The use of liquid nitrogen in preparing food is nothing new, with the earliest reported instance of its use to make ice cream dating back to the 1800s. Whether this is true or not, ever since the 1970s, chefs all over the world have used liquid nitrogen to make amazing ice cream.
It has been described as the best way to get creamy, crystal-free ice cream, as it literally takes seconds to freeze the ingredients, without any whipping involved whatsoever.
In recent times, preparing liquid nitrogen frozen ice cream has become a fad among many popular TV cooking shows. In Pakistan however, this was unheard of – until now!
I used to stare at my TV in awe when avant-garde chefs from the popular show MasterChef Australia poured this magic liquid to transform food in fun and surprising ways amidst clouds of smoke. I never believed (but always hoped) I would be able to witness something like it in real life.
So as soon as I heard it through the grapevine (read: social media), I knew I HAD to try this place out. That same day, after dinner, I started badgering the Mr – who’s not big on ice cream unless there’s a lot of chocolate involved – into taking me to Scream (please control the feminist in you, I CAN take myself WHEREVER I want to, but then, where’s the fun in that :p ). And since I left the poor fella with no choice, he finally gave in!
The two of us hopped into our car and headed straight to Sehar Commercial, which was where their Facebook page indicated they were located, and it was hard to miss the sign ablaze with pink and blue colors. As you enter, you are transported to an old pub in England, with its retro ambiance and sofas adorned with the Union Jack. As soon as your eyes straddle to the counter, the feel becomes very futuristic, with HUGE gas tanks and people wearing safety goggles!
Expecting the place to be full, we were quite surprised to see it empty, except for one other couple. To be fair, we did reach around the time normal people are probably having dinner – and since we eat at 7pm, there we were!
Cutting to the chase, we placed our order; Blueberry Cheesecake for me, and Choco Nutella for him, naturally. The counter was self-service, and like a child, I stayed glued to the counter to see the magic as it happened (I insisted the Mr stay with me so I wouldn’t end up looking like a moron).
As I watched, all googly eyed, the man behind the counter transferred the ice cream batter to a large steel bowl, added flavor and then blasted it with liquid nitrogen from one of the huge tanks.
There was a lot of cool fog, and as I oohed and aahed, the ‘LN2’ froze the mixture and transformed it into ice cream. It was scooped into a cup for me and I waited and watched as the process was repeated, for the Choco Nutella flavor.
As soon as I bit into my Blueberry Cheesecake ice cream, I understood what the hype was all about; creamy, velvety texture that just melts in your mouth. The taste was just too smooth for words, and it was delicious! I devoured mine as quickly as I could and went back for more – Vanilla this time. I’d say the serving size wasn’t enough, but maybe I just wanted to see the magic one more time (don’t judge me!).
My Blueberry Cheesecake flavored goodness!
The Mr savored his Choco Nutella, and I am delighted to report that he is now a convert to ice cream, which says a lot about the quality of what Scream has to offer. By the time we were done, customers had started pouring in, and the small space had filled up with groups of friends and families.
The Choco Nutella!
My Second Cup- Vanilla this time.
There were other things on the menu I was dying to try too, like Buffalo Wings and Curly Fries, but I just couldn’t get enough of their ice cream. Oh, and they’ve brought back BOBA, those excellent bubble teas! I am definitely going to try them out next time I visit (if I don’t spend the whole time having ice cream that is).
Needless to say, I was a happy camper when I left.
Science, art, food and style, all rolled into one – Scream is an example of how far the Pakistani food industry has come. Be it Michelin-star quality dishes, or the adoption of new culinary techniques, our restaurateurs are doing it all! Admittedly, there’s still a long way to go, but what’s great to see is that they are definitely getting there.
The eatery: Scream
Price per cup: Medium for Rs.200 & Large for Rs.300
Where: Shop 3, 18-D, Sehar Commercial, Lane 4, Phase VII, DHA, Karachi
When: 2pm to Midnight