The Reveal – Wong’s Ice Cream & Store
This isn’t Ed Wong’s first rodeo. He was making ice cream with Karen Burson at Henry Brown’s Small Batch Ice Cream shop in Hamilton up until pretty recently.
It is however, the first place of his own.
Food is in his blood – his father Henry was a chef and opened a café/diner/chop suey house. Ed says, “Food was kind of ingrained in our upbringing and Chinese culture.”
So it seems a natural fit that he’s making Asian-themed, preservative-free gourmet ice creams and treats.
But I promise you’ve never experienced anything like this. Not just the highly original flavours, but the subtle nuances, the texture. It’s transformative. And whatever flavour you decide on, be sure to get Chinese Tiger Tail too (see below).
There are nine flavours, with new ones being added all the time. Vegan and gluten-free flavours too (all flavours are gluten-free except for Wasabi Honey and Chocolate Yuzu). Choose a regular cone, sugar cone or cute Chinese takeout box (single scoop $4.50, double $7.50). A waffle cone is $1 extra (all prices include tax). Quarts are also available for $20. Wong’s signature flavour is Chinese Tiger Tail, made with black sesame seeds and real salted duck egg yolks. But others are quickly becoming just as popular:
- Ube – the bright purple yam frozen treat is a bestseller. It also photographs particularly well, so go fill your IG feed already.
- Coconut Mango Sticky Rice (vegan) – just like the warm dessert, only better.
- Wasabi Honey – sweet and heat. ’Nuff said.
- Rosewater White Chocolate Jasmine – a gentle aromatic delight.
The latest flavours: Hong Kong Milk Tea and Pine Needle Pink Lychee. Wong says the latter is , “citrusy and smells like Christmas trees, naturally. It’s high in vitamin C and antioxidants. We’ve mixed in lychee, coloured pink with organic beet juice for a sweet backdrop and texture.” Christmas came early this year.
Tito Ron’s famous homemade Filipino sweets by Tristen Petate and husband Mike McFarlane are available here, including:
- Ube Polvoron Ice Cream Pies – purple yam filling with milk powder shortbread crust ($4 slice, whole, and also available for order in advance)
- Gluten-free Filipino brownies called Camporado Squares ($4), made with sticky rice
- Ube Turon Sundae ($8) – also made with Wong’s ice cream (two scoops) and complete with two large ube-filled spring roll, mango condensed milk sauce, topped with plaintain chip crumble! Petate calls it “a little excessive.”
There’s also ice pops, Misfortune Cookies ($1.75) from Germany – black in colour and humour – a variety of cold drinks and a little health food pantry section. “One of the things about this corner is it is underserved for healthy, higher-end, vegan, gluten-free food. I’m trying to fill that need with healthy snacks and baking needs.”
On the shelves: Sencha Naturals Matcha Latte Vegan Drink, Kettle Brand potato chips(including uber popular Moscow Mule!) and La Croix Water. To come: extracts and spices.
Fixtures and Fittings
The clean, sleek, bright space outfitted in orange and white is pretty simple – counter, shelving, a couple of fridges for ice cream, ice pops, cakes and drinks, and a tiny area of seating.
Cool design features: the shelving behind the counter was made to match Wong’s logo (also his name in Chinese characters), and the Kanye eating ice cream print, naturally.
Off the Menu
Chinese Tiger Tail, made with black sesame seeds and real salted duck egg yolks – Wong hasn’t been able to find anyone else that’s done it so far. Weird, because it’s the best ice cream you’ll ever have. The creamy black sesame is thick but not cloying, and mingles with the salty duck egg yolks, sending your palate on a ride of sheer ecstasy. Note: grab lots of napkins, and yes, it will make your teeth black. Note two: totally worth it.
Vietnamese Coffee – If you love Vietnamese coffee, or coffee ice cream in general, this one’s for you. It’s made with coffee and condensed milk, just like the real thing.
Chocolate Yuzu – Yuzu is like lemon, but 10 times better. Perfumy and tart, this citrus has an enticing complexity. Mixed in with creamy milk chocolate = complete bliss.
Lemongrass Lime Sorbet – This refreshing, invigorating and vegan frozen dessert doesn’t hold back on the tangy, zesty pucker of both lemongrass and lime. Say hello to one of the best ways to beat the heat this summer.
There are two seating options: 1) A couple of stools near the front, 2) Ice cream sandwich bench!
Head Honcho: Ed Wong
Scoopers: Ed Wong and a team of part-timers from the neighbourhood.
Map it: 617 Gerrard St. E. (at Broadview)
Tuesday to Saturday: 11 am to 9 pm
Sunday: 11 am to 5 pm
Phone it in: 416-778-8883
How Cool is This?! While extreme, charcoal and other ice cream absurdities (you name it, fruit loops, candy floss, bacon) reign supreme on Insta, Wong’s Ice Cream leads the charge in innovation, caliber and craftsmanship.
Check out our Facebook page for more photos.