By Editor-in-Chief Monica Tang & Staff Writer Deeksha Raina
Icicles serves Thai rolled ice cream with an unlimited self serve topping bar. Located at 1275 Lincoln Ave. in Willow Glen, San Jose, the ice cream shop had a soft opening on July 2 but quickly garnered popularity on social media. As it gained the attention of MSJ students, the Smoke Signal decided to see if it lived up to the hype.
When we arrived on a Saturday afternoon, the line stretched out the door. However, the staff put forth its best effort to make the one-hour wait more tolerable. A menu, instructions, and TV positioned outside provided some entertainment, while wooden benches, overhead umbrellas, and a water dispenser helped ease the wait. Plus, there was free Wi-Fi. The employees were very friendly and eager to explain the ordering process to us. They offered samples from leftover ice cream rolls to people standing in line and when the ice cream rolls didn’t turn out perfectly, they immediately asked if they could remake the order.
The exterior looks like an average hole-in-the-wall spot and has an eclectic feel and is cluttered with overhead lights and umbrellas. Four clean wooden tables and benches stand outside along with a couple of painted chalkboard signs. To the left of the door in the interior of the shop lies the topping bar, which is composed of two rows of plastic tubs.The inside is small and quaint, but too crowded to be comfortable, and only two benches run along the side of the wall. The only decent seating is outside, where a crowd of people are usually waiting to purchase their ice cream.
Icicles offers nine ice creams, each with either a custard or tea base. After you pick a flavor, the employees pour the liquid base onto a chilled metal surface and mix it with the appropriate toppings until it solidifies into ice cream. The ice cream is spread out into a thin sheet over the surface and rolled up in sections. Customers then get to choose from a variety of unlimited toppings, including rainbow jelly and marshmallows. The final ice cream is creamy and flavorful, and is served in large, single-size portions. The Nutella & Chill ice cream tasted strongly of nutella and bananas, but the graham cracker was completely overwhelmed by the former two ingredients. My Thai was a little less creamy than the Nutella & Chill, but still packed a punch with its strong taste of Thai tea. Both ice creams were filling, yet still light due to their rolled shape.
Though a bit pricey — $6.50 per ice cream bowl — the ice cream itself is quite filling, and customers are allowed unlimited toppings. The experience of watching your ice cream being created by hand right in front of you compensates for the hefty price. Taking the price, wait time, and unique ice cream into consideration, Icicles is great as a one-time experience, but is probably not a place that we will revisit over and over again.
Photos by Editor-in-Chief Monica Tang & Staff Writer Deeksha Raina