Dessert comes first at this cool new Australian import... but save space for wonderful waffles and fried chicken.
The simplest things still bring me the most joy. For example, a scoop of ice cream. Unadorned, no need for sprinkles or sauces, on a cone. Or a platter of fried chicken, the crisp skin still hot to the touch, fresh off the fryer. Waffles… crunchy outside, pillowy inside, slathered with butter, drenched in syrup. Food, for me, are anchors to my childhood. Those were less complicated times, surely. My earliest memories, always happy ones, and most of them involve my mom and dad — me as a toddler, feeling safe and secure under their protection. Many of them revolve around my folks and my brother and sister, and three wonderful ladies who were always cooking in their kitchens: my Lola Sally, Ninang Cora, and our family’s Mary Poppins, Apo Cion. The case of characters would change, but good old comfort food was always the common denominator in my memories. The simplest dishes, really, but served with love.
I’m guessing that’s why I felt a little tingle, and unbidden, smiled widely the first time I entered Geláre. All my beloved childhood favorites, all in one place. Nothing fancy here, and no need for them to be. It’s a café dedicated to dessert, and all the good things that go along with them. There’s a long row of flavors, and yes, you can sample them all as you try to make up your mind. I have to warn you though: it won’t be an easy choice. There are just too many guilty pleasures, 24 in total, that will tempt you. Pralines and Cream. White Chocolate Raspberry Truffle. Honey Malt Crunch. Banana Caramel Swirl. Jamaican Chocolate. Not your usual American selections, right? That’s because Geláre is a 32-year old Australian institution that was founded in Perth, way back in 1986. It’s since expanded to more than 50 locations all over Australia and South East Asia. And I’m very happy that they landed in Philippine shores recently. All the frozen delights are flown in regularly from Down Under, and all the ice
creams and sorbets are generously served using Geláre’s signature pyramid –shaped scoop. More often than not, I’m forced, in the most voluntary way, to get two scoops here: one of the unique ice cream flavors, and inevitably, surely, the Lychee Lane sorbet. It’s a snowy symphony that precisely captures the taste and texture of my #1 favorite childhood Chinese restaurant dessert. Geláre’s version makes me swoon, and gives me pleasure on an almost spiritual level. It’s a stunning creation.
But that sorbet, pardon the icy analogy, is literally, just the tip of the iceberg. There’s so much more to love in Geláre, and that’s why it’s one of the few places that I actually plan return visits to even before I leave. Their all-day breakfast waffles, always baked to order, paired with tasty Buttermilk Fried Chicken thighs or topped with a couple of decadently luscious Eggs Benedicts. Don’t dare miss their ultra thick double scoop milkshakes and silky fresh fruit smoothies. They have damn good coffee too. I could go on and on, but I’m writing this at 1:30 in the morning, and I’m actually salivating just reading my own words. I’ll have to stop here. But I’ll continue tomorrow, that’s for sure. And I’ll be at Geláre of course, as I must, to get my fix of awesome Aussie treats, served with a side of sweet childhood memories.
1 Raspberry Sorbet2 Buttermilk Fried Chicken and Waffles3 Nutella Treat Sundae4 Classic Waffle with Fresh Cream5 Chicken Poppers6 Mango Mango and Merry Berries Smoothies7 Gelare Interiors 06 Gelare is located at 3/F Uptown Mall, BGC and at G/F Solenad 3, Nuvali