Lingan Cream House is the arch-enemy of Jaffna's ever so popular ice cream parlor – Rio. According to our tour guide, Lingan is much older than Rio, and it has lingered through all the harsh decades of Sri Lankan civil war and still standing, right across the road from Rio Ice Cream. They also have another branch down Stanly Road, Jaffna.
The Ice Cream
They've got every pretty much every flavor that we spotted in Rio's menu. Pricewise, it's a tad cheaper than Rio, but the portion sizes are more or less the same.
The Sundae Special comes with five scoops of ice cream – Blueberry, Strawberry, Chocolate, Fruit & Nut, and Vanilla. It's a pretty solid deal for Rs. 300, as you get all this ice cream on a bed of tiny jelly cubes, and a sprinkle of chocolate chips, cashew nuts and a drizzle of chocolate syrup.
Sweet, but surprisingly likable, Lingan's ice creams are not very strong in terms of flavor. It's more of a milder version of Rio's, and texturewise, they're less creamy and a bit icy. Some of them actually had a few icicles wedged in.
If I had to pick a flavor, I'd suggest the blueberry one. It was beautifully purple and had the strongest flavor out of the lot. Their vanilla ice cream is pretty much like the one we tried at Rio – pure white in color, resembling the flavors of soft ice cream you get in franchise restaurants (Burger King, McD's).
The chocolate ice cream was not chocolatey as one would expect but had a teeny tiny swirl of chocolatiness running through. The strawberry flavor was quite alright, while the fruit & nut didn't have any fruits or nuts embedded in it.
However, if you order the Fruit & Nut Sundae (Rs. 150), you get a glass full of ice cream garnished with a few bits of cashews and frozen fruits.
Ambience & Service
This place is like a massive canteen. Hordes of people come here from travel buses, and Lingan is spacious enough to accommodate around 100 of them at a time.
As you can probably see in this picture, the interior here is pretty minimal with green colored walls decorated with pictures of ice cream. They're well airconditioned, so it's not warm in here. Plus, what they serve here should cool you down.
The service is nothing fancy, or particularly friendly or anything, but it's quick and gets the job done.
If Rio has run out of space, go to Lingan. Their offerings may not be as good as Rio's, but still worth a shot if you're parching from all the Northern heat.