COOL N2 分子虎分子雪糕專賣店
Shilin Night Market
(edited 8/2016- this location closed and they moved deeper into the night market to a stand.)
MRT: Jian Tan
website: Cool N2's FB page
hours: 12PM - 11:30PM
Kid friendliness: Kids will love seeing the liquid nitrogen in action and eating ice cream
Visit reviewed: 10/3/2014
With a row of white Kitchen Aid mixers and staff dressed in white lab coats, you might wonder what the deal is with Cool N2, which sits near the front of Shilin Night Market. If you're in a hurry to get your eating and shopping on, you might pass it by without realizing that it's a liquid nitrogen ice cream shop, offering flavors like milk with pop rocks or chocolate with corn flakes. I'd probably passed by it at least 3 or 4 times, but finally had a chance to try it recently with some friends.
Liquid nitrogen ice cream doesn't come cheap at NT$100-180, but you get to watch chemistry and food in action come together to make ice cream babies. There are five flavors to choose from- that day's were milk, chocolate, green tea, caramel and chocolate whisky. And though in night market eats, NT$150 is a lot (10 pan fried steam buns or 3 giant fried chicken cutlets), it's actually not more than a latte from Starbucks and it's more fun to watch them make it.
A cold fog fills the room as he refills his batch of liquid nitrogen. You could do a twirl and reenact a scene from Frozen while you wait - "The wind is howling like a swirling storm inside." Or not.
It's like magic as the liquid nitrogen cloud sweeps over the milk and when it dissipates there's ice cream to be scooped out.
The White Party (NT$150) ice cream is milky and creamy, and the pop rocks on desserts are always fun, giving your mouth little crunchy bursts and pops.
The Chocolate Beauty (NT$150) was good too, though the corn flakes were just sprinkled atop, not mixed in to give the ice cream extra cornflake crunch. There was a rich chocolate flavor, but didn't taste too sweet. These days I find some flavors at Haagen Daaz and Coldstone to be too sweet for me (Gasp! I really have been living in Taiwan too long!)
I would try it again if I was in the mood for ice cream over shaved ice or snowflake ice (which of course there's plenty to find at Shilin!), and check if they have new flavors or options to create your own flavor since the ice cream is made to order.