1141 Mainland St
Vancouver, BC V6B
This place has been all the rave for the past few weeks since we moved downtown. Located in Yaletown of Downtown Vancouver, Mister has been all over my social media and on my list of “must try” before summer is over. Besides the initial eye catching production of Kitchen Aid mixers lined up with liquid nitrogen evaporating all around, Mister takes me back to my childhood to a museum, Discovery Place in Charlotte, NC, we used to go to and I eventually volunteered at. At the museum, they would have science demonstrations and my favorite was the one where they would use liquid nitrogen. I never really cared the details. I really just wanted to see the demonstrator use liquid nitrogen to make yummy ice-cream. Sometimes they would throw marshmallows in the liquid nitrogen and take them out for us to taste- it tasted like lucky charms!
Anyway, I spent a lot of time reading about this whole production and I can see how it really is an expensive way of making ice-cream. All of that is reflected in the high price for small portions. But, they are using liquid nitrogen! Not to mention Kitchen Aid mixers- not just the small ones you see on ever home cooks counter, but the bigger higher volume ones that can take more of a beating. And the beating it does take! Churning ice-cream at any rate while pouring liquid nitrogen in to freeze it will give the motor a fight to keep up it’s pace. I remember my pastry chef in school telling us that the mixers are made to handle a beating of mixing dough, but that will put pressure on it. Same goes for mixing ice-cream in minutes using liquid nitrogen. Those two components of making this $7 cup ice-cream is crowd drawing to say the least. I don’t need to explain how using liquid nitrogen adds to the cost. Being a special ingredient in this ice-cream, it’s definitely a sourced one. There is a price to pay for instant gratification.
And now for the taste test. I also read many review on the flavor of the ice-cream and I have to say I was a little reluctant. I think a lot of the ratings were based on the disappointment with cost for quantity so I tried to ignore that when Darren and I went this week. Mister offers it’s twitter followers a discount on Tuesdays on a select ice-creams if you tell them the password they tweet out. This past Tuesday was “Rio” for the Blueberry Mojito Sundae. I decided to go against my normal instinct of oreo and went for the mojito and man was I happy about that. Both Darren and I agreed it was light and very refreshing. It had a creaminess like ice cream should but also a very light sorbet finish. I thought that was perfect since mojitos are a light, clean, and crisp drink. The mint and lime flavors were on point and the amount blueberries were the perfect amount without overwhelming the mojito taste.
Darren went with the famous creme brûlée. We both enjoyed the flavor of a richer, smoother, more velvety consistency. The sugar glass over the top was nicely executed without melting too much under it. Darren, however, was just not as impressed. He, like many other reviewers, was a little turned off with how little you get for how much you pay. I get it, but I also see it from the buisness perspective. I spent the majority of our walk back home explaining to him how all this works. I think because I got to learn a lot about food cost, food production, and equipment from pastry school, combined with my experience working in labs working with chemicals, nitrogen tanks, and storage, I can see how bills add up. Not to mention the cost of just being an ice cream business in Vancouver where food culture is hot.
It’s easy to say I will be back because of how nostalgic it was to see liquid nitrogen ice-cream, but I think the biggest reason I would go back was because it really was good. I never was one to sit down a polish a pint of ice-cream over pizza and a movie for girls night- although that was always on the agenda for girls night in college- but when I have ice-cream, I want a small, satisfying, indulgent, treat. This was just the right portion and delivered what the title of the flavor described and for that I left happy.