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What is stir fried ice cream and will customers wait 30 minutes for it?


Anyone visiting Asia will no doubt have experienced the excitement of ‘street theatre’ catering. A trend that that been steadily growing in the UK

The Japanese concept of ‘hibachi’ cooking or ‘Front cooking’ has been popular with Western diners since the mid-60’s, when the first Benihana restaurant opened in New York. Until then, the concept of chefs taking Centre stage and cooking food in front of the customers was largely unheard of and even today is something of a novelty

Fast forward to 2015 and the concept of ‘street theatre’ catering has been taken to a new level with the overwhelming success of stir fried ice cream. Prompted by the profusion of rolled ice cream vendors on the streets of Thailand, ‘10Below’,the first Thai-inspired rolled ice cream parlour in the USA, opened its first outlet in New York’s Chinatown

The company with four outlets in New York and plans to open in Los Angeles and Philadelphia, is credited with spearheading the concept of ‘ice cream rolling’ in the same way that cocktails are mixed and presented ala ‘Tom Cruise’ style. They have now been joined by an increasing number of other similar outlets

So what makes stir fried ice cream so special and will customers really wait up to 30 minutes before tasting it?

The secret is Teppanyaki. A Japanese concept of mixing the right ingredients at exactly the right temperature to create a unique cuisine combined with the element of entertainment

Inspired by this concept, we have launched the ‘teppanyaki’ ice cream table into the UK. Manufactured in mainland Europe, the table is available in two different surface sizes and supplied either as a drop in unit or portable table top unit

It is also available with a remote power pack. This provides two hours of power away from a mains socket, enabling ‘street theatre’ to be created anywhere there are potential customers

So will customers really wait for their ice cream roll?

You bet. 10Below regularly sees customers wait patiently for their Oreo-packed ‘Cookie Monster’ for over half an hour and we hear of similar stories from other outlets

So why is this?

It’s the combination of the tappanyaki plate (that can be temperature controlled between ambient and -30°c), interesting fillings such as fresh fruit, chocolate and biscuits along with the showmanship of the ice cream ‘sommelier’

The other advantage for caterers is the ease in which the handmade ‘ice cream’ dessert is created. The ‘chef’ simply pours liquid ice cream mix on to the cold plate, mixes in the ingredients (such as fresh fruit or chocolate chips etc) and then using a pair of ‘scrapers’ simply flattens it and rolls it into curls ready for serving in cups, cones or waffles

For further information and to watch a demonstration video Click Here