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Petal power at Amorino
Petal power at Amorino
Fri, 07/10/2016 - 11:45
Published:06 October, 2016
by TOM MOGGACH
AS marketing ploys go, it’s a stroke of genius – serving your ice cream like petals on a flower. This is a trademark of Amorino, which has just opened in the tourist hot spot of Camden High Street.
Rather than a single scoop, they use a spatula to sculpt each petal with ice cream – so you can experiment by mixing flavours and colours.
You may know Amorino already. They have branches in Islington and Soho, plus another seven around the UK.
Their arrival in Camden is positive news for any of us still mourning the closure of the much-loved Marine Ices restaurant back in 2014. (A much smaller Marine Ices later opened at 61 Chalk Farm Road, but without the pizza, pasta and timeless atmosphere.)
Amorino serves top-notch gelato, rather than ice cream. This means it’s made with more milk than cream in the Italian style.
I visited on a weekday afternoon a few weeks after opening to find a queue already snaking out the door.
By the nature of its location, the customers are a mixed bunch: high-spirited tourists, dating couples and local parents treating their children on the way home from school. All were lapping up flavours such as mango, lime basil, pistachio, tiramisu or a seasonal special of walnut and black fig.
I sat at one of the tables at the back to explore some of the less-familiar corners of their menu: warm waffles and new ice-cream macaroons, all washed down with a decent double espresso.
Other options include crêpes, frappés, posh teas and hot chocolate.
There’s no doubting the quality here. Amorino sources Alphonso mangoes from India, sea salt from Guérande, citrus fruit from Sicily – adding no artificial flavours or colourings.
I turns out that the gelato is made off site as part of the company’s cunning business model.
Amorino operates around 150 branches worldwide, including outposts in Shanghai and Seoul. Most are run as franchises with strict quality control.
The company was first launched in 2002 by two Italian friends living in Paris, who opened their first shop on Île Saint-Louis on the Seine.
They now supply all the ice cream for their branches from a state-of-the-art factory outside the city.
They import ingredients, work their magic, then ship these flavours back out across the world in the form of gelato.
A new product is their sorbets, which are also ideal for vegans. These are terrific: the pistachio is hard to tell apart from the dairy version.
I’m still intrigued by the petal trademark. The staff claim you could even order 10 flavours on a single cone, although I’d be dubious of mixing up more than three or four.
But this is ideal for the chronically indecisive – or those composing a poem in ice cream for a loved one.
Note that they also deliver via Deliveroo, anything from small cups to 550ml tubs for £12 with up to three flavours – ideal for parties or if you’re pigging out on the sofa.
237 Camden High Street NW1
020 7482 5416