Osmanthus Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream

The yummiest ice cream in Manila is the Osmanthus Nitrogen Ice Cream in Zenses…

In the picture above, Chef OJ pours the liquid nitrogen into the stainless steel pitcher, where it will be used for a live demo of creating the Nitro-Ice Cream from scratch.

Zenses is promoting itself as the first and only Molecular Gastronomy experience in Manila. I’m not sure about it being first, but I heard that Tivoli of Mandarin was the first one to introduce Nitrogen Ice Cream in the metro. But I would credit Zenses for being the most innovative in terms of flavor and presentation.

 

The Live Demo

After the liquid nitrogen is prepared, the chef brings out a pre-concocted milk base for the ice cream. It comes in three flavors based on a flower — osmanthus, rose and _______ . We tried the bestseller, osmanthus.

 

Technically, the ice cream was not prepared from scratch (contrary to what the menu is claiming). It would have been nice if the actual mix was prepared in front of you from the raw ingredients like in Tivoli.

Liquid nitrogen is poured on the milk base with osmanthus flavor, creating a smoky “dry ice” effect. I asked the chef about the hazards of liquid nitrogen, and he said that the worst he had experienced was cryoburn from its droplets.

So, keep a safe distance from the liquid nitrogen.

It only took a few minutes to transform the milk base into ice cream by mixing it with a wire whisk.

This cold treat starts to form at a soft stage first, but with a few more minutes of mixing, it hardens into the traditional texture of ice cream.

The serving glasses are prepared by cooling them with liquid nitrogen (-196 degrees), then swirling the liquid like wine until it evaporates.

The ice cream is scooped up, served, and finished with liquid nitrogen on top.

Nitro-Ice Cream (Tableside; P480+SC) – minimum of two orders. Ice cream made from scratch, done right at your table.

It was super creamy, just like eating pastillas with a hint of flower tea flavor. They serve it naked because they want the ice cream to speak for itself. In Tivoli, you have the options of toppings and other flavors.

Osmanthus is a flower from Shanghai. Surprisingly, the flavor works. It’s like eating milk tea in ice cream form.

We also tried the Zenses sweater, where they pour liquid nitrogen into a tequila/lime-based shooter to create a smoky effect. Using flame for shooters is a thing of the past.

The Zenses Sweater (P240+SC)

Aside from the Nitro-Ice Cream, Zenses offers a wide assortment of weird food pairings like their allegedly famous Strawberry Ribs, where coriander and strawberry are mixed in with the ribs. (I’m curious, but I’m not hearing a lot of buzz about it.)

Zenses attracts a late night crowd, which starts to gather at 9pm onwards because of the bar on the second floor and its innovative menu / drinks.

Have you tried the dishes in Zenses?

A.Venue, F109 Makati Avenue, Makati City
Telephone: +632 703-4988

 

 

 

Live an Awesome Life in God’s Love,

Anton


38 thoughts on “Osmanthus Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream

  1. Thanks for sharing Anton! It’s one of the restaurants that caught my eye at A. Venue. A scoop of ice cream for almost PHP500 would make me think twice about ordering. Is it the liquid nitrogen that makes it expensive?
    Jane
    Between Bites
    http://www.janedchua.com

  2. I’ve seen in one of the cable channel another way of making ice cream through the use of Nitrogen. Didn’t know that there is a resto here that is actually serving ice cream using this one. Looks so yummy though it’s rather kind of expensive for that size πŸ™‚

  3. The Ice cream is good for two na, so mga 2 scoops per serving. But it is a different creamy experience that you got to try once in your life πŸ™‚
    They serve Strawberry Ribs and other weird food pairing. I’m still trying it soon.

  4. There is nothing new about Nitrogen freezing. You guys probably have already tried it in the products you see around our Malls. Dippin dots is made by Nitrogen blasting. Manufacturers like Nestle or Selecta also use Nitrogen freezing to speed up the production process, especially during summer when they have to keep up with the demand.

  5. Liquid nitrogen should produce an ice cream with very fine ice crystals, resulting in a very creamy and smooth texture. I actually tried to replace the liquid nitrogen with crushed dry ice. Good results but the ice cream had a carbonated taste, similar to a float, but it was just for kicks.

  6. When they made the ice cream, it produces two cups. So Jayvee had one and I had one for a price of almost P500. It was not shown in the picture with Jayvee but dalawa talaga siya.

