Thursday, February 12, 2009
dessert: i strongly recommend BIG TOM ICE CREAM
BIG TOM ICE CREAM
No.233-2, Jhongjheng Rd., 2 FL
hours: 9:30 am- 11pm
Kid friendliness: areas to lounge. friendly free samples.
Visit reviewed: 11/16/2008
The first time I had Big Tom's ice cream was probably over 4 or 5 years ago- at the cute and cozy location near SYS Memorial hall, hidden behind trees on Ren Ai Road. Although I loved the Peanut Butter ice cream and my fuzzy memory thought their waffles for afternoon tea were quite good, somehow I didn't make it back that often.
So I was excited to see the huge Big Tom's in Danshui after visiting the Fisherman's Wharf and had to see if the Peanut Butter ice cream was good as I had remembered.
And it was! The thick chunks of peanut butter are swirled in the ice cream and melt in your mouth. The Oregon Strawberry was also great too and tasted as fresh as ice cream could taste. When you get your ice cream, you also get this little spoon with tiny bumps that makes you almost notice the ice cream more, by "bump"-ing the focus to your tastebuds and tongue.
Big Tom's ice cream has a great range of flavors and each flavor carries off the perfect balance of sweetness, creaminess and heaviness. And that's because their ice cream is stated to use "all natural ingredients." It's definitely a contrast to times after eating a few bites of certain flavors of Haagen Daaz or Coldstone's I feel overwhelmed with how sweet or dense it is and don't want to finish it, but yet don't want to waste the money that I've spent on it.
And Big Tom's service surpasses the sometimes snooty Haagen Daaz service by a long shot- they were friendly and generous in letting us try samples- and their quirky cow-themed decor makes the whole space fun (and a bit like Ben and Jerry's).
Okay- I'm going to rant for a moment here about Haagen Daaz.
My friends and I had a few negative experiences with Haagen Daaz- starting with their differentiation of "to go" and "sit down" orders. My friends ordered, paid and received two huge ice creams sundaes at the Shin Kong Mitsukoshi Haagen Daaz and then tried to sit down in the lounge-y area and told they couldn't since they had gotten their orders to-go (and in the paper cups). When my friend offered to pay for the service fee (that's charged when you sit down and eat), they were adamantly refused even though the space was pretty much empty on a cold weekday afternoon. It's the kind of thing that makes me not want to give them my business because you have two customers that have just paid US$20 for ice cream and you're not going to let them sit down in your space to eat your ice cream because of bad corporate logic that says only customers that declare they want to eat "here" get to eat here? It's one thing if the place is packed and there's a line and they are taking someone else's space, but it's another if it's totally empty and they are offering to pay a service fee! Anyways- something similar happened to me before at Vieshow Haagen Daaz, not to mention another time I wanted to just get a scoop of ice cream and asked if I could pay extra for banana on top and they said no, I had to get the banana split (with 3 scoops) to get banana.
Okay- end rant.
ANYWAYS- if you haven't yet tried Big Tom, you'll have to give it a try on your next date, ice cream craving or afternoon tea with the girlfriends- or maybe take that special someone for upcoming Valentine's Day.
It doesn't have as many locations (especially in malls) but they are the only one on the 85th viewing floor of 101. And that is pretty awesome.
Maybe it was my imagination, but the scoops even seem bigger. Other de-luscious flavors include Mocha Choco, Kahlua, Vanilla Bean, Green Tea, low-fat Marionberry Cheesecake. They also have toppings and other desserts. One scoop is NT$108 and 2 scoops is NT$178, but the price also includes the waffle cone.
Their website also says they have ice cream making classes with a big hand-crank old fashioned ice cream maker, but didn't offer any information on where or when.
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Tien Mu shop
No.1, Lane 63, Sec. 7, Jhongshan N. Rd.
No.219, Sec. 2, Chang-an E. Rd.
No.221, Yijhong St.
No.276, Gongyi Rd.
No.12, Kending Rd.