New dessert rolls to Green Street


Lily Katz

The matcha lychee ice cream can be found at 8ºF Ice Cream and Crepe in Champaign, IL. August 24, 2016.

By Sarah Kats, Staff writer

As the night of the first day of classes set upon campus, students crowded around a wall of glass panels to watch employees preparing a dessert that has garnered more than 9,000 Instagram posts: traditional Thai ice cream rolls.

Opened at 508 E. Green St. over the summer, 8°F Ice Cream & Crepe is the first store to offer rolled ice cream on campus.

The ice cream shop replaced Koto Ramen. Although the store’s sleek, black tiling remains the same, it is now juxtaposed against a primary color scheme with bright, yellow tables and a row of ceiling lamps, which match the ice cream rolls in 8°F Ice Cream & Crepe’s logo.

“[8°F is] a casual spot with a nice location,” said Anya Sharma, junior in LAS. “The bright color scheme and fun menu is also a nice aspect of the experience.”

Pictures on Instagram were what initially brought Apoorva Gupta, junior in Engineering, to try the photogenic treat. Others like Varun Bahl, senior in Engineering, find the experience of watching the cream poured on the ice-grill and rolled into the final product a major reason to pay the visit.

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The name of the ice cream shop comes from the temperature at which ice cream freezes, 8°F.

“You can see them roll the ice cream and put toppings, which is something you don’t see around here very often,” Bahl said.

Timothy Le, senior in ACES, was drawn to 8°F Ice Cream & Crepe because of his Vietnamese heritage and commitment to trying new restaurants.

“Because this is exclusively an Asian dessert and Champaign-Urbana isn’t known for its Asian sweets, I was surprised when this place opened,” Le said. “This was the first thing I wanted to try since I’m also a foodie and like to try new foods often.”

From flavors like Matcha Lychee to Golden Cheesecake, the ice cream can be customized with a variety of flavors and toppings that make each creation original and fresh. The sweet and savory handheld crepe menu and the wide array of smoothies to complement, it’s no surprise that some students find the new cafe to be a perfect gathering spot.

“It has something that just tastes really good to me,” Le said. “Most of their ingredients, you could see at an Asian restaurant. The ice cream itself is soft but also creamy and not too overly sweet and with the fresh fruit mixed in with, it gives it a refreshing flavor.”

Le said a reason to try the rolled ice cream is that “it’s definitely a different texture. It’s not as creamy as traditional ice cream, and it melts in your mouth instantly.”

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