Spring has sprung! I have it on great authority - from my 4yr old source - that the 1st of September (despite the rain today) is officially the beginning of Spring here in sunny NZ, so what better way to celebrate the arrival of balmier weather than to head on down to Duck Island for a delicious ice cream...
We ventured there last weekend (just before I broke my knee) after rave recommendations from numerous friends to go and check it out – both for ourselves and to blog about. I'd seen inside the building during the construction phase and we had been keen to visit, but being mid-winter and not traditionally ice cream season yet, we simply hadn't quite got round to it.
It was a rainy Saturday afternoon when we visited, Grey Street seemed eerily quiet and so we foolishly assumed we'd have the place to ourselves. By the time we'd finished our ice creams however, the quirky little shop was completely packed and we left just to clear some room for the next people to sit down! The queue snaked right around the main part of the shop, proving that ice cream is good for all weather and that people were coming from all parts of town to sample the delights on offer at Duck Island.
The flavours we sampled were:
- Liquorice for Simon
- Toasted Marshmallow for Arabella
- Malted Chocolate for Lucy
- Vanilla & Blackberry Balsamic for me
Simon - always happy to try something new - doesn't usually like liquorice but he gave it a go. He enjoyed the ice cream but found the actually pieces a bit overpowering, perfect for a liquorice lover though and I'm sure it would be a first choice for both my Dad and my brother. The girls both wolfed theirs down with lots of yummy noises and as for mine, it was absolutely perfect for me! Just the right combination of sweet, tangy, fruity and refreshing without being sickly - I have been craving some more ever since!!
For those that don't know, Duck Island is a spin off venture of Chim choo ree restaurant in Hamilton (which we have yet to visit and review) and both premises are owned and run by Cam, Kim and Morgan. The fascination with making ice cream began in the kitchen of their restaurant, where they have always made their own ice cream for the dessert menu. The experimentation with numerous different flavour combinations has been something they've really enjoyed and they felt there was a gap in the market for a shop that created interesting flavoured ice creams. Inspired by similar ice cream parlours in America, they had been wanting to open up an ice cream shop for a year or so but were just waiting for the right space to become available. It seems that Duck Island was well worth the wait, as their corner setting on the edge of the park will almost guarantee a line around the block come summer, I have no doubt!
All the ice creams as well as everything else they serve - from sauces and sodas to cookies and other delights - are all made on site. As a rule their ice creams don't have eggs in them (which can be an allergy concern for some) and of the 18 or so flavours in the cabinet at any time, there would probably only be one with egg yolk in it. There are also always 4-5 dairy free ice creams available, usually coconut milk based or straight fruit sorbets, meaning that really everyone is catered for! They like to use seasonal ingredients so whatever is currently in season will be found in the ice cream cabinet... Just don't expect boring old flavours, most of them have their own little twist on the ordinary! They are really looking forward to the arrival of summer and you can be sure there will be lots of berry and stone fruit flavours to sample. Delicious!
Since opening their doors three months ago they have had an overwhelmingly positive response and they are extremely grateful to the wonderful people of Hamilton who have come out in winter to buy ice cream.
I wish you all the best with the shop guys, congratulations on a fantastic first three months and thank you for the delicious flavours and friendly service. We will be back soon for more! - Once I can hobble in that is.
Love Holly & Family x
PS: Just in case you were wondering, they also sell tubs to enjoy at home...