Giardino Gelato Cafe

Posted on Monday, August 30, 2010 | 0 comments

   Last Sunday, we stopped by a gelato cafe that I'd seen before and had been dying to go to: Giardino Gelato Cafe, in Shizuoka. Now that we finally tried it, I'm kicking myself for not going sooner! They have WONDERFUL homemade gelato. On weekends, they run a special where you can try 2 types of gelato at a discount rate, so Yuki and I each ordered a combo in order to taste 4 of the flavors. We chose cocoa, cookies and cream, kinako (roasted Japanese soybean powder, kind of nutty like peanut butter), and caramel. It's impossible to describe how good this gelato was, but let's just say they definitely put Baskin Robbins to shame. And I've been on a Baskin Robbins' caramel praline cheesecake ice cream kick lately, if that says anything.
  Out of the 4, my favorites were the caramel and the cocoa, although that's probably just personal preference, since the cookies and cream and the kinako were also great. The caramel tasted more like fresh caramels than like caramel ice cream or gelato, and the cocoa tasted more like, well, cocoa. Their gelato also seemed like it had less sugar than most places put in, which was a definite benefit.
  The atmosphere of the restaurant was quite relaxing and fun, too. It seemed rather like a European-style bar or cafe, and as far as I could tell, there was no smoking. Unless we just got lucky and nobody happened to be lighting up at the time we were there. Online reviews state that their food (they also serve lunch and I think dinner) is excellent, although we didn't try anything besides the gelato. Maybe next time!
  Here's the website if you're interested in directions or photos better than the ones we were able to take on our cell phones--unfortunately I didn't have the camera on hand when we stopped by. Obviously it's all in Japanese, but if you're looking for photos only, there are plenty on the main page, and you can randomly click around until you find more.

                                              Caramel on the bottom; cookies and cream on top