Despite just recently having their grand opening in early August, downtown Naperville’s newest late-night snack shop, @ Munchies Rolled Ice Cream and Snacks, is already scheduled to close down for a revamp.
Zhi, one of three part-owners of the brand-new shop, says that he has already had customers complain that there is too little space in the multiculturally inspired snack shop’s dining room. The shop, located in the strip mall at 22 E. Chicago Ave., is scheduled for a quick redesign. The hope is to add some more winter-friendly snack items to their menu before reopening sometime before Halloween.
If social media is any judge, it would appear that @ Munchies has already been a hit with most visitors. Lauded for their unique approach on handmade ice cream; there are no batch mixers to be seen. And instead of scoops of ice cream, @ Munchies has rolls of it.
That’s right — rolls.
Zhi says that he first observed the process of making rolled ice cream while on vacation in Puerto Rico. After being inspired, it took the owners of @ Munchies about two months of testing different recipes to finally perfect the ice cream base — the key component of their frozen treats.
In a process that looks much more like a workout than it does food preparation, employees begin by pouring the housemade ice cream base onto an anti-griddle which freezes it extremely quickly. The base, along with any flavorings that are chosen, is mashed up and then spread around the anti-griddle in a very thin sheet before being scraped off to form little rolls.
The culmination of this skillful display is a freshly made creamy delight. The quick freezing process doesn’t allow for many ice crystals to form. This leaves you with an end product much more similar to gelato than ice cream.
Alongside their frozen delights, @ Munchies also offers both American and Asian-inspired street food snacks. Items include mini hot dogs, Hong Kong-style egg waffles and fried shrimp cakes. This is a menu which Zhi says will hopefully expand following their upcoming revamp.
Video by Jason Snider, video editing by Caleb Lundquist.