I remember visiting Rain or Shine last November around the time they opened in Kitsilano - they were just a humble little homemade ice cream shop that really not many people knew of. During that first visit, my friend and I were the only customers for the whole time we were there but fast forward a little over half a year later, Rain or Shine has become a Vancouver ice cream favourite. This time around, I've finally freed up my Tuesdays to make it for the infamous ice cream taco Tuesday special!
Well let me introduce you to the stars of the day: the Honey Lavender taco with candied hazelnuts and the Strawberry Rhubarb Sorbet with seasonal berry compote. Each taco is made from a freshly made waffle and then stuffed with two scoops of ice cream and a topping of your choice for ~ $6 - not too bad of a deal. As a big fan of anything lavender and candied nuts, I was absolutely content with my choice. The lavender is strong and the hazelnuts are roasted to perfection with a coat of sugary goodness outside. The sorbet was light and refreshing though I have to say the lavender ice cream was my pick of the day.
The tacos are a cute a new way (for Vancouver at least) to enjoy this homemade ice cream and I definitely believe that it draws in a considerable amount of people here. I do however, find that the ice cream isn't amaaaazing in comparison to something like Earnest Ice Cream simply due to the fact that there is nothing too special/delicious or complex about the flavours or texture of the ice cream. With Earnest's ice cream, each bite feels like a new experience with a depth of flavour but for Rain and Shine, I feel like the flavours fall a bit flat. Also, I wish the waffle had a more "waffle eggy" taste to it since to me, they really lacked in flavour. I just hope that it was an "off" day that day.
Here's a look at my first visit to Rain or Shine when my friend and I ordered an ice cream flight of honey lavender, salted caramel, powell st. porter, and coconut chocolate chunk. It's a nice way to sample the flavours that interest you and I like how it's reminiscent of our mini microbrewery culture of beer flights. Another plus is how the tray for the flight is shaped like an ice cream cone :3 A lot of people seem to take interest in the salted caramel and to that I can only say that if you want amazing salted caramel ...go to Bella Gelataria instead.
I should also mention that the decor has improved significantly since my last visit and I really have to give a shout out to the cow wall mount with an ice cream cone on its head. Although Rain or Shine is an "order at the counter" establishment and really doesn't require much service, I think it makes a considerable difference when you have polite and friendly people at the counter....which I did not find this time around. The girl at the counter had a bit of an attitude problem and it just felt uncomfortable and awkward when conversing with her about our order. She didn't greet us at all and didn't seem to happy when I asked for only two small samples of the new flavours and proceeded to order right after. Friendliness was pretty much nonexistent either which is a stark contrast from many other small/independent eateries I've been to in the area. It's a shame since last time, a really friendly lady greeted us. Thought I could expect more during my second visit but after this time, all I can say is that Rain or Shine doesn't shine as bright as I wish it did against its competitors.
R E V I E W.
+ food quality: 7/10
+ service: N/A - but bad counter service :(
+ price/affordability: 7/10 - I find greater value with the ice cream tacos
+ atmosphere: 8.75/10 - great decor but the bench seats are way too narrow for the standard gluteus maximus to rest comfortably haha
+ overall: 7.25/10