In a roundup of North America's coolest frozen dessert fads last summer, Eater cited ice cream roll-ups as a big trend to watch. Of late, the Thai-style ice cream has popped up at parlours in Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, and beyond. The premise is deceptively simple (see video below): a made-from-scratch ice cream base is poured onto a frozen plate with a variety of mix-ins, and rapidly manipulated, smashed, and folded until it starts to thicken. The mixture is then spread thinly and evenly over the cold surface, and rolled up with what looks like a painter's spatula. The ice cream rolls are lined up in a cup, soldier-like, and topped with whipped cream, sauces, nuts, and so on.
Pandan Creamery, Montreal's very first ice cream parlour devoted to Thai-style ice cream, opened recently just west of Lionel-Groulx metro, on Saint-Jacques Ouest (update: Pandan has since moved to Notre-Dame Ouest). More here on the shop, from principal Madhuri Kumar: "We offer unique, hand-rolled ice cream native to Malaysia and Thailand. Our hand-rolled ice cream is made to order and fully customizable. Due to the nature of the quick freezing technique, we do not need to use any synthetic additives, preservatives or stabilizers. We use seasonal and local ingredients when possible, and offer ever-changing house-made toppings."
Pandan sources cream from the well-regarded, family-run Laiterie Chagnon in Waterloo, in Montérégie, a favourite with independent, third-wave cafés in Montreal. The shop's name comes, of course, from the pandan leaf, a popular ingredient in Southeast Asian cuisine. Rejoice Montreal, Thai-style ice cream roll-ups are here, and just in time for summer too.
Status: Pandan Creamery, 3504 Notre-Dame Ouest, (514) 616-6654, now open Tuesday to Sunday as of noon.