Huashan 1914 Cultural & Creative Park is fast becoming one of my favorite spots in Taipei. There’s always something new to see, it is home to a movie theater, it has one of my favorite restaurants, VVG Thinking, and there are tons of other specialty restaurants, with fun decor and themes. One day, I was nearby on an errand, and saw this display of a life-sized Lego truck and Lego people.
I walked up for a closer look, and realized it was an ice cream truck!! And these adorable Lego people had ice cream cones or popsicles in their Part 983 hands. So adorable.
Since I was already there, I decided to do a quick walk through of the park to see if there was anything new. It was near the end of the summer holidays, so there were people everywhere, trying to catch those last rays of freedom. To maintain peace of mind, I decided to walk away from the central part of the grounds. I ducked into a cool building to avoid a huge group of summer campers, and was pleasantly surprised to find an ice cream shop!
This shop is called Ice Man & Friends. Ice Man is a local Taiwanese brand of ice cream that makes ice creams with natural flavors. (their slogan is “as natural as ice”) Their name in Chinese is “小雪人“ which translates to “little snowman” (in my opinion, that’s a much cuter name for a brand and shop!)
They have several flavors to chose from on their menu, but you really have to look at what’s in the freezer before you make your decision. The original flavors I wanted to try (rose lychee, and guava) weren’t available that day, so I had to choose something else. I finally decided on matcha (Japanese Green Tea) and Oriental Beauty Tea.
It was only when I saw the cup, when I realized the scoops were enormous! Maybe I should have just gotten one scoop? I never knew how much I liked tea flavored desserts until after I moved back to Taiwan. The matcha flavor was delicious, but the real showstopper was the Oriental Beauty Tea flavor. Oriental Beauty Tea is an oolong tea, with a strong fruity flavor (it’s really hard to describe, and I’m not a tea expert at all) and this ice cream brought out the flavor of the tea perfectly. The ice cream actually had some bits of tea leaves in it, and that definitely contributed to the texture and flavor. It was a perfect blend of sweetness and bitterness, and good to the last drop.
Afterwards, I hopped over to the Ice Man’s website, and found this neat chart that documents where their ingredients are from. They use Oriental Beauty Tea from Hsinchu, strawberries from Miaoli, passionfruit from Puli, sesame seeds from Tainan, and many more. There are some ingredients sourced from other countries; the matcha is from Japan, of course, chocolate from Belize, vanilla from madagascar, and grapefruit from the U.S. I love this map, and I wish more companies would do this. I enjoy knowing where my foods (and ingredients) come from, and who knows? I could probably plan a trip to each destination and try the speciality ingredient there.
Information: IceMan and Friends|Address: Huashan 1914 Cultural & Creative Park ｜MRT: Zhongxiao Xingsheng Station Phone: (02) 2322-5573 | 華山文創產業區 紅磚六合院 C 棟 （杭州北路 X 北平東路口）