Artwork for revisiting-sri-lankas-hotels - top banner 1
Artwork for day-outing-under-rs-3000 - top banner 2

4/5

Carnival Ice Cream Parlour

263 Galle Road, Colombo 03

  • Open until 10:00 PM


Carnival is a Sri Lankan institution, serving not great but cheap ice cream in an accessible and interesting location.



Carnival's ice-cream has been around for decades, and is well known and loved among locals for their variety of flavour, saccharine sweetness, and the sentimentality attached to the once-run-down colonial edifice. Musty, rusty, and old, the building had been under construction for years now (about 2-3 at least), but they've completed renovations and we're glad to see that they've beautifully preserved its original architecture. 

Food and Service

Upholding their age-old tradition of incredibly slow and unfriendly service, the only somewhat hesitant smile around the whole place is (thankfully) at the cashier. The ice-cream servers behind the counters full of multi-hued ice-creams have a dead-pan can't-be-bothered look and attitude which makes you want to smile extra-brightly to the point of it being painful just see if it provokes a response, but no. Save your energy and just make sure your order's done right.

Prices aren't as cheap as they used to be, with a single scoop of ice-cream coming up to Rs. 110 now. We picked a scoop each of Cherry, and Coffee Nut, in addition to a California (Rs. 440) and a Natural Mango Milkshake (Rs. 260).

The milkshake (tall glass on the left) was alright but nothing particularly enjoyable or memorable. We don't recommend it, as it could be improved by having a little less gelatinuous texture and consistency.

The California is a combo of lime (actual lime squeezed over ice-cream, from what we gathered), cherry, vanilla ice-cream, pears, treacle, cashewnuts, whipped cream, and a wafer: and is a pretty sordid combination to be honest. The flavours don't gel well together, and add to that it's all piled up together in a tall glass, so it's more a matter of tackling each on its own.

There were a few stray chips of cashewnuts, and a couple of pieces of cubed pears. The clashing tastes basically made us wonder what the point of the combo was, but each to their own.

We asked for our Cherry & Coffee Nut to be served in one cone. While we like the individual flavours, it's still overly sweet making it impossible to enjoy the whole serving to the end because it makes you feel nauseated. Definitely for people with a strong sweet tooth. Also, they don't use waffle cones but instead use those paper-thin cheap cones which is too fragile to hold a decent scoop of ice-cream. 

Ambience

Though they've lost their classic purple paint and old paintings hanging off the walls — which basically characterized the parlour — it's a lot better maintained as of now. The space is also much larger, but most of the dining areas are closed off and will be open only after five in the evening, which is a shame because it forces people to sit right out front.

There's an elegant old staircase almost right in the middle of the entryway, but it was closed off too. Pretty lovely interior, and they've perked things up a bit with funky doodled ceilings.

Conclusion

This is the place to go for a number of flavours in one place, and for a serious nostalgia fix. They've even got Durian flavoured ice-cream! (It was out when we went though). Personal faves are the cherry and coffee-oriented ones, but don't splurge unless your sweet tooth game is strong. It's a bit too saccharine.


TIP

Try the Nut Cracker!

Artwork for Frimi Shoutout banner 2- non merchants only

Address

263 Galle Road, Colombo 03

Directions

From the south, head up the Galle Road past the Hotel Juliana. Carnival is on the landside, just before Colpetty junction.

Report Inaccuracy

Open until 10:00 PM

Price Range

Less than 200

Ratings Breakdown

Overall Rating
4
Quality Rating
3
Service Rating
4
Ambience Rating
4
Similar Places

User Reviews
W
2

5/5

0

walkingdead

Wonderful ice cream at good price. Got a double scoop in waffle cone for 370 LKR compared to the tiny 1 scoop for 350 LKR at il gelato at liberty plaza - biggest rip off ever. I'm sticking with carnival as much better value and staff more pleasant. Great location and atmosphere as well,

W
2

5/5

0

walkingdead

Wonderful ice cream at good price. Got a double scoop in waffle cone for 370 LKR compared to the tiny 1 scoop for 350 LKR at il gelato at liberty plaza - biggest rip off ever. I'm sticking with carnival as much better value and staff more pleasant. Great location and atmosphere as well,

See 19 Comments