• A Winter's Tale: Gingers Comfort ice cream Emporium reviewed

A Winter's Tale: Gingers Comfort ice cream Emporium reviewed

3 December 2013

by Neil Sowerby

THERE may be some who lament the demise of Pinkies diner in Affleck’s Palace, but its replacement on the first floor corner site, the glamorous Ginger’s Comfort Emporium must make the heart gladder – once you’ve pushed your way through the acne-driven hordes the legendary emporium attracts.

I’m not sure these are quite the discerning customers required for Claire Kelsey and Dan Manicolo’s ice cream sandwiches on brioche and left field milkshakes such as margarita, with lime granita and chocolate dipped cherries.

And the kids might turn their pierced noses up at extra virgin olive oil and vanilla ice cream with Hawaiian black salt, strawberry sauce, and black olive chocolate ‘flake’ (pictured).

But it scooped (sic) Best Dessert at the British Street Food Awards 2013, you protest... and, melding sweet and salt, it is a quite lovely creation. So too the hazelnut and white truffle (like a risotto without the need for rice) and the dense, malty Brewdog Abstract 14 ale ice cream (well, actually, for me there’s still the need for a real pint out there).

Melt: the book

The Pure Origins Chocolate ice cream is a less challenging prospect, but it is all relative. Peruse Claire’s ice cream primer Melt – for sale at £18.99 in the new parlour and a great Christmas present for the foodie in your life. The recipes are as culinarily innovative as anything else in Manchester, bar Simon Rogan’s brand of kitchen alchemy at the Midland.

Until now the prime way to sample was via Claire’s retro ice cream vans. The new home should open up a wider audience. If they can make the leap of faith up those crowded stairwells off Oldham Street. There’s good coffee and lots of other treats, too. Perfect after the seasonal shopping ordeal.

Ginger’s Comfort Emporium, 2nd floor, Affleck’s Palace, Oldham Street, Mon-Sun, 10am-6pm, www.gingerscomfortemporium.com