People frequently tell me to go to Chinatown Ice Cream Factory for dessert when I'm in Chinatown, but already having been there many times, I'd rather walk to Sundaes and Cones in the East Village to get my Asian flavored ice cream on. Sure, it's just a little over a mile away from Chinatown, but it's worth the walk (besides that, after a night in Chinatown, I probably need to burn some calories anyway).
Taro and black sesame. Oh yes. Granted, this just happens to be my favorite flavor combination, which I think Sundaes and Cones does better than CICF. Black sesame gives every dessert it touches a warm, toasty, nutty flavor, a flavor that for some reason I'm unable to resist. (In a similar vein, I'm also addicted to hazelnut and pistachio-flavored ice creams.)
Many people ask me what the taro flavor, a staple of ice cream shops I used to visit in Taiwan, tastes like. As the purple vegetable is potato-esque in non-ice cream form, I'd say "starchy" (the taro's texture is a bit denser than the black sesame) in addition to "purple" and "sweet." I'm fully aware of how unhelpful these adjectives are. Make my life easier by just eating it yourself.
I'd assume that most other flavors are good (I recall also liking the ginger), but I haven't actually tried that many since I keep going back to the same taro and black sesame combination. It's not necessarily because they go together—if I were smarter I'd balance a sorbet with a non-sorbet—but I just like each one a lot on its own. Considering the heat wave we've been having lately and the impending sweat-laden summer days ahead of us, I may have to explore more of the sorbet options, which would probably be more refreshing than their dairy-based counterparts.
What's Not So Good
Sundaes and Cones won't combine two flavors in one scoop, which is something that CICF offers. As I always want more than one flavor, this means getting a two (generous) scoop cup. And for only about $4.50, it's a lot of ice cream. Only order a two scoop cup (or small bucket, rather) for yourself if you're in an especially ice cream-hungry mood and haven't eaten for at least 24 hours—otherwise, finishing the whole container could spell doom for your stomach. I keep having to share a two scoop cup with at least two other people, lest I want to have leftover ice cream or begrudgingly eat the cup's last dregs, neither option which I find acceptable.
Sundaes and Cones
95 E 10th Street, New York, NY 10003 (map) 212-979-9398