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Kekou Gelato House

Posted by Sarah Ratchford / Listed on August 14, 2013 / review policy

Kekou Gelato TorontoKekou Gelato House is a little gelateria in Baldwin Village serving up what they call Asian gelato. While the gelato is made just like any other gelato, in the Italian way, the flavours make Kekou stand out. (Read: they sell durian-flavoured gelato).

The space is open and sunny, with an L-shaped set of counters for gelato scooping. The staff are super friendly and patient with me as I try to decide what to get, and they feed me samples of several kinds as I dither. Before paying them a visit earlier this week, I checked out their menu online and discovered the aforementioned durian gelato.

Perhaps it's my inexposure to the fruit, but I was terrified because of their reputation as world's stinkiest and, therefore, sometimes downright illegal fruit. Because I was terrified, I was also instantly attracted, and marched on over and asked to try it.

Kekou Gelato TorontoMoral of the story: don't be brave; it isn't worth it. The gelato smelled like a mixture of an adolescent boy's socks and garbage day in Toronto. It was sort of sweet, but still pretty socky. But, I think that's just because I discovered I don't like durians, I would say.

My actual order was fantastic. I got a cup with half green bean coconut and half avocado banana. The banana has teensy chunks of banana. The coconut had flakes of true coconut. This stuff is authentic, made in house, and makes for the perfect dessert in the summer time.

Kekou Gelato TorontoOther fantastic and creative flavours include ginger milk, jasmine tea and black sesame. They also do plain chocolate and vanilla, for those feeling less adventurous. They come in small ($3.75), medium ($4.25) and large ($4.75) cups, with the large being quite hefty, and probably most ideal for sharing. They sell it in even larger containers to take home and put in your freezer, too ($7.50 to $12.50).

There's not much in the way of indoor seating, aside from a couple of benches. There's lots of room on the front patio, with enough bench space for about 20, but that won't do much good in the winter. Or for most of the rest of the year, for that matter.

Kekou Gelato TorontoThe owners say they're working on that, though, and it doesn't really matter a lot, anyway, given the context of the neighbourhood. Baldwin St. is lined with restaurants: sushi, vegetarian, Mexican. Kekou is the kind of place you can stroll into after dinner and grab dessert to go, wandering around the neighbourhood as you chat. It would make a great date spot, actually.

When I visit, the patio is crowded with girls from U of T. Just about all of the seating is packed, despite the fact that it's an overcast day requiring a jacket. Kekou is a hit already, it seems, which makes sense given that they're not bandwagon-hoppers. Rather, they're filling a niche, and providing a treat not widely available in the city.

Kekou Gelato TorontoPhotos by Denise McMullin



Seriousfoodie / August 14, 2013 at 09:13 am
I went there couple of weeks ago. Quite a charming little place and the staffs are friendly. Their flavours are definitely more exciting than your average gelato shops. My durian gelato was to die for.
K. / August 14, 2013 at 12:29 pm
Just a small correction: they don't have regular chocolate and vanilla. I think it's vanilla lotus and red bean chocolate.
Video Suicide / August 14, 2013 at 02:37 pm
I still miss the little video shop that used to be here. I think the owner's name was Norm. He was awesome and sorely missed.
Tamara / August 14, 2013 at 03:49 pm
user-pic they reuse taster spoons? That's gross :/ & their medium cup looks bigger than the large hahah
Ed replying to a comment from Tamara / August 14, 2013 at 08:25 pm
No, they don't reuse their spoons. I think that's just their garbage bin.
YB / August 16, 2013 at 07:40 am
Alexandre / August 21, 2013 at 01:28 pm
they do recycle their spoons but they don't reuse them, maybe that's where the misconception arose
Tamara / August 22, 2013 at 07:00 pm
Well, nobody really knows, right? I wouldn't be surprised..
J.P replying to a comment from Tamara / August 23, 2013 at 03:34 pm
Tamara is a troll. Either that or she is part of the competition.

These guys do good gelato, and they do it right. I was there last week and they replaced the walnut bin with an actual garbage bin. It was busy, so probably the little walnut didn't do the job.
Tamara / September 2, 2013 at 02:41 pm
I'm a troll for wondering if they reuse their plastic spoons that they collect in a little nut? It's great to hear they switched to a garbage bin. Jeesus
Eddie / July 8, 2015 at 03:11 pm
Tamara you're not a troll for wondering, you're a troll for your snarky "I wouldn't be surprised.." remark.

Kekou is fresh, inventive and absolutely amazing.
If you've not tried it yet, you're missing out.

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