The three people next me are literally proclaiming this ‘the best day ever’ while at the counter, a group of 10 skate punks are lined up deciding what they want on the top of their sundaes – yummy gluten free chocolate cookies, vegan gummy bears or non-dairy whipped cream. Welcome to Yorica – Soho London’s new ice cream parlour – with a difference. Everything in it is vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free, egg-free, nut-free and wheat-free.
Let’s start with the ice cream – it’s dairy free. But you wouldn’t know them considering it’s mix of rice milk, coconut cream, sugar and a seaweed based thickener is as rich, creamy and, erm, milky like, as traditional ice cream. On top of this, they’ve definitely pushed the boat out with the flavours. Yes, they have chocolate and strawberry and a really good Cookies and Cream but there’s more…..
Let’s start with the one that got me to detour between A-B on a rainy Thursday afternoon last week – they had promised me a sample of the fantastically odd sounding Chocolate and Beetroot. If you’re a fan of beetroot juice you’ll love this. It’s got that same, subtle rich metallic taste but it’s cut through with a cocoa twang.
Next up, with the No-Nut Nut – as regular readers know I can no longer indulge in the joy of peanuts or peanut butter unless I want achy hands and legs for the next 24 hours, so this was a dream come true. It tastes exactly like peanut butter ice cream (my fave flave of choice), but no nuts were harmed in the making of this product – instead, they’ve managed to create the perfect blend of toasted soy that gives you a nutty like taste.
Third was Moringa – this superfood powder is taking the crown from matcha as this year’s must-add ingredient. Sadly, though I’m not a fan….
Fourth – I hasten to add I was only having tiny spoonfuls of each – came my absolute favourite though. Pumpkin and Cinnamon – yes, I was surprised as well! It’s absolutely delicious. I would never have guessed the main ingredient was pumpkin, I would have said peach or orange and the cinnamon has just enough to a taste to make me think Cinnabons.Apparently, Yorica want to experiment with more veggie ice creams – which is pretty much music to NYNHB ears! Do you think they’ll do a Brussels sprouts one at Xmas?
Most people around me though weren’t choosing the ice creams alone – they were going for sundaes made with the ice cream or the, also dairy-free, fro-yo. The toppings of these were also all vegan, gluten free, dairy free, egg free and nut free. This surprised me as the dark brown cookies with the creamy white filling rather reminded me of something – something beginning with O that I eat quite a lot of given the opportunity and normally, do not tick the free-from box. I was assured however that nope, they were made specially for them and gluten free – I nommed two in quick succession and can safely say, I would never have guessed.
Right now, Yorica don’t have full calorie information for their treats – though they tell me analysis is being done right now – but, they use minimal sugar (250g per 8 kilo of ice cream) so we can pretty much write it off the truly naughty list. Oh, and as an added awesome bonus – they have ring pull coconuts in the drinks fridge. Not quite the same one as I reviewed here, you can’t eat the insides, but still – BEHOLD THE JOY THAT IS A COCONUT WITH A RING PULL.
I wasn’t the only one happy with what I’d tried, literally everyone around me was thrilled – people were thanking the staff that they had somewhere to go where they didn’t have to worry about their allergies, or that they could come for vegan treats. I do admit though that the fact that they are located directly next to a charcuterie with HUGE great ham legs and cones full of sausages in the window did seem a tiny ironic……vegan folk, maybe don’t look to your right while you head back up to Oxford Street munching your treats!
You’ll find Yorica at 130 Wardour Street in Soho. Here’s where to find more information on opening hours and the products etc.