Sunday, August 2, 2009

Rich and Creamy Gelato....Without the Cream!

The first time I saw the soon-to-be opened Fusion Montréal Crémerie Artisanale, last year, my first thought was that it reminded me of this really expensive ice cream shop, carrying an Italian name and located in major touristy spots of Montreal like downtown or the Old Port of Montreal. Personally, I found that Italian gelato/pizza eatery to be OK, and this was overshadowed by the unfriendly and cold atmosphere exuded by the staff.

So my concern was that another fancy ice cream stand, not popularly sought after by most of my acquaintances and myself, was going to open right at the most convenient spot of the business district of Montreal's downtown area, which is a major hub for most commuters taking their trains or buses to go to work or home. It's always a treat getting a refreshing ice cream for dessert right after lunch or even after work for the munchies, on a hot summer day.

On the day of the opening, last Fall, and to my surprise, it turned out to be a very independently run sweets-and-dessert eatery with the name Fusion Montréal Crémerie Artisanale. The first thing that caught my eye was the ice cream stand filled with beautifully flavoured and ornated gelati that looked….oooh…so sinful. I approached the counter and started talking to one of the staff members, who happened to be the owner. His name is Hazem, a true-at-heart Montrealer. He immediately asked me if I wanted to taste the ice cream by offering me a tiny plastic spoon with a sample of the gelato. It was indeed… divine…
My favourite is the pistachio flavoured gelato because it has the very subtle healthy and natural green colour and not that fluorescent green like you see in many popular ice cream brands found at supermarkets.
Best part of this gelato, is that it is made with whole milk…NOT CREAM. Forget about the guilty pleasure sweets, this one is absolutely guilt free. It is incredible how creamy and rich this gelato tasted! Of course, there is little sugar added for a tinge of sweetness but enough sugar to allow the gelato to stick together with the right texture – smooth, creamy, and dense, as opposed to hard and lumpy. As for the rest of the ingredients, Hazem reassures every one of his clients that they are 100% natural. For instance, he will get the best quality dark chocolate to make a chocolate gelato, and fresh fruits for his sorbets. Nothing is artificial, most ingredients are either freshly picked or organic. My second favourite gelato he recently created is this wonderful creamy and so tasty Lychee and Coconut gelato. It’s a great success especially at this time of year. If you don’t feel like having a sorbet primarily made with water and sugar, but something for consistent, then this creamy Lychee and Coconut gelato really hits the spot. It’s refreshing and very creamy.
Now, if I talked about the atmosphere at Fusion Montréal….it’s very welcoming with positive energy. It’s not comparable to the Italian gelato/pizza place I was referring to earlier. The staff is very friendly, extremely customer-focused, without being intrusive. They are professional and respect every customer. If you don’t feel like chatting, there’ll be no chatting – just helpful information and suggestions on their products will be gladly given.

Why the name “Fusion Montréal?” I asked Hazem; “the name is to symbolize the mixes of different cultures and languages Montreal displays today”. You’ll also notice the name Crémerie Artisanale, which signifies that, in addition to the gelati, everything is homemade, the crêpes, the wafer cones and cups, and many other gourmet sweets like almonds covered in dark chocolate. To some, and especially students dropping by, the gelati and other sweets offered by Fusion Montréal might seem very pricey at first. But as mentioned by Hazem, everything is 100% natural. It’s still very affordable, but once in a while won’t hurt your wallet.
If you have not tried this place out yet but are planning to, you’ll immediately notice a “zen/contemporary-Montreal chic” décor filled with good energy. Personally, when I go to a sweets eatery or a coffee shop I like feeling cozy and prefer a homy ambiance, like wood and fabric chairs or sofas, plants and warm colours. Because of its contemporary/modern look, I feel the coziness, for me, is missing just a little at Fusion Montréal. Then again, Fusion Montréal is located right at the heart of the major business district where major corporate yuppies and business executives walk out and about during their breaks. They have the money and appreciate more the contemporary/chic metropolitan décor, than I do.

If you ever go, and are a foodie like me who enjoys tasting every morsel and savouring every flavour, you’ll enjoy this place. Price won’t matter.

Fusion Montréal Crémerie Artisanale
1000 Rue De La Gauchetière O Bureau (RC-28)Montréal, QCH3B 4W5
(514) 759-0608



Wow Gold said...

wow ! what a blog

Anonymous said...

Last summer it was our good fortune that we stumbled upon Fusion Montreal Cremerie Artisanale as a consolation prize when our daughter was crushed that she couldn't go ice skating at the indoor rink there at the center (temporarily closed for maintenance just on the days we were visiting). We loved it so much, we came back the next day! You're right about everything. It is a bit pricey but totally worth it. And the owner, Hazem Kamal Eldine, is the consummate gracious host, very knowledgable and generous. You'll want to stay all afternoon. And DON'T MISS the hot chocolate -- the best in the world.

Janis Hunt Johnson
Medford, Oregon, USA