Ramen as a dessert is the improbable concept taking over Instagram.
Served, appropriately, by Greenwich Village’s The Dessert Kitchen, which began in Hong Kong and serves traditional treats created all over Asia, it’s called Ice Stream Ramen. The electric blue strands aren’t actual noodles — they’re made of a seaweed extract called kanten, mixed with sugar and water. (Don’t worry, there’s nothing briny about the taste, which the staff describes as “citrus” but I call vaguely fruity.)
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The dish gets a cold “broth” of evaporated milk poured over shaved ice, with a garnish of freshly scooped honeydew melon, chunks of mango, a handful of mochi pearls and a sidecar of white peach syrup to pour over it all.
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Now, you may see a magical pastel dish that could’ve come from an episode of “My Little Pony,” but my brain needed a moment to recognize it as food. Once I got past that, Ice Stream Ramen is a surprise of textures and flavors. The “noodles” can be slurped just like the real thing but have the consistency of overcooked pasta (the sturdy mochi helps). The broth was, alas, a watery disappointment, with the shaved ice somehow both melting into the milk and solidifying into unpleasant little icebergs. The peach syrup and fruits are the only real flavor in an overall mildly sweet haze. It’s a fun idea, but better on Instagram than in real life.
You can also get the “ramen” without flavoring, making it come out clear and looking even more like noodles if you like to confuse your brain) with your choice of syrup: green tea milk, honey, brown sugar, peach and kyoho (grape). Dessert Kitchen also serves pretty little cups of their housemade ice cream (grape rum!) garnished with various size pearls, flavored eggettes (those bubbly waffles being turned into ice cream cones) and summer’s weirdest hit, raindrop cake. Order them all and take weeks’ worth of #dessertenvy pics.