The notion that ice cream is a summer-only treat has really never held anyone back to begin with, but the opening of Ottawa’s Moo Shu Ice Cream is all the more reason to grab your coat and scarf and load up on some crazy ice cream flavours no matter the weather.
In the heart of Centertown at Bank and Flora street, Moo Shu relies on local farmers' market ingredients to make ice cream that actually taste like their dope as hell flavours, and not just like a crap ton of sugar.
That means that as in season produce changes, so does Moo Shu’s flavours.
While they have their classics that stick around year long like, matcha, black sesame, vanilla ginger bean, and Hong Kong milk tea, they’ve also featured tomato caramel cardamom, avocado coffee, and jelly doughnut as rotating options.
Before actually trying Moo Shu I was skeptical of some of these flavour combos, but owner Liz Mok creates original recipes herself. I wouldn’t lie to ya, it’s next level.
Most concoctions are originals thought up in Mok’s own genius-ice-cream-magic brain, but Moo Shu also takes inspiration from Mok’s Chinese roots.
The name ‘Moo Shu’ is a play on American Chinese food moo shu pork which doesn't exist in China. It shows exactly who they are, “not purely Asian but not traditional American either,” says Mok.
If you’re not already sold, Moo Shu’s Sunday specials will put it over the top. Every week Mok and the back of house team flex their creative muscles and come up with specialty creations.
Grilled cinnamon bun ice cream sandwiches and salted pretzel crust peach ice cream pie have emerged from your dreams to be featured as Sunday specials.
"Thanks." - Your tastebuds.
If you have dietary restrictions and hate ice cream shops because it always looks so gosh darn delicious and tempting, listen up. Moo Shu has tons of vegan ice cream and popsicle options and their cones are vegan and gluten free.
Even though she has no allergies herself, Mok gets that "it sucks if all your friends are getting ice cream, to be that one person that can’t get anything."
You heard me, all cones are vegan and gluten free. They fool even the regular folk into thinking they’re eating wheat and dairy filled goodness.
"If we can make something that non gluten free people love and is still gluten free then why not," she says.
Mok learned her ice cream skills from Youtube, giving the rest of us more reason for endless Youtube spirals. It's basically research right?
She picked up ice cream making as a hobby in the last year of her undergrad. One year of farmers' market boothing and lots of trials later, Moo Shu opened their first shop this past July.
26-year-old Mok explains that while opening her own business was scary, at this time in her life she has nothing to lose.
"There’s no dependence. It’s just me, so if this goes down the tank and I just have to live on mac and cheese for a year, I will, and then figure out what’s next."
Rock on Liz. I hope it doesn't come to it, but I'm sure your mac and cheese would be way better than the rest of ours.