Chin Chin Dessert Club

Restaurants, Ice-cream parlours Soho
4 out of 5 stars
4 out of 5 stars
(12user reviews)
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A second proper shop from the ice cream experimentalists.

Ever dropped a pill in an ice cream parlour? Well, if you’re looking to experiment, get yourself down to Soho’s Chin Chin Dessert Club, where they’ve invented a ‘miracle’ sugar-free grapefruit ice cream cone that tastes super-sweet after you pop a special pill. Wacky, right? But it’s the kind of thing we’ve come to expect from Chin Chin – aka, the Willy Wonka of the ice-cream world.

Chin Chin uses liquid nitrogen to freeze its ice cream to order, and the air in the original Camden shop is thick with gas. Things are a bit less theatrical at this Soho branch, as all the freezing is done at the back of the shop – but it’s still very ostentatious. One wall of the small space is gleaming white marble; while every other inch of the place is painted bright gold – including a bizarre, bleacher-style bench that juts out into the centre of the room. You perch here to eat your dessert (not just ice cream, mind – Chin Chin are billing this as ‘London’s first dessert-only restaurant’). And there's some seriously elaborate stuff going on.

The most extraordinary thing I ate was an ‘avocado taco’ – a beautiful little wafer ‘taco’ stuffed with smooth, rich avocado ice cream and topped with sharp yuzu cream. What was brilliant about this was that the wafer actually tasted like a taco – rich, savoury and fantastically moreish. Other winners included a killer burnt butter caramel ice cream and a vegan raspberry sorbet so super-silky you’d never guess it was dairy-free.

Weirdly, one disappointment was that pill. Served in a convincingly clinical plastic cup, popping it felt deliciously illicit – but the results were a bit of a letdown. Honestly? My sugar-free grapefruit ice cream tasted better pre-pill; post, it was unpleasantly synthetic and cloying. What Dessert Club tells us is that things are sweeter when you’re sober. A boring metaphor for life, if ever there was one.

By: Kitty Drake

Posted:

Venue name: Chin Chin Dessert Club
Contact:
Address: 54 Greek Street
Soho
London
W1D 3DS
Transport: Tube: Tottenham Court Rd
Do you own this business?
Static map showing venue location

Average User Rating

3.8 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:3
  • 4 star:4
  • 3 star:3
  • 2 star:1
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|12
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tastemaker

A good selection of cakes, cookies and ice cream. I went for the Valrhona chocolate ice cream with fleur de sel caramel and marshmallow fluff - a delicious combination! My friend went with burnt caramel and the princess cake which looked INCREDIBLE, although it was a littley heavy on the icing.

Tastemaker

Finally we don't have to go to Camden to have the brilliant desserts made by the wizards of Camden labs. Concentration here is more on desserts than ice cream creations; hot chocolate topped with blowtorched meringue, the tittycake, the redvelvet cake , tiramisu are all worth a try. They add new things to their menu and keep it relevant which I love about them. A parlour that fits Soho well.

tastemaker

Why have I not known about this place for this long? I don't know, but I am very disappointed for not discovering it earlier. This is possibly my favourite ice cream/dessert place in London (possibly the planet!). We had Tiramisu (wanted to save the infamous ice-cream sandwich for our next trip). The Tiramisu was to die for! Cannot wait to go back.


I love the Camden branch and have been visiting since they first opened. Absolutely delighted Chin Chin have opened a central location, no need to fight through the hoards of tourists. There's more on the menu and finally I can get two flavours in one cup.  They're always pushing with their new creations like the delish Avo Taco and the Choux ice cream buns- will definitely be visiting again. 

Tastemaker

A fan of the its flagship store,I raced to try the delights from Chin Chin and,I have to say,it was disappointing. I went on a quiet afternoon,where the staff were standing around looking bored and a few punters nibbling away at their purchases. We tried the Titty Cake (oh naughty!) which was a pink iced boob shaped bit of cake with some gold leaf (posh) and a scoop of chosen ice cream. My boyfriend had the Marshmallow and Chocolate pie. They both were ok,the pie was taken out of a freezer in front of us and it was rock hard and it was impossible to cut into.My boob was really average and I didn't think it complimented the ice cream at all. Also the basil and chocolate chip ice cream is overpoweringly basily and it felt like I was eating a frozen pesto of sorts. Boo. Also it really suffers for not having all the ice cream making in front of you,it's great to see how the ice cream is done and it just takes a bit a of that magic, that the Camden branch has, away from it all. 

tastemaker

Fantastic ice cream! Everything is freshly made. Try their avocado ice cream, very interesting. 

tastemaker

So after having visited the Camden branch on numerous occasions, I thought I'd visit the Soho branch pre-theatre.

Unlike the Camden branch, the individual ice creams aren't made to order and most of the ice creams have been pre-made. You can still see the process taking place in the back for larger take-home tubs, but it's just not the same.

