Ice cream, ice cream, nothing is better than ice cream! So was the refrain running through the brains of Jen and I on a sunny Sunday afternoon. We had just stuffed ourselves silly with the Tramway’s delicious quinoa burger in celebration of a mutual friend’s birthday, but being us we were nowhere near satisfied with just making some burgers our bitch.
This is how we found ourselves strolling down Lygon Street dodging the Italian restaurant spruikers in order to find Helados Jauja. Unlike the Italian gelaterias that pepper this length of Lygon Street, Helados Jauja is instead an Argentinean establishment. They seem to be going out of their way to use fresh and seasonal ingredients, and the flavours rotate depending on what’s available to them. Dulce de leche is the dominant flavour, with several varieties of it on offer the day of our visit, but the spectrum is widely varied, refreshingly including a lot of flavours utilising Asian fruits.
Of course I couldn’t go past something with dulce de leche in it, even when my tastes in ice cream run more towards the fruity end of the spectrum. I went with the salted caramel version, and paired it with the pandan (did you know that salted caramel and pandan flavours work AMAZINGLY well together? They totally do!). The consistency of the ice cream was softly elastic and almost unimaginably creamy, with such strongly marked flavours. I was immediately impressed.
Jen also had a variety of the dulce de leche, although hers was studded through with walnuts, and she teamed it with honey popcorn. She ended up being a little perplexed by the honey popcorn; she said that it tasted good but the texture of the soggy pieces of popcorn included in the mix just seemed weird. The walnut dulce de leche was gorgeous though, with the distinct husky taste of walnuts permeated throughout the dulce de leche was well as having noticable nutty chunks.
It was worth it to take some time out of our day to hunt this place down, because it was hella impressive (no I will not apologise for using the word “hella”, no you are destroying English). If you want to treat yourself to some really decadent ice cream, Helados Jauja is the place to be.
254 Lygon Street, Carlton
Ph: 9041 2927