However, after receiving a complimentary invite to come to a ice cream tasting day I decided it was time to do something about this. Now I don't usually go to these free events, as the reason we blog is to tell friends and colleagues where we have been and what we thought and they don't necessarily give the truest reflection of a typical visit. I've been here so many times before though and it seemed more a good chance to try some of the more unfamiliar flavours.
First of all, while most of the staff seemed to be from Chile Helados Jauja is a spinoff of an Argentinean ice creamery. You can tell both by the quality of the product and the attitude of the staff when describing it that they take ice cream very seriously. Using high quality ingredients and paying strict attention to serving temperature you get great, natural tasting flavours, albeit for a higher price than its competitors.
On the day we were given 24 flavours to try, including things that you'd typically expect from a Argentinean ice creamery such as vanilla and varieties of dulce de leche, through to the moderately unusual durian, the I've never seen it before mate (yummy refreshing South American tea and one of my favourites of the day) to Szechuan Pepper (*boggle*). Big hits amongst my fellow tasters included the strawberries and cream, white chocolate and raspberries and the salted caramel. Personally though the mate and the ginger lemon were probably the two that I enjoyed the most, as much for the fact that they weren't things I would normally have chosen and so were a pleasant surprise as much as anything. Plus that ginger sure does pack a punch.
Something I don't know is why more people don't sit out the back and eat their ice cream. Sure it's nice out the front but they have done such a good job in making a small but cosy dining area at the back of the store that when by myself it's where I like to sit, reading their books about Patagonia.
One thing I did find out of the day, which despite being a repeat customer I didn't know about, was that they have a couple of 'special' flavours which they are particularly proud of. They are not always available and never displayed at the front, so you need to ask, but boy are they good. Just remember not to tell anyone about them!
I've kind of a schizophrenic relationship with Helados Jauja. It's a bit pricey so in some ways it should be a special occasion treat, but I like it so much I just need to indulge whenever I go past. I suppose everyone is entitled to an addiction or two, and this is one of mine.
The scores with an asterisk are notional, as I was a guest of Helados Jauja.
Food - 8.5
Food - 8.5
Service - 8*
Ambience - 8
Price - 7*
254 Lygon Street
Carlton VIC 3053
Tel: (03) 9041 2927