Last Friday, I took a trip to Allston to try Boston’s newest kind of ice cream: the Thai-inspired ice cream rolls sold at HI B3AR. This unique dessert shop is located at 147 Brighton Avenue, less than a 5-minute walk from the Harvard Ave T stop on the B line. The establishment offers a stylish presentation – each dish consists of 6-7 rolls of ice cream, each worth about 4-5 bites, and an array of toppings akin to what you would find at a frozen yogurt shop. There’s also a diverse selection of flavors, from green tea to key lime pie to piña colada.
My companion and I split the “Morning Call,” coffee ice cream which we chose to top with chocolate chips, whipped cream and an Oreo cookie. It wasn’t overly sweet and there was definitely enough for two. Though the unique format is likely the reason behind the higher price ($6.95 per bowl plus tax), HI B3AR offers clear proof that no matter how you serve it, all ice cream tastes the same. Still, there’s really nothing wrong with that.
By far the most fun part of the experience is watching the employees roll the ice cream. As the video below shows, it’s quite the process, so there’s a longer wait time for ice cream preparation than you’d expect at your neighborhood J.P. Licks. It’s not a place to rush in and rush out, but there isn’t much seating, so it’s also not a place where you should plan to stay a while.
Though the novel ice cream shop is new to the Boston area – the Allston location just opened in late August – it has already attracted some regular visitors. Boston College sophomore Adrianne Satish says she likes the ice cream rolls because of their unusual temperature.
“It’s like colder ice cream, which is good,” Satish said. “I didn’t think it would be possible to have colder ice cream.”
Satish brought her friend Ikjoo Cho along for this particular ice cream run. Cho was impressed with the uniqueness of the place, but after taking his first bite of piña colada ice cream, confirmed it’s not that different than what he usually enjoys.
“It’s basically the same ice cream, just the way you consume it, there’s a novelty to it,” Cho said. “It doesn’t make it taste any better or worse.”
Want to witness the ice cream rolls for yourself? HI B3AR is open from 11:30a.m.-11p.m. on weekdays and 11a.m.-11p.m. on weekends. The store is handicapped-accessible. Check out the website here.