Rio Ice Cream, a Jaffna franchise that's about forty years old (according to Raja at its Wellawatte branch), is fun and affordable for ice cream lovers. They're creative with flavours and mix it up for fun with jelly and smarties, because why not?
Rio is the mother of creative desserts – at some point in the middle of gorging on a bowl of ice cream, you won't even be entirely sure what you're munching on, because there's so much in there. The Rio Sundae (Rs. 250) is a combo of chocolate and strawberry ice cream, covered in chocolate and strawberry sauce, cherries, smarties, chocolate chips, cashew nuts and biscuit. The smarties were loads of fun to encounter in a spoonful of ice cream, the biscuit was a bit hard – the bowl was overall very sugary and filling – but it all paled in comparison to the Rio Special.
The Rio Special promises for just Rs. 100 four different flavours of ice ream with flavoured jelly pieces, cashew nuts and a giant wafer. I received only three flavours though, maybe they ran out of the fourth; regardless, it did not disappoint. The mango, fruit and nut, and vanilla were an amazing combo – the mango was the tastiest. Smart move leaving the jelly pieces at the bottom, they were soft and delicious and provided a part-two to the dessert.
Also special on the menu are the Mega Special for Rs. 150 – the same as the Rio Special except with the exciting addition of smarties, and the daunting Jumbo for Rs. 200 – five different flavours of ice cream with jelly, smarties et al.
You get ordinary dishes too for the more unadventurous – among which the Kittul ice cream for Rs. 150 (vanilla with kittul syrup and nuts) is worth a shot. You can get a cone for Rs. 30, a flavoured sundae for Rs. 200, while their fun-flavoured sherbets go for Rs. 100. Besides the smarties and jelly pieces, what is also fun is the affordability of the place considering the quality of the desserts.
Service & Ambience
Rio Ice Cream in Wellawatte is on Marine Drive, so having their ice cream in the outdoor seating area with the sea breeze in your face is a great way to spend your day. If you're there in the afternoon though when the heat's high, then stay indoors with the AC – the place is cosy with wooden furniture and friendly staff.
Rio Ice Cream is a fun and affordable place to have something sweet on Marine Drive. Very sugary and certainly not posh gelato, but this Jaffna franchise makes people happy.