Volcano ice cream—frame of creamy Thai ice cream—$5.00.
That's what it says on the dessert menu at Spicy Shallot, a Thai/Japanese restaurant in Elmhurst. What's a frame of ice cream? I don't know. Why is it a volcano? Because they light the whole thing on fire.
It doesn't matter what it's called or what it means—homemade Thai tea ice cream is scooped, battered, deep-fried, drizzled with vanilla sauce, doused with alcohol, and set on fire. That's all you need to know. The tea ice cream is bright orange. Imagine the strongest Thai iced tea you've ever had, but without the condensed milk to take the edge off. The breading that encases the frozen tea tastes vaguely like French toast. Drizzled with the anglaise, it has a certain brunch-y aspect to it, but then there's the alcohol. Poured along the perimeter of the plate (and poured atop the ball as well), it's lit tableside. The golden orb is protected by a blue circle of flames and cannot be eaten until they subside. After that, wait just a little more. The ice cream is incredibly hard—it has to be to withstand the heat of the fryer—so let it sit a bit before you attack the volcano.
77-05 Woodside Avenue, Queens NY (map)