  7. Oh, was not impressed with this one. I’d rather indulge in Haagen. I thought they really did molecular gastronomy. Liquid nitrogen is easy. You just need a base, a bowl, a whisk – but even just making ice cream is nitro 101. You can also just create semi-fredo with cream (use Thomas Keller’s recipe from The French Laundry) and you get the same mouthfeel. I thought they would be have nitro spheres with filling inside. I’ll be eating here when they feature some spherification or sous vide or someone else does. Mostly regular Asian fare, except the Ice cream.

  8. Hi Jared, Thanks for the comment! I guess na-aliw lang kami with the idea of seeing liquid nitrogen used to create instant ice cream.
    Hi Ed, not sure, maybe you can ask the guys from Zenses

  9. Hi Anton!
    It was the price that ticked me off PLUS the ice cream in a neo-shanghai resto does not connect well to the other Asian (but not molecular) dishes. Heck why not have nitro-ed bird’s nest soup or century egg popsies? I found it to be a novelty product among their dishes. I would suggest if they want it to be neo-shanghai and molecular they claim to be- they go all out molecular gastro.
    Funny though, probably due to price of actives or Filipinos probably aren’t ready, but I haven’t found a real molecular gastro resto in Manila. *Business Idea!* Though molecular gastro is all the rage internationally (i.e. Alinea (I think the reprint of their book will be launched this Feb), WD-50, the famed El Bulli, I think even Dubai and Singapore has one). Oh well back to hunting or buying Calcium chloride from Amazon.

  10. speaking of molecular gastronomy … it is quite difficult to do 100%t molecular gastronomy … we did some mango caviar last november for F&B World and incorporate it in our resto dish … it turned out well but the preparation time is quite long. some techniques would need over night prep work. not to mention massive storage space and ingredients needed to accomplish it is not easy to come by. with these limitations, i guess it would take a while before true blue molecular gastronomy in the likes of EL BULLI or FAT DUCK can take place in Manila.
    what is interesting about molecular gastronomy is the concept of food pairing … like cauliflower and cocoa and much more … very interesting

  11. I agree. Yeah it would take a while. I am amused with the entire concept and
    wanted to explore this area a bit more…. Hope to eat in EL BULLI, and FAT
    DUCK one of these days.
    Anton

  12. Hi! sa mandarin oriental, Tivoli, mayroon din silang nitrogen ice cream prepared Tableside.
    they also have a sorbet. basically, they bring out a whole cart with vanilla and chocolate ice cream mixtures, sorbets and liquors. with different toppings.
    and you can pretty much ask them to add whatever you want. tapos it’s served on a bed of delicious out of this world ice cream cup. omg, indded.

  13. Ive eaten in El Bulli – thst real molecular gastronomy πŸ™‚
    I wonder if there will ever be any here in Manila and if people would really go??
    I know 2 chefs who are ex[erimenting with molecular gastronomy – hope to try it soon πŸ™‚

  14. the nearest place to try molecular gastronomy would be in hong kong
    there is this place own by the demon chef, BO INNOVATION in wanchai. i heard one dinner there would cost you somewhere between USD 150 TO 250 a person.

  15. I’m a chemistry teacher in a university and I do this every semester for my general chemistry class. It’s one of the demos the students always look forward to. The process is very easy and the result is better than other ice creams since you can use full cream, you can choose your flavors, and the resulting ice cream is not airy, unlike commercial ones.
    Liquid nitrogen is relatively cheap. Some academic institutes sell it at P150 a liter. You can also order directly from the major suppliers, but they sell it by the tanks (which are expensive). More often than not, it’s the containers that are expensive.
    There’s no harm in using it in food since it boils at about -200 degrees Celsius, which means the moment it touches the ice cream (at 0-25 degrees), it turns into gas. And remember, nitrogen gas is safe. (The air is about 70% nitrogen gas– you breathe it in every day!). An alternative is to put the cream in a dropper bottle and let the mixture drip slowly into a vat of liquid nitrogen. It’s a well-known molecular gastronomy technique to create frozen sauce/icecream spheres (ala Dippin’ Dots).
    A nice alternative you can try at home is to make your own ice cream using just ziplocks, salt, and crushed ice.

  16. sir.. this is dennis of umagang kay ganda abs-cbn.. i’m trying call u po but then your not answering my call… i just like to get the contact number of any person in zenses because we would like to feature it in our show… thanks 09177441401 is my number

  17. Hi Jared,
    You are right! Not to mention Heston Blumental’s Fat Duck in Berkshire! He also follows the “slow” movement like El Bulli!
    But yes, there’s a lot more Filipino’s need to learn and really understand food and dining especially European dining. I find most Filipino restaurants ae poor copycats of European cuisine.

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