An Italian guide once told me to find good gelato, look out for shops that store gelato in stainless metal tins below a lid (though visually people would love to see colourful mountains displayed).
And over at Celine’s Gelato Café, their offerings are kept in stainless steel carapina containers on a mobile cart.
Started from a mobile gelato cart, then to a small physical shop within Novena Regency, they have just expanded with a café concept located on the outside of the building.
If you are unfamiliar with Novena Regency, it is right opposite Novena Church and houses prawn-ramen specialist Menya Kanae, Korean Jjajangmyeon restaurant Mukjja, Sinn Ji Hainanese Chicken Rice, and Lechon Republic.
As an ex-cabin crew on Singapore Airlines for 5 years, Celine Ho has been exploring and trying gelatos worldwide, then a gelato mobile cart business.
She finally fulfilled her dream of opening her very own gelato cafe with sit-down area.
There are rotating flavours, and classic flavours range from Chocolate, Black Sesame, Vanilla Cookies & Cream, Chocolate Hazelnut, Mango Passion Sorbet, Yuzu Sorbet; while premium flavours include Pistachio and D24 Durian.
The prices are reasonable, with Classic flavour starting from $5 for a single scoop, whereas premium ones are priced at an additional $0.50 each.
Takeaways are also available in 473ml Pints (Classic $16.90, Premium $19.90) and 500g Tubs (Classic $18.90, Premium $22.90).
Waffle is priced at an additional $4 and a Gelato Cone will cost $0.50.
There used to be an option of chocolate shavings using 72% Lindt dark chocolate, but that does not seem to be available on the menu any more.
The Black Sesame gelato was recommended – nutty, earthy, and rich, complemented with finely grounded sesame texture and the aroma of roasted sesame seeds.
Each scoop of sesame gelato is akin to eating the solid form of the traditional sesame paste, comforting and memorable.
The Chocolate is still their best-seller, made fresh with 72% Venezuela cocoa.
The flavour remained a favourite for me, with rich-chocolatey notes but mellow enough, and texture smooth and velvety. I would have preferred better if it was overall a tad less sweet, just a little.
I fondly remember the fragrant and nutty pitachio gelato I during tried my last visit (before the expansion).
While the pistachio gelato still maintained a lovely luscious mouthful, I thought that it lacked that strong nuttiness and fragrance that made it different from all those out there. But I am just nit-picking here.
The waffle ($4) was slightly disappointing, with slight crisp but rather doughy on the inside.
Perhaps gelato is still really their strength here, but if they can fine-tune the waffles, but it would be a more winning combination.
For other dessert options, look out for the Panna Cotta ($13), Sticky Date Pudding ($11), Pavlova ($11) and cakes such as Burnt Cheesecake ($8 per slice) on the cake display counter.
Good to know that there are now savoury options including English Breakfast ($13), Sausage Platter ($18), Ham & Cheese Sandwich ($11), Truffled Egg Sandwich ($11) and Beef Pie ($16) – though they were all strangely not available on Saturdays (the day I visited).
Celine’s Gelato Cafe
275 Thomson Road, Novena Regency, #01-30, Singapore 307645
Opening Hours: 10am – 9pm (Mon – Sat), Closed Sun