I ordered a Killer cone with a raspberry and lychee sorbet. The killer element was the marshmallow below the ice cream. I was told that you weren't allowed to have toppings on a Killer cone which I was slightly disappointed with. The sorbet mostly tasted of raspberry and I couldn't taste any lychee. The waffle cone was delicious and tasted like no other cone that I've tasted in the past!

tastemaker

I'm a loyal fan of Gelupo for real, authentic gelato but I dare say Chin Chin Club offers solid competition right in its neighbourhood! I stuck with simple ice cream in a cup and stayed away from the waffle fanciness. 


The Tonka Bean nitro ice cream is subtle but pairs perfectly with honeycomb as a topping. If you want something really quite special, I'd go for the Strawberry & Hay flavour. I've never had strawberry ice cream that tasted the same. Keen to try some other experimental flavours as the menu rotates and gets refreshed from time to time. If you're feeling adventurous and in the mood for an ice cream, you have to come here! 

Tastemaker

I first tried nitro ice cream at a street market in Budapest. There they freeze a single serve portion of ice cream in front of you and for you only. There are a few equally appealing options and the only regret I had was that you can't do several scoops of different flavours. It was the most vibrant and creamy and smooth ice cream I've tasted in a long while (if ever). So upon return to London I took to Google and Chin Chin Labs came up. The Soho branch is closer to me than the original one in Camden, so that's where I headed. The design of the venue is minimalistic and to me slightly reminiscent of Asian airports. If you choose to stay in the ice cream is served in an old fashioned stainless steel sundae cup. But, unfortunately, it's a much more industrialised operation than what I was hoping for: ice cream is frozen in batches (you can still watch the theatrics of it behind the glass wall as they prepare a batch at almost any given time). The upside is that you can get multiple flavours like in any ice cream parlour. The downside is that it's not customised or churned in front of you. I've had a scoop of strawberry and hay and a scoop of burnt butter caramel. I don't know if theres any science to support this, but I got an impression that the freshly frozen ice cream is superior to the one that has been sitting in a tank. At the time of my visit they just finished a batch of caramel ice cream so my scoop came straight from the mixing tank. It tasted more full of flavour and creamier than the strawberry and hay ice cream that has been prepared earlier. I also found strawberry and hay to be too sweet. I'd say it's a good idea to ask for a taste before you order as they carry some unusual flavours. What I really liked is the selection of toppings. I'm a sucker for crunch and crumbs type of toppings and the typical gummy bears / chocolate buttons don't appeal to me at all. Here is what I call my toppings paradise: you can choose from fried corn, pistachio and cardamom powder, basil shortbread crumble to name a few. When you order 2 scoops it automatically comes with a choice of one topping. All in all, it's a curious place to stop by if you are around, if not quite as good as I’ve expected based on my previous experiences in Budapest and Los Angeles.


tastemaker

I love the ice cream chin chin dishes out! Really love it.... Its modern, adventurous and not afraid to test the boundaries of sensibility!

I had a burnt butter caramel cone with torched marshmallow and came away begging GOD above to forgive my sins. It was utterly sinful!! I could tell this was a moment on the lips and a life time on the hips kinda situation but it was worth it. They got all the flavours down to a T!!!

They aren't overpriced either which is nice to see in London.

My only criticism would be to add less savoury flavours to the menu as I didnt have much of a choice when it came to that. But original and exciting all the same :D


Chin Chin has done it again. I am loving the expanded menu and the way that the staff really took the time to really talk to me and tell me what wonderful delectable creations they've been working on for their newest location. The decor is disco and fun, and pierfect for the neighborhood. I was obsessed with Camden and loved the cotton candy cone at Hawker House, now I'll have a place to go in SOHO. Do not miss out. YUM

Tastemaker

I’m a huge fan of the Cin Cin Labs in Camden. It was love form the first lick. I remember the extra creaminess of the ice-cream, the crunch of the toppings and richness of the sauce and the bitterness of the chocolate label. I was salivating seeing all the pics from the new place in Soho and I was impatiently waiting for my post tooth operation pains to go away, so I can indulge myself. And so I visited the new Soho spot today only to find average ice-cream in a characterless place. There’s far more on the menu than in Camden and I found it a bit confusing. It’s also more expensive.

I tried the avocado and crunchy corn served with whipped cream in blue corn taco. The avocado ice-cream was slightly sweet, but the flavour wasn’t distinct, it didn’t have the wow factor the Camden balls do. The home-made cream was ace, and the taco-wafer had nice crunch. But I wouldn’t recommend eating ice-cream form a taco. With every bite the ice-cream was flowing out on both sides and dripping down my hand. The plate was tiny, so it also ended up on my skirt. I left the place sticky and slightly annoyed.

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