Wrap it up, I’ll take it: rolled ice cream at Apache Mall

February 23, 2019

That’s How We Roll, a quirky new dessert shop, is bringing Thai Fried Ice Cream to Rochester. And yes — they’re on a roll.

Owner Sam Hayat opened the rolled ice cream kiosk in Apache Mall (52 US-14, Rochester) last weekend.

The setup (near Build-a-Bear in the mall) iced up the griddle at 4 p.m. Friday, Feb. 15. By 11:30 a.m. the next Saturday, it was already getting plenty of attention.

The process of making each cup of Hayat’s mouthwatering ice cream is unique — and a little time-consuming.

First, he chooses from the fresh ingredients lined up in jars – berries and fresh fruit, Oreo cookies, and assorted candy pieces are all popular options. Onto an ice pan they go, with a splash of sweet, creamy base, which will freeze into ice cream once everything’s mixed in.

Then, the mixing itself. Hayat and his employees spend three or four minutes stirring, scraping, and smoothing out the mixture until it’s pancake-thin and solid.

Then he scores the top and rolls it up into four tubes, which go into a cup with whipped cream and other toppings.

“It tastes homemade,” Hayat says. “It is instant, homemade ice cream. With fresh ingredients, made right in front of the customer.”

Rolled ice cream originated in Thailand, called fried or stir-fried ice cream. In the states, it’s called rolled ice cream, and has only been popular for about a year, Hayat says.

Last summer, Hayat tested out his own small business — with his own recipes and menu — in St. Paul.

“It was popular, so I said, ‘Okay, we’ll start out with a permanent location,’” he says. Shortly after that decision, Hayat’s family had a medical emergency that brought everyone to Rochester for a long stay.

That’s when he settled on Apache Mall as the place for the first That’s How We Roll kiosk.

“To be honest, any place would be a good location,” he says. Hayat hopes to partner with Brookfield Properties, the Apache Mall owners, to put kiosks in other malls around the U.S.

That is, as soon as this one is a success.

There’s something Rochester customers can do to help, actually, Hayat says: be patient, especially in these first few weeks.

With new employees, a business model that requires at least a few minutes to make a dessert, and a single ice pan at the kiosk, customers who line up can expect long waits.

Hayat encourages curious people to stop by during times that aren’t as busy at the mall — like mornings and weekdays.

“The process itself is very slow,” he notes. “If you want to make good ice cream, it’s not an instant thing.”