I was out one afternoon at around 2PM and man oh man, was it hot! It’s like one minute it’s spring and then the next minute it’s 50 degrees! It must be those sandstorms swooshing all the hot air in. So it’s summer in Riyadh evidently and it’s not like we got beaches to rave about or bikini season to write about…so what’s the best thing to do in Riyadh during summer apart from staying in an air-conditioned space? Yup. You scream, I scream: ICE CREAM!!! Or in this particular situation, say: Bello!
Bello is a gelato boutique underneath Panorama Mall with bright exteriors yet severely ‘meh’ interiors. There was a wall of colored stripes but I clearly didn’t really relate that to gelatos…more of like a rainbow theme maybe? But I don’t get what the designer’s overall theme was. The table and chairs were strictly all white, devoid of life and invitation to sit. So I just went to the counter and maybe their actual product will make up for the lackluster ambiance.
There were several interesting flavors that I have never heard of before like the ‘Gianduja’, ‘Gelato Mistika’ and get this: ‘Rice’. Yes, you read that right: rice-flavored gelato. Now I am intrigued.
The salesperson was quite accommodating and let me and my mom try out some of the flavors. The rice-flavored gelato was really interesting because it had real rice in it! And it wasn’t too sweet or for some reason, rice gelato worked wonders with my neurons. I am definitely recommending that!
They also had the standard flavors of Vanilla, Chocolate, Pistachio, Mango, Coffee, Caramel et al. Each scoop goes for 12SR each. It’s a little pricey but I honestly thought that one order was good enough for two people. If you plan on sharing though, take in on a cup because I don’t know how to share a single cone. 😛
Apart from the by-the-scoop Italian gelatos, they also had some other items that were arranged in one corner:
I ended up trying out the ‘Gianduja’ flavor on for size since I was leaning towards a chocolate-y taste that day. It turns out gianduja is a kind of chocolate that has around 30 to 40 percent hazelnut paste in the mix. It was decadent and luckily, it was a “cheat” day for me so I indulged a bit. After a several bites though, I’d wish it was over already as I couldn’t finish the entire thing on my own. Like I said, good for two.
As a whole, Bello is apt for a get and go mode rather than seating there and let the blinding strips of neon light hypnotize you. Flavors like Gianduja and Rice gelato are definitely worth a try. Value of money can only be applicable if there would be at least two of you ready to wolf down one order. Otherwise, one on your own (unless deemed truly awesome) would be too saturating to hold on to.
Branches at Panorama Mall (beside Trader Vic’s)
Princess Noura University
Prince Sultan St.
T +966 11 2815063