A home’s a house that has been filled with hopes, dreams, laughter, joy and tears.
Neli’s is probably one of those places whose owners had a wonderful theme for their ice cream cafe, but perhaps because of cost overruns, never got to follow through with it. As a result, it does feel a tad lazy. From the outside, the parlor looks white-washed from the front glass panes, thanks to the white flooring, white walls and white shelves, giving it an unfinished look. Inside, the “travel lifestyle” theme lends itself in a most miniscule manner, with a menu inspired by split-flap flight information display boards seen in airport and railway terminals. There are also vague references to the staff being flight attendants, and the collection counter top being an arrival baggage belt…pointless really.
They also try to stock travel maps, guidebooks and magazines, as well as notebooks penned down by customers on recommendations on where to go, although the whole concept appears to have died in 2009/2010, which is where most of the publications and scribbles seem to end. Even if the collection isn’t updated, and the scribbles unreliable, the notebooks are still quite the read. It’s a kaleidoscope, a time capsule of dreams, memories and ambitions…even love, too.
But beyond the half-assed theme, Neli’s is a place for ice cream, and while it’s not the most popular or well-known, it does appear to be able to remain standing. And Neli’s offers a reason why: “We handmake all our ice creams from scratch – just basic ingredients… We squeeze the most of our ingredients…to ensure that our flavors are rich and luxurious…” It might be PR bulls**t, but the product speaks for itself. Many of the standard flavors have a full-bodied flavor, and a milky richness that is reminiscent of Haagen Dazs. The Stout Chocolate that I had, for example, has a very rich, butter creamy sophistication that rivals that of the American brand.
Having said all that, is Neli’s just a good imitator, or are they onto something more, here? Unfortunately, I just don’t know. I get the feeling that Neli’s doesn’t know what to do, or how to value add to its awesome ice cream. The ice cream’s good. I just wish I knew how to appreciate them in a manner that’s befitting to their level of awesomeness.