Real Ice Cream (aka: Olety’s Chaat Corner) — restaurant review — California
Posted on June 21, 2007 by Kris Nelson
Do you remember the free webhost Angelfire? I guess I started internet browsing around the death of Angelfire so I remember designing a webpage for a CS class and going nuts with colorful repeated backgrounds (were those orange serrated semicircles supposed to be fans or carrots?), animated .gifs, 42pt banner marquees, and framesets (thanks to Lee for teaching me that; it blew my classmates away!). It was almost as ugly as every hand built (or worse yet, Microsoft FrontPage assisted) site that was on Angelfire, except I hadn’t center-aligned everything and had used colors only found in Nature (no neon pinks and greens). Talk about sensory overload. Well, Real Ice Cream is just that: a taste explosion! And their homepage just so happens to be on Angelfire. Coincidence? I think not.
Hand made ice cream that’s remarkably thick and rich even though it’s eggless, in delectable India-inspired flavors such as Kesar Pista (saffron pistachio), Kaju Draksh (cashew raisin), Masala Chai, Dry Fig, and my personal favorite Gulkand (rose petal) which looks and tastes a lot like lychee, a flavor they also make. For the less exotic, they have excellent “normal” flavors such as Vanilla, Chocolate. Those that prefer chunky ice treats will enjoy the Cookie Crunch, Rocky Road, Thin Mint, and Bubble Gum which is bright sky blue with mini gumballs throughout.
Now that you have something to cool you down, why not try their spicy chaat? Chaat are small order plates (kind of like tapas) making it an excellent choice for a quick lunch with friends or coworkers because you can buy a few plates and share. Unfortunately at Real Ice Cream the dishes are very similar, all swimming in lentil and garbanzo bean choley (a flavorful bean stew) with sweet tamarind swirls and fresh mint chutney cutting the sprinkling of raw white onions. Some have thin dry noodle bits strewn on top which doesn’t add much crunch, but looks like cute confetti.
Chris and I are in search of the perfect samosa (a triangular potato and vegetable dumpling wrapped in a pastry skin then fried), and while Real Ice Cream‘s version is yummy, it is not the best we’ve tried and gets rather soggy soaking up the choley. Worse yet, you are served on paper plates with plastic forks so you have to fight with the chewy fried casing, but once you saw it down, you’ll find it’s pretty tasty. They use just the right amount of spices to tickle your tongue and tingle in your belly. Subtle yet bold. Next time I am definitely trying the Vada Pav which is a potato patty sammich that’s supposed to be pretty garlicky *crossing fingers*.
One more thing, like all hole in the walls, Real Ice Cream may be difficult to spot. It’s on El Camino (one of the most boring stretches of urban streetscape known to man) in India/Korea town. It’s at the corner of a strip mall behind this big honking restaurant that screams “architectura de burrito”, but is currently a Korean place named “Tutti”. Just ignore the environment (there’s auto shops a’ plenty) — the gigantic primary colored latex letters plastered on every single window of this place screaming “VOTED BEST OF SANTA CLARA VALLEY BY METRO MAGAZINE [sic]” blocks it out a little.
Real Ice Cream
3077 El Camino Real – Santa Clara, CA