UPDATE, June 2014: Gusto’s has moved to Jalan Mertanadi (the “jail road”), a few hundred metres up from Sunset Rd. There’s more space for parking and inside the ice creamery, with tables and chairs either out in the garden or inside in air-con. Still just as worthy of a diversion!
It’s called Gusto Gelato and Caffe. It’s simple. It’s out of the way, tucked down a quiet street a good 10 minutes’ drive north of Bali’s Seminyak, in the more residential Umalas area. If you love ice cream, you’ve got to come here. If you don’t love ice cream, come here, and you will. You’ll fall in love. The ice cream, cones and pastries here are all made fresh on the premises and it’s wonderful. Artisan, I suppose you could call it.
For months, I’ve been stuck on ordering their caramel, a kind of burned, slightly salted concoction of creamy deliciousness. And I don’t mean by the 20,000 rupiah cupful; I mean by the 55,000 rupiah half-litre tub full (at least, I hope it’s a half and not a full litre.) The blackberry looks good. The chilli chocolate looks compelling. The fresh mint with crunchy dark chocolate shavings sure sounds good. But I just couldn’t try another flavour when I knew the caramel was within reach if only I uttered the words, “Caramel, please.”
Then I was talking to a chef friend who told me his restaurant uses their tamarillo to accompany a chocolate dessert. (He also thinks part of the secret of their success is how fresh the ice cream is, thanks to small production and fast turnover — that counter is hardly ever empty, trust me.) And I thought it was time to branch out. So this afternoon I branched out: tamarillo and ginger. Now I’m going to have to stop by twice a day.
It’s not just ice cream that’s done well at French-run Gusto. Stop by from 07:00 and have a coffee — around 22,000 rupiah — with one of their pastries, such as a small, flat pizza-style one doused in butter and crunchy sugar. You won’t start your day in a better way.
If you really aren’t going to spend any time at all in the Seminyak area but you are heading to Ubud or Sanur, then do please try Gaya instead, where the flavours are somewhat less imaginative, but what they do they also do very well.
By Stuart McDonald
Last updated on 27th February, 2015.