A few years ago, my husband and I visited Rome—and fell in love with gelati. We loved the gelati we had in Rome so much that we had it every day, at least twice a day, during our stay in the city. And, ever since, though we’ve not been able to return to Rome, we’ve continued our quest for gelati as good as the Roman version—and have never been able to find anything that could hold a candle to what we’d loved back then.
Therefore, when a friend mentioned that an Italian had made Hauz Khas Village the location for a small motor-van gelati counter, we were intrigued. More so, when we discovered the name of this little mobile enterprise: Gelato Roma. A chance to savour true-blue gelati, the way it’s made in Rome, again? We hoped.
At first glance, the claims are impressive: "Original—the only gelato in Delhi made by Italians, just like in Italy!", "fresh", "natural", and "healthy". Quite a little crowd has gathered around the cart—Gelato Roma offers free tastes of it products, and there was a group here which wanted to taste everything. We finally made our way to the front, where the gelati are stored in stainless steel refrigerated containers. The flavours aren’t too many, and the most prominent ones are hazelnut, chocolate, Bailey’s, coffee, lemon, and banana. There are a few more too, but my husband and I had already decided: he wanted a Bailey’s, I wanted a banana gelati.
The helpings come in four sizes: baby (Rs 75), regular (Rs 100), large (Rs 150) and jumbo (Rs 200). You can ask for your gelato in a cone or a cup—we didn’t specify, so were given ours in plastic cups, with a little plastic spoon and a paper napkin. We paid up, and dug in.
One of the two assistants at the cart had told me that the banana gelato was actually a sorbet, so I was prepared for something non-creamy. I did, however, expect something a little more interesting than what I got: basically just ripe banana whizzed up and frozen. All right, but not something I’d pay Rs 100 for.
The Bailey’s gelato my husband had ordered was a gelato, all right, and with the correct texture: nice and creamy, yet light. But the flavour wasn’t too much like Bailey’s—if we’d not known what we’d ordered, neither of us would’ve guessed it was supposed to be a mix of chocolate, coffee, and whiskey. And the dried-up raisins scattered through the gelato were really not a good idea.
Perhaps we chose the wrong flavours (I’d seen on a food show on Italian cuisine that the flavours a good gelateria prides itself on are hazelnut and lemon). But then, shouldn’t a good gelateria also get the other flavours right?
So, no. We’re not going back to Gelato Roma. Honestly, if I wanted to have gelati in Delhi, I can think of other places that serve a wider range, have a better product, and are well worth the price you pay. The Gelato Roma cart is parked just outside the Hauz Khas Village parking lot. It's usually there a little after noon, most days of the week.