Lemongrass. Tamarind. Black tea. Pandan leaves. These are all ingredients one could expect to find in a Southeast Asian restaurant kitchen — maybe not a gelato shop.
But now that Secret Scoop, a Thai gelato emporium, has opened Berkeley, you may start associating these typically savory flavors with dessert.
Secret Scoop isn’t actually new to the Bay Area. Owner Funn Fisher has been running the gelato shop as a delivery and special event business since 2012, popping up at events like Hardly Strictly Bluegrass and the San Francisco Street Food Festival. She signed the lease for the storefront at 1922 Martin Luther King, Jr. Way, the former home of Heat Hot Sauce, last fall. The scoop shop held its soft opening March 2.
Funn’s gelato and sorbets are, according to Secret Scoop’s website, lower in sugar and saturated fat than traditional ice creams, and they are all made with natural (non-artificial) ingredients and flavors. Funn, a former architect and UI/UX designer, writes on the website that she first started making her own gelato out of a desire to create a healthier dessert.
The flavors harken back to her home country of Thailand and certainly help her products stand out from a formidable pack of creative ice cream and gelato makers across the Bay Area — flavors like chocolate lemongrass, which was, according to Facebook, the bestseller on the scoop shop’s opening day, pumpkin pandan and salted tamarind sorbet.
All the flavors can be ordered on top of sticky rice, further blurring the line between sweet and savory, and definitely offering something new.
Feedback from Secret Scoop’s first days has been very positive. Yelper D.B. wrote: “I couldn’t get enough of this gelato.” James S. added, “Secret Scoop is a great addition to the gelato shops in Berkeley while also being unique enough to stand apart from the others.”