Some of you may call me crazy but for some reason I eat a lot more ice cream during winter than I do summer. Even the porter in my building has a running joke with me and Moo about it. As it’s a nice, sunny, winter’s Saturday I thought I’d share a review of a recent visit to Gelato Mio in Holland Park, just incase you were thinking about taking a walk in the area.
Gelato Mio has several locations in London and even one that’s practically at the bottom of my road but as I was recommended the Holland Park branch (only a 5 minute tube ride or 20 minute walk) I always go there.
It’s quite hard to miss their stores; they’re bright orange with a massive window with all the gelatos and sorbets in full view of passers by. And there is a lot of ice cream – about twenty different varieties on a daily basis in total. The Holland Park branch is also nice and roomy meaning that you don’t have a queue of people surrounding the door so no one can get in or out – a problem you’ll find in most London gelaterias.
The staff are incredibly welcoming with hellos and smiles and offering a tasting of as many flavours we wanted. I was planning on going the safe route and getting a two-scoop sorbet so tried a sample of the kiwi and banana and the strawberry. The kiwi and banana was an odd combination. The sorbet was smooth and it felt creamy like a gelato but the actual flavour was a bit bizarre. It was not bad by any means but the slightly acidic taste of the kiwi mixed with the sweet, creamy taste of the banana with the tiny crunch from the kiwi seeds was just a bit strange. It’s something I would quite happily try again but it’s just a little too much for a full scoop on your first introduction. The strawberry sorbet was very mild and fresh. The consistency was more like what you expect from a sorbet and it had a nice cleansing taste and texture. It wasn’t a wow flavour, if anything it was a little bland but I think it’s a great one for the summer.
After tasting a couple samples my eyes focused on something they hadn’t noticed before: Peanut Butter. I love peanut butter and I particularly love peanut butter ice cream. So the sorbet idea went right out the window and without getting a sample I ordered a scoop of peanut butter and a scoop of pistachio (on recommendation) in a cup.
I’ve had Gelato Mio before and was a little let down by the flavour. It’s good value for money but it didn’t pack a punch. This time however, it really hit the spot.
The peanut butter gelato was smooth and had a mild but very present taste of peanut butter and a big swirl of dense flavour running through it. I even found some chunks of peanut butter, which made it even more delightful. It was light, it was creamy and most of all it got exactly the right balance of flavour: not too mild but not overpowering. It was sweet but you still got the savoury tang you associate with peanut butter and it didn’t get boring – perfect.
I was sceptical of the pistachio purely because it was my favourite flavour as a kid growing up and going on holiday in Dubrovnik and for the most part, no ice cream I’ve found in London has measured up to the continental equivalent. This did come pretty close though. I was a little disappointed at first as I started eating it after I ate a significant amount of the peanut butter. In comparison it was a bit bland, not really nutty enough and the texture was a bit boring. However, after I ate a little more and the pistachio replaced the flavour of the peanut butter it was quite beautiful. The mild nuttiness with a little bit of sweetness and a little bit of salt was lovely. It tasted like pistachio paste (effectively pistachio peanut butter) but creamier so it was a winner for me.
Moo got the chocolate chip and the cherry gelatos and was kind enough to let me taste them. The chocolate chip was nice and smooth but for me, when I visit a gelateria I want something other than vanilla so though it was nice and made well but it wasn’t for me. The cherry was lovely and sharp but not overpowering as it was swirled into the vanilla ice cream so it had a lovely balance. Definitely one I’d like to try for myself next time.
Overall it was a great visit and significantly better than previous trips. The portions are huge and the two cups cost us around £7 so it’s super cheap for good quality ice cream. I still think Dri Dri has slightly better gelato but Gelato Mio is definitely a contender now.