Even though I’ve never had a tattoo before, I can imagine the anxiety of entering a tattoo parlor, because so many of them usually look intimidating.
when we were Covered Poking a duck A few months ago, the tattoo artist shared that several of her clients said they felt more comfortable getting inked in her living room, as it felt like going to a friend’s place.
Although having a comfortable environment may not be the most important part of getting a tattoo, I can imagine it will add a lot to the experience, especially if this is your first time.
“We like to get tattoos ourselves and from our experiences, we noticed that accessibility here differs from other places in the world. Hence, we wanted to create a space friendly enough for anyone who has not been signed before,” two of the Lucky ChanFounders Kate and Rick with Vulcan Post.
Not a common pairing
Licky Chan is a tattoo parlor with an alcoholic ice cream parlor in Chow Kit.
This concept came to life when one of the restaurant’s founders, Brian, who is also the restaurant’s chef Game, I thought of opening another separate tattoo studio from the one he already has in Cheras.
Kate explained how everything was connected: “I have always loved adding alcohol to my dessert, and with Rick having a bartender background, we were naturally drawn towards drunken licks and donuts.”
The founding team behind Licky Chan consists of 5 people: Kit and Rick who handle operations, Penny and Shin Architecture and Design, Brian Ice Cream Production and Tattoo Studio Management.
“Only Brian has experience making ice cream and he is also a trained tattoo artist,” Kate joked. “The rest of us are very skilled in eating and drinking.”
Licky Chan began operations on February 13, 2021, so they are only a month old since they started.
Motivate clients to get a tattoo
Currently, there are two full time tattoo artists, Reed and Jasper, who are working in the tattoo studio called The Poke Guy.
Poke Guy is located in his private section of the building, and clients can peer through the windows at the people being tattooed. However, they would not be able to see it up close as they would get in the way of the tattoo artists and their clients.
Their tattoos start at RM150 and are priced according to size and color. Kit and Rick also explained that this price is the average local market price.
While their artists use tattoo guns, they hope to include guest artists on The Poke Guy in the future who specialize in handwritten or other specific signature patterns.
“There were people coming to get their first tattoo or they came to buy ice cream and they got a tattoo automatically. Custom designs need time to create, so guests often come to inquire and schedule another day,” they said.
Nothing vanilla about this place
Although fermented ice cream is not a new concept in the country, it is not uncommon that it is difficult to master during the research and development stage because there is not much to refer to.
The amount of wine that they can use in the flavors should be accurate or else the ice cream won’t set. Because of this, they were challenged in how to get enough flavor of alcohol in their ice cream.
“None of us had experience making ice cream of this size and there was a lot of learning about making everything okay and what we were willing to compromise,” they said.
“We created a vegan alpina colada soft dish, which took weeks to perfect. Every bad batch was 3 liters of waste and this isn’t just one dish or cocktail.”
While the team of Licky Chan wanted to experiment with their ice cream, they also made sure that they are all-encompassing towards lactose intolerant customers who want to enjoy fermented ice cream.
Hence, they created a line of lactose-free vegan ice cream and made all of their cones gluten-free and also vegan for free. Ice cream prices range from RM9.80 to RM16.80 per scoop, which tends to be slightly above average.
And in case you were wondering, they don’t even serve vanilla ice cream, which is a very common question they receive from their customers, along with delivery-related questions (which they also haven’t provided yet).
The response was unexpected
Licky Chan is making the rounds on social media, which is to be expected with her appeal among Millennials and Generation Z groups.
“Frankly, we weren’t expecting that response and how quickly it would spread through word of mouth. It was a bit confusing and we’re still learning a lot about the ice cream business,” Kate and Rick shared with Vulcan Post.
“We have a great team, though, and we couldn’t be more proud of what we have already achieved in such a short period of time. There are people who love what we do and some don’t really like it.”
As a space aimed at making tattoos more attractive and less intimidating, Licky Chan hopes that their work will be able to remove some of the stigmas that society has on tattoos.
As for their upcoming plans, they will be introducing more flavors on the menu and looking for collaboration.
Featured image credit: Kit Yin Chan, co-founder of Lickychan / haaangryeats