Discover an ice cream wonderland at the heart of the bustling Katipunan Avenue where you can experience what it means to have a delightful degustation as you take your taste buds on an unforgettable journey. One does not need to travel to Japan or to France to experience top notch gelato. Winter Garden Nitrogen Desserts is just a few minutes away. The owner, Ms. Cecile Perez, realized the growing need for fuss-free and sincere service oriented liquid nitrogen establishment with the concept of transporting their clients to a wonderland where happiness abounds. The idea was taken from Kazahana which is a meteorological phenomenon where snow falls even on a clear blue sky. Winter Garden emulates the beauty and romance of snowflakes glittering in the sun as kazahana happens. With indulgence as standard, it is commendable for its ample menu of ice cream flavors to try.
The lovely owner of this awesome place, Ms. Cecille Perez chats with us.
So what distinguishes Winter Garden Nitrogen Desserts from the Baskin Robbins and Häägen Dazs of the world? The use of element number seven on the periodic table: nitrogen. Specifically, liquid nitrogen. Winter Garden Nitrogen Desserts, is the first nitrogen ice cream shop to open in Katipunan area. It has opened only last September but it's been getting raves for the ice cream prepared by using liquid nitrogen method. The rapid freezing process provides for endless combinations of ice creams including both healthy options and indulging ones.
At first, I did not understand what the hype was all about and why liquid nitrogen is currently the "in" thing in the cool world of ice cream world. Unlike other liquid nitrogen ice cream establishments which are all about being gimmicky and shockingly expensive, and would often take the patience of a saint to endure a slow-moving line. Winter Garden Nitrogen Desserts welcomes their guests with a pretty shabby chic ambiance and relaxing music. You'll feel right at home with its cute and quirky store.
Winter Garden Desserts' only setback is that it's quite difficult to locate because it's tucked right inside a small alley next to Sango and Ersao. It is not easy to find if you are not familiar with the area. On a Wednesday afternoon that was raining and cold, Winter Garden Nitrogen Desserts was doing reasonable business. But the rewards of finding it far outweighs the inconveniences because Winter Garden Nitrogen Desserts ice cream is actually very good. It's velvet-smooth, dense as antimatter and completely devoid of ice crystals.
Grinding nuts and pretzels, toasting marshallows and getting some liquid nitrogen from the tank.
Say what you will about the overuse of liquid nitrogen in restaurants that tout molecular gastronomy; liquid nitrogen is made making ice cream. Plus, it's wickedly cool to witness the waterfall of white fog that cascades out if the modified food processors as if a rock concert is about to start. And since you've discovered this awesome shabby chic Winter Garden Nitrogen Desserts, you might as well spring for one of their wonderful picnic trays. Winter Garden Nitrogen Desserts makes them fresh, from scratch, right there in front of you, with hints of cinnamon in the batter.
Winter Garden Nitrogen Desserts has 10 yummy ice cream flavors to choose from at any given time namely Morning Campfire (toasted marshmallows + cornflakes in milky vanilla delight), Rockin' Rocky Road (gooey fudgy remake of the classic favorite), Omnomnom (cookies and cream overload), Make Grandma Proud (peanut butter ice cream with peanut brittle), Movie Critters (sweet and salty popcorn with chinks of caramel + butter on a french vanilla ice cream), Nociolla (Nutella infused ice cream), St. Nick's Favorite (Cinnamon, gingerbread, nutmeg + roasted almonds= Speculoos based ice cream), Choco Choco Chocolate (need I say more? This is for chocoholics!), Sugars of the Sun (sugars burnt to perfection + Mediterranean sea salt) and Sunrise Surprise (creamy coffee served with dulce de leche biscotti and malted chocolate).
Friends Demi Angeles and Erica Yu-Bonifacio seemed amazed at the liquid nitrogen.
Demi tried to puff a chocolate wafer stick.
You could also try their Winters Breath. Huff and puff the fun way as you experience liquid nitrogen at its best with different sweets to choose from. Be it in solo or group, it'll surely be a memorable one!
Picnic Trays--Just dip your choice of sweets into the bucket with liquid nitrogen for 10 seconds. Wait for around 3 seconds to let it dry then put them into your mouth and blow. Make sure it's dry for it can also cause frostbite.
Snow Blossoms with marshmallows and popcorn sticks.
I've ordered their Movie Critters and it took them a while to prepare. The ice cream is smooth (due to the small ice crystal formation under a quick deep freeze process using liquid nitrogen). Using liquid nitrogen makes the ice cream remarkably creamier, denser and smoother. I instantly began to understand why everyone has been raving about it. The ice vapor will spill over the counter to the "oohs" and "aahs" of the spectators.
