Yes, you read that right; you can now get your sugar fix without having to travel to the North.
You might have encountered Rio after stumbling into the heat outside Jaffna’s famous Nallur kovil. Jaffna has lots of ice cream places, but Rio’s is the one people flock to.
There’s been another outlet on Sea Street in Negombo for some time, apparently. And now they’ve finally made their way to Colombo.
You can get your ice cream from a truck parked on Marine Drive- look out for the unmistakable red signage. Most of the time, you should find it parked right next to Hamer’s Avenue in the Wellawatte area.
So, what sets Rio apart from other ice cream places? I’d say value for money. Like a good Tamil movie chock full of fight scenes, with the odd love story and plenty of song and dance, Rio packs all kinds of things into their ice cream sundaes, if you let them.
Sure, you can have a plain scoop of chocolate or vanilla, but where’s the fun in that?
Try one of the specials instead. The Rio special, for example, is four scoops of ice cream- fruit and nut, vanilla, mango, and milk, with a healthy sprinkling of nuts on top. While you can find the other flavours at pretty much any ice cream parlour/supermarket easily, the milk ice cream is quite unusual- and delicious, too. The ice cream overall is sweet and tasty- lighter, somehow, than the varieties you find in Colombo.
But the Rio special isn’t just about the ice cream. Once you dig past the ice cream you’ll find cubes of jelly and fruit in there too. All of this for just Rs. 100. Be warned though- the Special’s very sweet, and liable to send you into an instant sugar coma if you eat it too fast, so it’s probably best to share, or just eat slow.
There are also a variety of sundaes, in quite generous portions, which cost Rs. 140- and a brightly coloured (slightly daunting looking) Mega Special, which I will try, once I muster up the courage.
We tried the blueberry, which (unsurprisingly) tasted a little synthetic- but there are chocolate and strawberry sundaes on offer as well.
The Rio truck tends to open at different times, so it’s a bit of a hit-and-miss strategy. The people manning the truck said that they open past 1 pm and stay open until 9 pm, but word on the street is they sometimes close on a whim. On Monday, for instance, they were closed around 6:30 pm with the promise of opening later. We had better luck the next day though around 7.
So, Rio- finally in Colombo. Check it out the next time you’re on Marine Drive.