Whimsical Gelateria & Caffe by Cielo Dolci @ Solaris Dutamas, Behind Publika

June 19, 2014

Whimsical lives up to its name: Ong Kee Win, the Mad Hatter behind Cielo Dolci, has unveiled a new wonderland of frozen fantasies in Solaris Dutamas, where adventurers can revel in tea parties of gelato served in curiouser & curiouser combinations.

Whimsical keeps Cielo Dolci at the forefront for gelato in the Klang Valley; this is a full-fledged cafe where ice cream made in the traditional Italian fashion is imaginatively infused into the menu. Basil gelato becomes a cooling, who-needs-pesto-sauce dressing for this tomato salad with Japanese cucumber strips, lettuce, chives, goat's cheese & balsamic reduction (RM20.90+). 

Beef bacon gelato (with bits of seared meat in a luscious fior de latte base) transforms what would otherwise be a run-of-the-mill Big Breakfast (scrambled eggs, beef sausage & pancakes) into an idiosyncratically sweet-savoury, hot-&-cold showcase of what Whimsical has the potential to produce more of in the months ahead. RM24.50+.

Much of the eclectic menu here is nonetheless still gelato-free; there are baked & poached eggs for brunch lovers, as well as several Japanese-tinged pastas. Sample one served cold, crowned with deep-fried prawns & collaged with seaweed strips, ebiko shrimp roe, vinegar & soy sauce (RM25.90+).

Unlike Cielo Dolci at Paradigm Mall, Whimsical doesn't exactly display its gelato. Each flavour is instead individually stored in Italian-constructed Pozzetti tubs (probably the first time these have been seen in Malaysia), completely covered beneath lids in stainless-steel storage, kept perfectly insulated & consistently smooth & sumptuous. 

From dough to dolci: Whimsical takes over the shop-lot previously occupied by Solaris Dutamas pioneer Craft Bakers, opposite Namoo On The Park, behind the main Publika mall. The waffles here prove yeasty-tasting, per Kee Win's preference, hearty with vanilla cinnamon gelato, strawberries, lashes of chocolate ganache & almond flakes. RM21.90+.

Whimsical serves whopping bowls of muesli, turned into a tropical treat with coconut gelato (laced with Gula Melaka), plus honey cinnamon milk. RM15.90+. Ideal for weight-watching eaters who desire desserts; the scoop of gelato probably contributes fewer than 200 worthwhile calories to a nutrition-loaded ensemble.

French toast in chocolate batter with bananas, accompanied by dark chocolate gelato (or substitute with chantilly cream). Whimsical will also serve cakes soon, made for this cafe by an indie baker who specialises in chilled mousse confections. 

Whimsical's repertoire extends beyond the regular Cielo Dolci flavours; liquor-laced varieties are available here & only here (prepared & stored separately from non-alcohol flavours). The Sangria sorbet tickles the taste buds with tannic hints of Cab Sav. RM10.90+ per scoop (gelato without liquor starts at RM7.90+ for a single scoop, RM12.90+ for double, RM17.90+ for triple).

Robust-tasting Guinness gelato will satisfy Publika patrons who like stout beer, while the Baileys-&-chocolate & rum-&-raisin flavours will have their fans too. All available for eat-in or takeaway (a counter will be open soon to tempt passers-by on this corridor); Whimsical's timing couldn't be better, surfacing amid the current hazy heatwave.

Surprise! Whimsical's coffee is a highlight too, well-crafted by one of Epiphany's former baristas with a Sumatran-Brazilian blend that's concocted exclusively for this cafe by Three Little Birds.

Cotton candy affogato (RM13+) is another only-at-Whimsical delight, discernibly different from the coffee-&-candy creations elsewhere. Pour the espresso into the cup, in which the revelatory treasure _ a scoop of coconut-&-Gula-Melaka gelato _ is concealed underneath the mountain of floss.

The kitchen at Whimsical currently opens 9am-5pm, when hot food & everything else on the menu are available; the cafe remains open through 11pm, but for now, it'll only serve gelato, cakes & beverages after 5pm. Once things become more settled in a month or two, expect the kitchen to operate during dinnertime too.

Whimsical takes pride in its many beverages; the Ice Chai Americano (RM12+) comes spiced up with cinnamon & star anise. 

 Speculoos hot chocolate, herbal iced yellow tea (with thyme, mint & Thai basil) & lemonade with vanilla & grapefruit.
This blog entry was contemplatively composed to The Fault in Our Stars soundtrack. The future's not ours to see.

D2-G3-05, Solaris Dutamas, Kuala Lumpur (not inside the Publika mall, but outside/behind the main Publika building)
Open nearly daily, except Tuesdays. Tel: 03-6419-0966

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