With its pastel interiors–straight out of a Wes Anderson-themed film–comes a quaint new gelato spot to beat the heat this summer. Located on Bandra’s 16th Road, The Gelato Bar is here to melt your heart and warm you soul with freshly made, hand-churned gelato served in cups, cones and sandwiches. With its smooth, melt-in-your-mouth gelato, and Terrazzo flooring, The Gelato Bar brings a scoop of Italy to you. You immediately know this is the braindchild of someone with a love for aesthetics and it certainly is, but it will surprise you that the person behind it is 24-year-old chef Rachi Gupta.
Prior to launching her artisanal gelataria, Rachi turned her love for baking into a full-fledged business with The Bread Bar during the lockdown at the age of 22. Two years later, she decided to turn her love for gelato into a venture, and that’s how The Gelato Bar came into being.
“I always had a love for ice cream,” shares Rachi. “After realising I wanted to bring something new to the table, but also do it right, I went to Italy and learned how to make gelato. It was a three week programme that taught me about the basics of ingredients, simple methods and ingredient substitution. For eg: the milk here is very different from the milk abroad. So are the fruits and sugars. Bringing that here would have been difficult, which is why I wanted to adapt what I learned there and infuse it with the ingredients here. I also travelled throughout Italy to understand the different types of gelato,” she adds.
Rachi believes that a lot of the ice-cream and the gelato you get in Mumbai and India are made with premixes and unnatural ingredients. The Gelato Bar focuses on natural and fresh ingredients, making true Italian gelato.
From classics like Vanilla and Hazelnut, to nostalgia-inducing Roasted Almond and Orange Sorbet, The Gelato Bar offers a range of flavours to choose from. You’ll also find seasonal flavours such as Alphonso Mango (which was my personal favourite). The Aam Panna Sorbet is a pleasant surprise as its tangy and zesty taste is a savoury take on gelato. Coffee lovers will enjoy Filter Kaapi, whereas fresh fruit enthusiasts might fancy the Yogurt & Poached Fruit or Berry Cheesecake.
Rachi’s Gelato Bar brings Italy to India while also ensuring the ingredients are sourced locally so that the flavours stand out. For instance, the 72% dark chocolate is sourced rom the Pali village of Kerala; fresh Indian vanilla is used as opposed to commonly used Madagascar vanilla; the mangoes come from Ratnagiri; and the berries come from a local farm close to Maharashtra.
The Authenticity & Right Temperature
Rachi does not only want to put a smile on your face with good gelato but also educate you about its authenticity. An informative board in the store tells you the difference between an ice cream and gelato, and how it must be served. The texture and consistency of gelato should be soft and creamy (as opposed to chewy or icy), and melt instantly. When it comes to serving it, you must use a a spade as it helps soften it.
Ensuring that gelato is served at the right temperature in a hot and humid city of Mumbai is of utmost importance. But Rachi is able to achieve that with a temperature controlled lab. “We have three freezers. One machine is imported from Italy to maintain the right temperature and get the best quality. Once the gelato comes out of this machine, it goes at -35 degrees into the blast freezer, and sits there for 35-40 minutes. Then it goes into a -18 degrees freezer where you can store it up to a week. When you’re serving it, it’s at -14 degrees,” she shares. The reason for importing some of the equipment from Italy is because the fridges in India have a -18 degree setting that impacts the texture of the gelato–it gets very hard, which isn’t a scoopable temperature.
As her brother Rajat aptly describes her, “Rachi wears the hat of a mad scientist, like Willy Wonka in a chocolate factory where you’ll see her mixing sugars, measuring the fat percentage, using a refractometer to check the sugar content in fruits as well as writing recipes on her white board in her lab.” With someone who pays so much attention to detail, expect nothing short of good quality gelato from The Gelato Bar.
Waffle cones and toppings (excluding M&Ms and sprinklers) that are made in-house, hot and cold beverages to soothe your soul, must-try gelato sandwiches (best shared with your BFF or date), indulgent sundaes and comforting affogatos to choose from, besides cute corners to enjoy your cold serves!
Going beyond serving tasty gelato, Rachi and Rajat also ensure your experience of eating is looked after. The Gelato Bar offers a disc around your cone, which protects your clothes from being subjected to the stains if the gelato starts melting and dripping all over you. Thoughtful, isn’t it?
Whether you want some respite from the heat, need to uplift your mood after a bad day, or simply want to satiate your sweet tooth, The Gelato Bar is the ideal spot to hang out in this summer.