iHalo Krunch is Toronto’s destination for what’s been dubbed goth, charcoal or black ice cream. They make their own cones onsite infused with activated charcoal that allows you to match your favourite sweet treat with your all black everything lifestyle with no bitter, ashy taste.
Similarly, though you can get a black on black soft serve cone here, the charcoal-infused flavour is actually coconut based. Flavours inspired by Filipino and Asian culture, infused into soft serve onsite, make this ice cream not only fashionable but uniquely tasty as well.
It’s a small storefront, with a backwards question mark on the giant front window to pique your interest.
There’s barely room to squeeze more than a dozen customers into the minimalist shop, so lines frequently spill out the door.
There’s barely any decor other than a few plants in here, but the plain white backdrop allows tantalized ice cream eaters to snap a pretty pic of their fashion-forward snack easily.
Soft serve doesn’t come cheap at $6.50, and there are essentially four basic flavours, some of which are swirled together: matcha, vanilla, ube, and the charcoal-infused coconut. All are dairy-based but various non-dairy flavours should rotate in.
Matcha bean is a vanilla matcha twist, and ube nut combines ube and coconut flavours. Slighly bitter, rich matcha goes well with creamy vanilla, and nutty ube pairs well with sweeter coconut.
Straight up non-swirl flavours have cute names too, like Bean There Done That for Madagascar vanilla, Meet Your Matcha for matcha, Ube Haze for the straight ube and of course, the Black on Black coconut.
The ube is probably my favourite, full of rich earthy flavour and probably the most difficult to find at other ice cream shops, though a popular flavour for ice cream in Filipino culture, especially colourful and wacky halo halo. “Ihalo” means “to mix” in Tagalog.
The black ice cream is actually slightly more basic despite its appearance, tasting essentially like rich, creamy coconut. The activated carbon itself is derived from coconut husk. What you can’t see is that a little bit of marshmallow fluff is at the bottom of each cone to help stop the extremely melty dessert from dripping too much.
They infuse flavours in house by adding a little flavour to the base and blending it up before adding the rest, as this has been found to incorporate the flavour better.
The waffle batter is similarly basic with the building blocks of egg whites, sugar, flour, and salt, the charcoal added only for colour.
Pleasing to both the eye and the tastebuds, iHalo Krunch has a winning combination on their hands.
I can’t wait to see what new inventive frozen creations brother and sister team Chau and Tuan Nguyen continue to come up with. Rumors of corn cones, for example, are in the works.