Looking for another international offering when it comes to frozen desserts?
La Parfait just opened up, bringing Lebanese and Arabic-style ice cream to Homer Street in downtown Vancouver, along with sweet and savoury crepes, smoothies, and juices. Everything is made in-house, says co-owner Gerard Daccache, and presented to give an authentic Lebanese experience.
"The way it's made and served is a bit unique," he says. "The components are different and the presentation is different. The ice cream is not by the scoop, so you can have three or four flavours in one cone."
The biggest difference is the addition of mastic gum, a natural extract from the mastic tree, which gives the ice cream a more stretchy nature than other frozen dairy desserts, Daccache says.
They also have a variety of traditional flavours from Lebanon, like ashta (dipped in pistachios) and rosewater. In total they have 12 flavours right now, all made at their shop.
Along with the ice cream, they have a cocktail, shikaf, which mixes strawberry and avocado with (a different version of) ashta, along with seasonal fruits, nuts, and honey; other specials they have are smoothies with avocado mixed in.
Daccache, who arrived in Vancouver in 2019 from Beirut, and his partner have years of experience in the food industry and ice cream; his partner's grandfather ran a well-known shop back in Lebanon, and Daccache worked at a shop when he was younger.
When he got to Vancouver he found the Lebanese food scene is well-represented, but there was a lack of treats and so La Parfait was inspired.
They opened up on Friday, March 3.
"There's been a great reaction from the Lebanese and Arab people that have seen we're serving ashta ice cream and the fruit smoothies," Daccache says.
La Parfait is located at 812 Homer St and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.