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(Courtesy of wanderbites)
Nestled on a busy street in South Jakarta, Convivium Café Deli has been indulging foodies, both Jakartans and out-of-towners alike, with an array of fine Italian food.
Since the café first opened its doors in late 2010, it has best been known for its heavenly yet scrumptious sweet treats, such as its torta passione (red velvet cake) and torta arcobaleno (rainbow cake), which have won the hearts of many sweet-tooths out there.
It seems that Convivium, founded by Francine Denise T. and Natasha Kowara, does not stop providing delicious new delights for dessert aficionados, following the launch of their sorbets and gelatos in rich, yet unique flavors. Gelato e sorbetto, per favore?
The idea of serving sorbet and gelato came across Natasha, the co-founder of Convivium, when she wanted to give something special to her beloved grandpa.
Sorbet appears on the menu due to its freshness, as it is made without cream and milk, while gelato is chosen because it is low in fat.
Is gelato the same as ice cream? Steven Tanuwinata, Convivium’s manager, has the answer: “There have been some misconceptions, which has created confusion between ice cream and gelato. Some consider gelato Italian ice cream. This is not exactly true,” he said. Ice cream has 10 percent more fat than gelato, with gelato being approximately 3 to 5 percent fat.
“Gelato can comprise about 25 percent air, while ice cream contains as much as 50 percent air. Moreover, while ice cream is usually served frozen, gelato is served at a warmer temperature.” In terms of flavor, gelato provides a stronger taste since there is not much fat in it, Steven added.
In this case, Convivium fashionably combines the “usual” Italian dishes with new textures, providing a new experience for food lovers.
Curiosity certainly mounted when the complete list of 10 flavors to be sampled was read. Risotto? Squid ink? Balsamico?
First choice went to Risotto Mascarpone gelato, a unique combination of Italian dishes of rice and Italian sweet cheese. The traces of risotto melted in the mouth, blending well with the light taste of mascarpone.
Next up was squid ink gelato. Making a gelato of this flavor was indeed a true challenge for the team, as they attempted to create a non-fishy tasting gelato. Mamma mia! The Squid Ink gelato was surprisingly delizioso, lingering on the mouth until the last drop, and it did not taste fishy at all.
Orange Basil sorbet, a mix of orange juice and basil, came next, providing a fresh, yet bitter taste at the end.
Convivium also turned its best-selling red velvet cake into a delectable Red Velvet gelato, while it married vanilla ice cream and reduced balsamic vinegar into a Vanilla Balsamico gelato, which gives a gives a strong balsamic taste, and an unforgettable sensation. Some might love the Vanilla Balsamico for its unique pairing of flavours, while others might say that the flavor is too intense.
Another flavor on list is Bacon, made of the juice of pancetta, or Italian bacon. If you are not a pork eater, you can switch the bacon gelato with one of their other delicious flavors.
Those who are into more fresh and tangy flavours can opt for Lime Rosemary sorbet, a combination of lime juice and rosemary, Earl Grey for the refreshing zest of tea, and Lychee, a combination of the sweet lychee and slightly sour lemon juice, which results in a fresh, yet not overly sweet offering.
And how about some chili in your sorbet? That’s what Convivium has tried, as it combined some hot dried chili and strawberry, leaving an after taste of a slightly hot tingle.
(Courtesy of wanderbites)The 10 flavors of sorbetti and gelati are all served in a 10-glass hand-made wooden platter. Therefore, it is strongly recommended that you bring along friends to enjoy the frozen treat, as each glass contains two scoops of gelato or sorbet.
“The name Convivium in Latin means “gathering”. So, the desserts are better shared with friends, colleagues or relatives,” Denise says.
Will the sorbets and gelatos become favorites among the frozen-treat connoisseurs? Time, and taste buds, will tell.
Convivium Café Deli
Jl. Panglima Polim IX, No. 1
Melawai, South Jakarta
Phone: +62-21 7269963