Spot’s Condensed Milk Ice Cream With Nata de Coco


It seems like this particularly sweaty summer has spawned some particularly inventive ice cream. Rebecca brought news of Guerrilla Ice Cream‘s unorthodox treats and the word that Park Slopers can now order frozen yogurt topped with chocolate-covered crickets.

Over at Spot, Pichet Ong’s dessert bar in the East Village, the ice cream options are not quite as oddball, but certainly imaginative.

This particular concoction is a kind of twist on Filipino halo-halo — condensed milk ice cream topped with nata de coco. (Both condensed milk and nata de coco are common toppings for the shaved ice dessert.)

Nata de coco is a translucent, slippery, gelled substance made from fermented coconut water and carrageenan, the gelatin-like compound extracted from seaweed. It’s cool and slick, jellylike but firm enough to be almost crunchy. It tastes mildly of coconut, making it a refreshing counterbalance to the very sweet condensed milk ice cream, which is tasty if a bit icier than ideal. But then, maybe it’s meant to put us in mind of shaved ice.

Spot Dessert Bar
13 Saint Marks Place