I read a YELP review on Humphrey Slocombe before I went there which described their offerings as “adult ice cream”; after tasting their product, I have to agree with the assessment completely. It is indulgent, interesting and geared toward the adventurous palate. Creamier and more complex than most other ice cream, the product that Humphrey Slocombe has achieved is akin to foie gras at a fine dining restaurant: absolutely delicious, but best consumed in moderation.
The offerings on rotation the day that I went included: Balsamic Caramel, Blue Bottle Vietnamese Coffee, Malted Dulce de Leche, McEvoy Olive Oil, Salt and Pepper, Secret Breakfast, Straus Yogurt, Valrhona Fudgesicle, and Thai chili lime. I managed to taste almost all of these flavors either in one of their adorable and re-usable tasting spoons or their eco-friendly ice cream cups. Here’s a run-down of my thoughts:
Balsamic Caramel: Rich sweetness with slight acidity; the balsamic hits you first and leads to a creamy caramel finish.
Blue Bottle Vietnamese Coffee: Strong coffee flavor with bits of grounds in it. Serious coffee-breath post-consumption is a definite.
Malted Dulce de Leche: Delicious and simple if you like the super sweet things in life.
Salt and Pepper: Most surprising flavor because it worked so well. A slightly sweet, creamy canvas makes way for the salt and pepper to really shine. Paired with a tomato compote it might just be a winning (and wacky) sundae.
Secret Breakfast: My favorite flavor for general ice-cream consumption, it offered the complexity that I was looking for but was not overwhelmingly rich. Secret Breakfast has been described on many a foodie blog as a bourbon ice-cream with cornflakes, but the “Secret” element of this flavor gave our tasting team undertones of bananas and peanut butter.
Straus Yogurt: Slightly icy and tart, this flavor was a perfect palate cleanser between flavors.
Valrhona Fudgesicle: This one tasted like amazingly wonderful brownie batter, which makes me want to try the Valrhona brownies they also sell.
Thai chili lime: A wake-up call for the mouth. Green and slightly bitter lime awakens your taste buds to make way for the slow heat to set-in. Not my favorite, but definitely an interesting tasting experience.
Overall, it's a welcomed addition to the ice cream shops in the area. Mitchell's is still the spot for tropical and traditional flavors, Humphrey Slocombe is branching out into a new flavor realm, and Bi-Rite sits nicely in-between. As always, there's room for everyone here in San Francisco.
Visit HS and try their flavor offerings yourself:
Owner: Jake Godby Operations Manager: Sean Vahey
2790 Harrison St(between 23rd St & 24th St)
San Francisco, CA 94110