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Watch a New Chinatown Shop Create Made-to-Order, Thai-inspired Ice Cream

By Lisha Arino | July 22, 2015 1:39pm
How 10Below Ice Cream Makes its Thai-Inspired Ice Cream Rolls
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DNAinfo/Lisha Arino

CHINATOWN — A new ice cream parlor in Chinatown doesn’t just scoop ice cream into a cup – it makes the treats in front of their customers’ eyes.

10Below Ice Cream, which opened Friday, specializes in Thai-inspired ice cream rolls, a made-to-order treat with fresh fruit and other ingredients mixed in.

Workers pour cream onto thermoelectric cold plates cooled to a temperature of -10 degrees Fahrenheit and add the fruit and other dry ingredients, which are chopped up and folded into the ice cream, said co-owner Richard Tam.

“It’s essentially the same thing you would pour into your ice cream maker but instead we’re chilling it in a different process,” said the 23-year-old Chinatown native, who opened the business with his brother, Wilson Tam, 28, and their friend David Chen, 22.

The result, Tam said, is a lighter-tasting ice cream that still tastes rich and creamy.

Tam — an ice cream aficionado who recently graduated with an accounting degree from Baruch College — said he first learned about rolled ice cream from YouTube videos and friends who had visited Thailand.

Curious about the process, he and his partners bought a machine and plugged it into their grandmother’s apartment — located two blocks away from the shop — and began to experiment.

“After a bunch of trial and error with bases and different kinds of fruits and stuff, we were like, ‘Dude, this is really, really good,’” Tam said. “Eventually we were like ‘We should try and make a store of it.’”

Cups of ice cream cost $6 including tax and come in seven custom-designed flavors such as “Strawberry Shawty,” which contains chopped strawberries, graham crackers and condensed milk and “Peanut Butter and Jealous,” which incorporates peanut butter, fig jelly, Captain Crunch cereal and condensed milk.

“The flavors in general are kind of a mash-up of things I’ve always wanted to see in ice cream and I just couldn’t find,” Tam said.

10Below Ice Cream, located at 10 Mott St., is open Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and on Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.