Helado Taiyaki on Dean Street describes its unique frozen treat as a “Latin twist on a Japanese dessert.” Taiyaki is a traditional fish-shaped cake which is used here as a vessel for soft serve and novel flavor combos inspired by the owner’s childhood experiments. (Helado is Spanish for frozen, or ice cream.) Providence Monthly interviewed owner Linnette Lopez Torres about the shop offerings:
The menu features flavors like matcha and passionfruit taiyaki filled with Nutella and custard, and toppings such as cookie crumbles, Pocky sticks, and a variety of drizzles. Helado Taiyaki’s signature cone, and Torres’ personal favorite, is the Maria Maria: Vanilla soft serve on a guava and cream cheese taiyaki, finished with traditional Spanish Maria cookie crumbles and homemade guava drizzle. “This cone represents me experimenting with my palate,” explains Torres, referring back to her early ice cream inventions. “This cone is my childhood. It’s a full circle moment.”
I tried the Maria Maria and, while I could not detect the guava flavor in the taiyaki, it was pleasantly soft and cakey and just looks so cool. This is a minor quibble because the filling, crumbles, and drizzles were yummy. (I forgot how much I like soft serve.)
The Maria Maria costs $8 and it could be shared (following a meal over on Atwells perhaps?). It is roughly the equivalent of two large scoops of ice cream.
The shop interior is modern and cool — lots of tile — and features a long counter with stools in front of the big window for watching the world go by on Dean Street.
Check out their Instagram feed for delightfully vivid photos of the various dessert combos with tiny bears, umbrellas, Pocky sticks, and drizzles. Little works of art really. I think kids will be into this unique presentation.
Closed Monday & Tuesday/2pm to 9pm, Weds & Thursday/ 2pm to 10pm, Friday & Saturday/ Noon to 8pm, Sundays.
Helado Taikyaki, 102 Dean Street, (directions)