Arctic Bites is one of the first places in Toronto to offer Thai-style ice cream rolls. Also known as stir-fried ice cream , these are commonly found throughout Thailand but still relatively unknown in Canada.
The shop is cute and minimalistic. Seating is limited to a few benches - it's definitely a takeout joint.
The process of making ice cream rolls is a treat to watch. A liquid mixture that looks like pancake batter is poured onto an ice grill and mixed and chopped as it slowly freezes.
Toppings are also thrown in, depending on which flavour you order, and the resulting mix is rolled off using a scraper and placed beautifully in a small cup.
The end product is magical. The ice cream has a much lighter feel than a conventional scoop and there's something incredibly refreshing about biting into rolled-up thin layers of ice cream.
I try 5 of the 8 flavours currently available ($6.50 each). My personal favourite? The cutely named 2 Can Sam - a wheat-flavoured ice cream base topped with Froot Loops. The result is a dessert just like a bowl of breakfast cereal.
The award for most interesting flavour goes to Thai Me Up. It carries strong flavours of Thai iced tea - no surprise as there are actual tea leaves used in the mixture. The creamy yet strangely refreshing dessert is light and satisfying and might appeal to those sick of green tea-flavoured ice cream.
The Taro with a Twist is creamy taro-flavoured ice cream mixed with coconut shavings, topped with chewy mini mochi bites, and drizzled in condensed milk and a thin Pizelle cookie. It's a fun flavour that brings to mind a rich, overstuffed bubble tea.
The We're Mint To Be is essentially a mix of peppermint-flavoured ice cream mixed with Oreo crumbles. Three Oreo cookies get mixed into each ice cream serving, resulting in a flavour profile not unlike an After Eight mint with a hint of traditional cookies and cream.
The Love at First Bite is Arctic Bites' take on the traditional strawberry ice cream. It's noteworthy for the loads of real fresh strawberries that actually get mixed into the dessert, both in chunks and slices. It's topped off with whipped cream and two strawberry Pocky sticks - it's very fruity and would be a great summer treat.