Featured image Four Winters / Facebook
Autumn is here and the weather is getting cooler, or so we’ve been told. But that wasn’t exactly the case on that September morning we spent at The Park at Mall of Arabia; to escape the heat, we took refuge in the air-conditioned alleyways of the mall, where we stumbled upon Four Winters, the UK’s famous liquid-nitrogen-churned ice cream brand.
Whether tempted by the brand’s name or merely by the venue’s baby blue walls that induced coolness that contrasted with our body temperature, we couldn’t tell. Next thing we know we were standing before the wide counter exploring our options from the menu hanging above.
In addition to a selection of seasonal blends that depend on locally-grown produce, Four Winters offers two main options to choose from. Solo; the basic form of ice cream with flavours like coffee, vanilla, strawberry, as well as the vegan or dairy options of chocolate, and coconut. Prices range from 35LE and up to 125LE, according to the size. Ranging from 45LE to 140LE, the other option, Fusions, included combinations like caramel blondie, German chocolate cake, peanut butter cup, and fruit yoghurt sorbet.
The coffee-addict in us went solo, opting for the regular size (45LE), while the adventurous side went for a couple of fusions; the caramel blondie, and the peanut butter cup of the same size (55LE each). At the time of our visit, there was only a single shop assistant; giving her the time to get our order prepared, we took our seats on one of those simple round black tables and chairs scattered around the spacious venue.
The minute we sat down, the solo coffee was ready. Not really acquainted with liquid nitrogen-churned ice cream, the first thing we noticed was its clumpy texture that’s reminiscent of cheese. We instantly ignored the thought, because we were already munching on the deliciously crunchy bits of high-quality dark chocolate and roasted coffee beans, which, unfortunately, turned out to be the only redeeming features of our choice that lacked that strong coffee flavoured we were craving. It tasted more like a vanilla ice cream.
However, the peanut butter cup changed the game. Served under a drizzle of chocolate sauce and a handful of small, round chocolate crunchies, the peanut butter ice cream boasted a creamy texture and a spot-on sweet-and-savoury balance. The caramel blondie was yet another hit when it came to the amount of caramel, which worked well with nearly everything, including the rich vanilla-flavoured ice cream base. This fusion could have been perfect, had the blondie bite on top been more moist, or chewy.
As you can see, our day was saved thanks to the fusions, which we highly recommend. The coffee solo needed a bit more of a coffee-kick; nevertheless, you could taste quality, fresh ingredients – seems like we still can’t get over those chocolate bits and roasted coffee beans. Definitely worth a try.