We’ve covered Il-Gelato before for Fro-Yo purposes but the city’s best (I’m putting it out there) ice-cream parlour deserves a more detailed exploration. This place serves very good ice-cream and, unusually for SL, has maintained high standards for over a decade. The cream-based chocolate and nut flavours are particularly excellent (I recommend Dark Chocolate, Hazelnut and Pistachio) while the lighter more sorbet-consistency fruit flavours (go for passion fruit and fruits of the forest) are sharp and refreshing.
Really at the main branches – Duplication Road at the Lauries road corner and Odels you get consistently world class ice cream. It’s owned by Italians and tastes like real Italian Gelato to me…
The Duplication Road branch is also opened quite late so till midnight on Friday and Saturday night you can avail yourself of Italian-standard gelato- this is really a great amenity and makes this hot city that much more liveable. But while Il-Gelato’s efforts to serve Colombo’s sweltering citizens great ice cream is appreciated there’s a problem with their creamy perfection; the price.
Il Gelato is expensive; at Rs 200 a cup it’s a dent in your wallet and the cones are 300!. For a scoop of ice cream it struggles to be worth it even though it’s a class above for the price of a scoop you can buy a tub of Elephant house or Highland. Sometimes though you really don’t want a tub oh Highland you want you want rich and delicious cold cream that’s a dessert in itself and not just a functional base for milk shakes. When the craving for high quality ice cream does strikes Il Gelato’s is your best option( much superior to Baskin Robins and better than a badly stored Hagen Dasz tub from Cargills). But you do need to confront the price.
To get value for money from your visit to Colombo’s best Italian Ice Cream Parlour my suggestion is to always get a Sundae. While 300 rupees for a cone is ludicrous the Sundaes which have 3 scoops of ice cream are Rs 550. That includes added trimmings like marron glaces, piles of whipped cream and chocolate sauce which enhances the value factor. You can chose your flavours and share a sundae between two and I suspect you’ll leave satisfied. The Banana split, and Marron Glace Sundae are my favourites.
For simple ice cream satisfaction – go for a banana split with one scoop of Nocciola, one of dark chocolate and one of ameretto. Again each flavour is really distinct and the taste of hazelnut, amareto or pistachio really comes through. Slathered with cream and chocolate sauce this is a pretty perfect cooling confection.
If you're planning on going for 2 scoops, go for the cup over the gelato kinder (glass bowl). They use a traditional scooper for the latter, so the scoops are smaller.