Just as I thought I've already uncovered enough top-notched gelato/ice cream shops which I can always go back for more, here comes Handels Vagen, a premium gelato shop from Kyoto directed by Chef Masaki Imamura, a trained chef of traditional Japanese cuisine.
Based on the concept of "Kyoto premium", Handels Vagen sought to "create a lasting impression on consumers' tastebuds" by experimenting with the "base" of the ice cream, equivalent to "dashi", the fundamental of Japanese cuisine. Of course the same old story goes for the use of seasonal and the best quality ingredients.
However, I think they sure have the rights to brag about their ice cream because it's almost the perfect gelato; smooth, velvety and delicious. Some say that it's so good that you might be singing Handel's Messiah after that.
The flavours are classified into "Premium Flavors" and "Flavors", with prices starting from 420 yen for a single flavor ice cream in cup. I opted for the sundae combo that came with 2 financiers and nuts toppings since the price is actually cheaper than ordering them in ala carte. But do note that it is limited to only 20 servings per day.
The Matcha resonated with its smooth bitterness without being too sharp. I usually do not like sherbets or fruit-based ice cream but this Kyoto Grape Sherbet totally caught me off the hooks. It's sweet in a pleasant way that makes you feel as if you are eating the real fruits. Yet the texture is not icy but as silky soft as a standard ice cream. Amazing.
I prefer this to Gelataria Acquolina (rated the best gelato in Tokyo). Perhaps the only barrier that stops me from trying again is the skyhigh price. But it's one of those things that you ought to try once in your life. Once you have a taste of it, you'll go mm mmmm.......
Tokyu Plaza Ginza B2, 5-2-1 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo;
Open daily 11am-11pm