My ultimate favorite: Movie Critters
My verdict: Lights! Camera! Popcorn! Ice cream? Yes folks! Between my unbound love of all things salty and sweet + making popcorns at home, I was cautiously optimistic that the film-inspired flavor would deliver just the right balance of sweet, salty, crunchy and creamy--the fantastic four of texture and flavor, if you will. And Winter Garden Nitrogen Desserts' Movie Critters did not disappoint me. The off-beat flavor not only delivered that elusive combination, the said ice cream treat also starts with real popcorn pieces, which are interesting enough. Perfectly popped and fluffy pieces of popcorn (with that familiar buttery corn taste) tops the liquid nitrogen infused ice cream.
For popcorn aficionados like me, consider these almost like glazed nuggets of kettle corn. The ice cream had almost toffee-like in effect, providing a sweet crunch that stays remarkably brittle even in extra creamy Winter Garden Desserts Liquid nitrogen Movie Critters ice cream. What's more there were no signs of ice crystals or other textural defects that sometimes come with larger mix-ins. The already salty-sweet popcorn flavored crisps get an extra shot of salty-sweet from the caramel swirl. The Movie Critters with its popcorn caramel flavor gives the perfect balance of sweet and salty yet with a delicately rich caramel sweetness which also adds an element of smooth dolce de leche-like viscosity to the ice cream. The whole flavor profile, with a depth of sweetness + hints of browned butter and salt even elevates the lowly cake. Like a nominee for best actress, Movie Critters takes an element of surprise. I'm not an ice cream fan. It takes a lot to get me to really really like ice cream (except maybe if you're serving me with my all-time fave chocolate peppermint!). But Winter Garden Desserts' Movie Critters pulls out a stunning surprise on me--it steals the show amidst over some otherwise worthy ice cream flavors. I just couldn't get over its crunchy, buttery, salty-sweet popcorn pieces, toffee-like effect, plentiful salted-caramel swirl and creamy clean mouthfeel.
Sugars of the Sun will surely make you smile.
I've also tried my friend's Sugars of the Sun ice cream. There's a crunch sea salt caramel. It's very rich, the texture is quite thick and milky. But I am rather more fascinated by its sea salt flavor. It brings a little salty taste over the ice cream and some crunch when you taste it.
Then comes the Rockin' Rocky Road. Velvety swirls of marshmallows, roasted almonds and legendary chocolate together in playful ice cream delight. The allure of chocolate gets even more seductive with the play of textures in this chocoholics treat. The chocolate base scoops out easily and provides suitable foundation to showcase the barrage of chocolate-coated nuts to come. They seem to blend well and creates richness on every scoop. The swirl finished off this interpretation of rocky road by adding a light, airy texture and authentic marshmallow taste.
Morning Campfire with Tosted Marshmallows and cornflakes.
I've also tried Morning Campfire. The performance of most variations of s'mores rely heavily on the marshmallow component. Winter Garden Nitrogen Desserts must have known this because soon after scooping out my first few spoonfuls--I came across the most concentrated marshmallow swirl I've tasted. The toasted marshmallow base is sweet and subtle enough that it doesn't drown out the other components such as cornflakes with its richness. Unlike other s'mores flavored ice creams from the competition, this base can hold its own; while being able to showcase the other ingredients. Along with the topnotch texture, Wintergarden Desserts incorporated the ideal amount of sweet marshmallow taste.
The author, Purple Plum Fairy--in what seemed like another fairy land holding an ice cream. I say two thumbs up!
You know the saying, "You get what you pay for?" Well this place is so worth it! For a weekend hangout with family and friends, or a week night out with gal pals or a romantic date--this is the spot to scoop on ice cream. The place itself will make you feel that you are transported to Paris as you scoop your liquid nitrogen ice cream. Like heaven contained in a cup, Winter Garden Nitrogen Desserts sweet concoction compels you to dig deep in order to enjoy fully all of its layers. Get your sweet tooth on overdrive and sink your teeth on some brain freeze with an array of awesome liquid nitrogen treats at Winter Garden Desserts. Come and visit them, you'll walk away with that lip-licking, water-craving feeling that only the sweetest things can conjure.
Soon, Winter Garden Nitrogen Dessert plans to come up with warm meals + comfort foods made-from-scratch-home cooking. So far, they're only serving yummy cookies.
Go and check out Winter Garden Nitrogen Desserts yourself for more tasty surprises. It is one of the best reasons you can have for driving all the way to Katipunan. Count my word for it, you'll be glad that you did.
Winter Garden Nitrogen Desserts is located at 299 Katipunan Avenue, Loyola Heights, Quezon City. It is beside National Book Store fronting Ateneo De Manila University (behind Sango and Ersao).
It is open from 12nn-10PM from Mondays-Sundays.
Disclaimer: I am not compensated for this post. Opinions expressed are 100% my own.
Special thanks to owner and President, Ms. Cecille Perez, Mr, Danny Vitan Jr., Vice President and to Rodel Flordeliz.