Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Ice Cold Curry at Vancouver's Gelato Palace

I've been back from my summer trip to Canada for nearly 4 weeks now, but here I am posting about one of my first nights back in the great white north!  Better late than never, right?

Singapore to Winnipeg is not a short trip (about 28 hours, with connections) and the routing goes something like Singapore -- Hong Kong -- Vancouver -- Winnipeg.  Since we moved here 3 years ago we've realized what a great opportunity this would be to stop and see our friends in Vancouver, and this was the year we finally did it!

We spent one night staying with the fabulous Erin & Matt, friends from highschool, and before I'd even started to pack Erin was emailing me about a gelati joint with over 500 flavours, including curry ice cream  Are you telling me I can finally enjoy the earthy flavours of India for dinner *and* dessert?! I mean, "that sounds interesting, I'd like to try it".

Vancouver's La Casa Gelato is not a secret. They do offer over 500 flavours of homemade gelati, but only 218 are available in-store at any given time and many Vancouverties have made it their personal mission to try each and every one. We visited on a summery Saturday night and the crowd was spilling out the door. With thumping music and the average customer in their 20s it felt as much like an ironic hipster nightclub as an ice cream parlour.

Here's how it works: once you're in the door you pay for your ice cream ($4.50 CAD for 1 scoop) and get a token. By showing this token to the gelati-scoopers behind the counter you can sample as many flavours as you want before settling on one and getting a full cup or cone.

Here's a few I remember seeing, but wasn'tt necessarily brave enough to try:

- curry peanut butter
- strawberry rhubarb pie
- chocolate coconut
- balsamic vinegar
- durian!
- garlic
- cherry cotton candy
- gorgonzola pear

While some of the flavours were amazing (the strawberry rhubab was a prairie summer in a plastic cup!), the peanut butter curry did not rock my world as expected. Much like my experience trying chili-chocolate ice cream at the Daily Scoop in Singapore, the final product was not greater than the sum of its parts. Basically it tasted like Skippy mixed with that electric orange curry powder you get at dollar stores.

Nevertheless, La Casa Gelato was a lot of fun and one of Vancouver's rare bargains at under $5 a person!

La Casa Gelato
1033 Venables Street
Vancouver, BC

Open 11am - 11pm daily