ICICLES rolls into downtown San Mateo


Sophie Lynd

ICICLES provides a variety of flavor choices for their new customers in San Mateo.

Sophie Lynd, Highlander Editor-in-Chief

Rolled ice cream, another new food phenomenon, has made its way down the peninsula.

This past spring, ICICLES welcomed new customers from the San Mateo area to its new location at 222 East 3rd Ave. With eight locations ranging from Sacramento to San Jose, the new ice cream hot spot provides an unique experience for its customers.

Upon entering, upbeat music fills the room and a colorful menu full of variety catches the eye. Although there are flavors for everyone, customers are tied to one portion that costs $8.25. Choices include PB n’ J, a vanilla base with peanut butter, jelly, and graham cracker mixed in, Cereal Killer, another vanilla base with a choice cereal crushed and stirred in, and Gotcha Matcha, a simple green tea base and my pick off the menu.

When my ice cream was ready to be made, my name was called to the station and the process began. First, a cup of flavored condensed milk — vanilla, green tea, or chai — is poured onto a frozen metal surface. The employees then begin stirring the milk using two metal scrapers, and the milk slowly begins to freeze. As the milk continues to freeze, the employee shapes it into a square. Next, the rolling begins.

Using the scrapers, the milk-turned-ice cream is rolled into five or six small scroll-like cylinders and taken to the topping station. Unlimited toppings are included in the price; I chose to add pretzels, chocolate chips, strawberries, whipped cream, and caramel sauce to my green tea flavored rolls.

Since there was nowhere to sit and enjoy my ice cream inside, I had to search for a table down the street.

Despite the lack of open tables, I enjoyed the smooth texture and authentic green tea taste of the ice cream. My chosen toppings complimented both the texture and flavor of the smooth matcha; the crunch of the pretzels and tanginess of the strawberries highlighted the flavor nicely.

The toppings-to-ice cream ratio blended well together until my cup was empty. Although the portion was on the larger end, I felt satisfied rather than over-served upon finishing.

Even without adequate seating, the interactive experience and unique flavors are worth the trip.

[star rating=”4″]