Friday, July 2, 2010

Malak Pastry Gelato and Ashta ice creams review! Yum!

I've been passing by this small pastry shop on Bank street for quite some time and finally found the time to stop and try the gelato and baklava that is freshly made in store.
I've sampled and bought at least a dozen kinds of gelato and sorbet and will write about that for this post.
For people who do not like dairy products there is usually a large selection of different sorbet made daily.
There is a pineapple sorbet that is very refreshing and has small bits of pineapple in it. I really noticed that this sorbet is different from what you find at the grocery store as there was real bits of fruit and no artificial colors in this sorbet was a white shade.
Mixed berry sorbet- that one was a dark purple shade and I'm guessing there was raspberry,blueberry and blackberry in it. It was quite sweet,but also nice with all the fruits in it.

The gelato I tried on my last visit was Banana gelato!
I did not buy this as I already had 2 small containers of gelato to bring home,but sampling this in the store the banana taste was very light and refreshing almost.
The banana gelato was a light beige shade and it seems there was a lot of real fruit in that too.

Now onto my gelato purchases!
Ashta "gelato" this is a type of Arabic custard like cream that is seasoned with rosewater and has either pistachios or roasted almonds in the mixture.
As well Ashta ice cream is thickened with a kind of tree gum that comes from Balsam (found this out speaking to the older man that works there).
This ice cream is very different from what the other places in Ottawa are making and I really recommend that people in that area of Bank st make a trip just to try this treat!
The Ashta ice cream was also nice after a dinner that was very spicy and really cools off your mouth too.
If you are having a dinner party, some of the ice creams from here would surely be a hit.
You can get a small cup for around $3 and other than that the ice creams are sold by the weight and I'd say a 250ml container is around $6
(The picture above,the one with the white ice cream, that one is the Ashta "gelato")..

The next two flavors I bought were Dark Chocolate and the lighter one in this container is Cappucino.
The Cappuccino gelato was quite light in texture and had a rich coffee flavor.
Usually at the grocery store the coffee ice creams there are always quite weak in flavor.
I did not always see this flavor there, so I guess the flavors change weekly.
The darker ice cream in this container was Dark Chocolate gelato.
The ice cream has a much thicker texture similar to the Ashta ice cream. It was also sort of "chewy" for an ice cream,and that made it very different to eat.
Now onto the taste...I found this ice cream to be extremely rich and full of dark chocolate flavor.
Almost like a frozen dark chocolate.
I had a few "chocolate experts" sample the Dark Chocolate ice cream (someone called "Monsieur Chocolat" from out of town) and this chocolate expert thought the ice cream was as rich as a 70% cocoa chocolate bar.
I'd have to say that this would have to be one of the richest chocolate ice creams I have eaten.
For people who do not like such rich chocolate ice creams, there is also a Milk Chocolate version (that I have not tried yet).
I've also been to their Carling Ave store and they did not seem to have any ice cream a few months ago-not sure if that has changed or not as I do not frequent that area often.
The website for Malak Pastry can be found at:

Malak Pastry is located at:
1216 Bank St, Ottawa (in the Sunnyside area near Riverdale ave and across from the Subway restaurant).
tel: (613)526-2002

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