Chin Chin Lab's Nitro Ice-Cream from Camden Lock Market, London

Day 86: One of our {husband's & mine} favourite places to hang out in London is the Camden Lock and the markets around it. It's a busy and bustling area, could call it an alternate hub of London. This place reminds me of Old Delhi or the markets of Central Kolkata for similar is the chaos, the confusion and the hustle. And the colours, everywhere you look there is colour, bold, on your face vibrant colours. If you are looking for brands, high street or upmarket, this is not the place for you. The rest of London may have been taken over by the high street brands, but this area is full of the indigenous, the enterprising and the non brands. Of course China, rather Chinese goods have infiltrated this market, but in a world which is hell bent on conforming through the known brands, this place stands out. Oh yeah! And like how. If you are nifty with sewing and can still work your grandmother's sewing machine you will  fit right in. Like this girl who has a stall in the east yard. She sews wallets, Oyster card holders, pencil/make-up cases right there in front of you. 
The place is really popular going by the crowd moving around it. I have never seen it any other way. We have some favourite places in there like the Braintree Hemp Store. We love the natural fibre clothing from there and my husband swears that the socks made from hemp are the most comfortable ever. So much so this time round I also stocked up on them. Then the guy who sells silver jewellery. Now there are many stalls selling Indian/Nepali/Tibetan silver all over the market. But this guy whose stall is tucked in below the stairs of the main market is our favourite. There are all sorts of stalls selling clothes, jewellery  shoes, bags, electronic stuff, home decor, tea, yoga related stuff. I don't think I have even covered half of it. Whenever we go there, we spend much more than we plan to.
And the food. The place is literally heaving with food stalls, drinking holes and seesha places. Chinese, Indian, Mexican, Japanese, Italian, Middle Eastern, British, French, American are the most frequent ones. Once we stuff ourselves with cheap take-away food we head straight for our favourite ice-cream place--Chin Chin Labs. 
Now this is no ordinary ice-cream, as this place says it's nitro ice-cream. What that means is that once you order your flavour, they will mix the liquid flavour with nitrogen and make the ice-cream right there in front of you. It is a super cool experience to see them pour the nitrogen, fumes come out and in a matter of minutes liquid becomes solid and you get your ice-cream.  But this means a slow process and long queues. Be patient and it will be worth it.  Also considering the prices of food in the stalls around, these guys are pretty expensive at £3.95 a scoop as far as I remember. You may think that is a bit too much for an ice-cream, well it's not. Not the nitro variety.



They have only a handful of flavours, some toppings and some sauces. Husband's favourite is the Pondicherry Vanilla.  On asking the guys told us that they source the vanilla from Pondicherry in India. It is by far one of the best vanilla ice-cream we have ever had. It is thick and creamy and one taste and you realise how good the vanilla is. This time I tried the dairy free mango ice-cream with pistachio and cardamom topping. Again they must have sourced the mango from the sub continent. You taste the quality of the mango in every bite. The only comparable mango ice-cream is Mumbai's Natural Ice-Cream. The pistachio and cardamom topping added to the taste and made it taste just like a very good quality mango kulfi. And I mean that in a good way. In case you are wondering what is a kulfi, it's a traditional Indian ice-cream like dessert made mainly with ingredients like pistachio, mango, dates etc. If you are in the area, go buy an ice-cream from these guys, I promise you, you won't be disappointed!
Their latest is the brown-wich, which is really popular. We have to go back to taste it.
Husband's Pondicherry Vanilla Ice-Cream with Raspberry Sauce and my dairy free Mango Ice-Cream with pistachio and cardamom topping!

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