My friendly had recently changed his diet, dedicating himself to a dairy free lifestyle. So when looking for an after dinner dessert spot, our options were severely limited; whereas before, he had an as curious and vicarious appetite as myself. Luckily I heard about “Umaluma”, a new dairy-free ice cream shop that opened, right by where we were dining tonight. So we bee-lined it there for dessert.
They are doing a great job filling the void and the need for vegan/dairy-free ice cream in the city. And as a self prescribed lover of ice cream and the milk that goes into it, trust me when I say, that this was surprisingly delicious stuff. Dare I declare, better than most ice cream options from other shops within the city.
The dairy-free ice cream parlour is easy to identify. Its name that rolls off your tongue is brightly lit like a beacon. Shining in neon blue, above their high arched windows lined with green fronds, in front of their own branded patio umbrella and single white bench.
Inside, the shoppe feels like an 80’s glam rock diner. Beige and neutral wall colouring and trim, punctuated with bold pastel splotches. Patterned upholstered benches that weave around the room, situated behind dark wood tables. And a lot more greenery to give the place some lively energy. We would later grab a couple of stools by their bar. Stools against the speckled granite counter, situated across from their refrigerated ice cream cooler.
All their current and rotating flavours are printed on cardboard cards that slide into place on their wall menu. Although I found it easer to order by sight, choosing base on the colour within a white pail, and ordering it by its name displayed underneath.
Given their small batch operation, 16 familiar and unique flavours is plenty. You get the ability to sample before you buy. Avocado honey, coffee toffee, lemonade poppyseed, banana chocolate flambé, a mojito flavoured ice cream and one that tasted like a pina colada; were available when we visited.
My guest and I went for double scoops to top handmade cones. He had the “Drunken cherry” made with actual bits of nut, fruit, and jelly; and a scoop of matcha. The latter had a bold flavour that wasn’t too sweet, it made a great pairing with the bolder cherry scoop.
I had the “Lavender” ice cream with a pretty and light flavour to match its hue. It tasted like the flower, but not in an aggressive or an overwhelming way, just refreshing. And the scoop of mint under it had actual chopped up mint leaves. The green specks looked like chives, which I found distracted from what would be a nice creamy mint flavoured ice cream.
Would I come back? – Yes.
Would I line up for it? – Yes.
Would I recommend it? – Yes.
Would I suggest this to someone visiting from out of town? – Yes.
A great place for ice cream, never mind no milk products, they were just as creamy and delicious without, and I bet a lot healthier too. What a great lactose and vegan free option to add to the food-scape of the city. Don’t deny your cravings.