk)
Hours: Monday to Friday 7:00~19:00; Saturday 7:00~17:00 (closed Sundays)
Price: NT$80 and up