£££ Ice Cream & Frozen Yoghurt
49-50 Camden Lock Place
London NW1 8AF
When your favourite food establishment becomes ridiculously successful, it replicates, like gremlins on garlic but behind almost every successful franchise seems to be its disenfranchised staff. (Well, people who seem to think they are.) So why do some servers, even when paid an hourly rate, seem to think the world owes them a living?
If only proprietors would infuse their teams with as much enthusiasm as they do vanilla into their frozen custards, it'd make being milked for an expensive ice cream a much better experience for everyone.
But, I hear ya. The likes of you Guys at the counters of Five Guys! I too have once been at the helm of a burger bar.
All that grease in the air, the grease in your hair?! I get why you'd be disinterested in working at a fast food dive like Domino's, but surely it's can't be that joyless to serve at a lovely dessert bar?
Ice cream parlours and dessert bars are solemnly lacking presence on the London food circuit, there are so few places of joy and dessert decadence, so won't you give me a goddamn smile where a single scoop is costing me almost a fiver!
Chin Chin Labs Camden is no exception. Perhaps an excessive use of nitrous oxide in the ice cream has frozen the hearts of its staff as not one smile passed anyones sullen lips. If ice cream, usually the stuff made of sunshine lemon drops and lollipops is what you want, I didn't find it here. Nothing of the corny sort. On this day in the London rain, their only corn related concern was someone putting Korn on their Spotify playlist and cleaning up! (Almost 2 hours before closing time I might add.)
Now, after a long #Saturdate spent in the whiffy pit of Camden Stables, in this miserable atmosphere, I couldn't wait to leave either. Yes, you’ll find ice cream, but turn away from this icy lair if you’re in search of sweetness, coffee and cake.
Sadly, it’s no precedent for shops in London to be terrible at coffee, (it's so often the case), but the coffee at Chin Chin in particular, tasted like it had been burned in the fiery flames of hell. Also, the coconut cake underneath my Mango sorbet was a bitter, bicarbonate-y tasting disappointment.
The blob of frozen sunshine yellow in my bowl did little to bring any cheer.
Spotify radio wasn't the only thing announcing My Vitriol was back for 2017.
Heston, you and your snail porridge has opened quite the gate. The average foodie is now pretty accustomed to the likes of Chin Chin Labs crazy flavours. Breast milk ice cream? Frozen milk-puddings smoked over hay and in a kitchen somewhere, some sort of ham sorbet is being concocted (probably).
Sure, you crazy cats Chin Chin...diversify our pallets from priggish plum pudding, but please I implore establishment owners like you to keep up appearances with a passion for service and most importantly: Practice your pastry craft chefs! The epitome of success is getting repetition right. Master meringues! Slave over sugar coz London at present, is a disappointing landscape of chains for me and Joe Blow right now.
Sadly to say, a joint I thought had answered my sweet dreams; The Pudding Bar, didn’t go far either. So come-on London, the home of Tate and Lyle, we're a city full of sweet teeths craving some sugary relief.
We need more good (preferably late) dessert bars toot sweet.
Yes, inventive ice-cream is what gets you through the door, but everything else lets Chin Chin Labs down.