With chains from leading international brands seeping to the shops, restaurant and cafes in Cairo, this Italian fantasy has appeared in many of the city's popular malls. Located on the 2nd floor, beneath the escalators in Heliopolis' Sun City Mall, Gelateria Roma is the perfect place to stop for a thirst-quenching slushy or a scoop of refreshing ice cream. Specialising in frozen desserts, their natural-tasting products are a great alternative when compared to the synthetic-tasting confections of its competitors.

Built as an eye-catching pink and white kiosk, Gelateria Roma graciously provides two small tables for resting weary legs after long shopping excursions. The small venue doesn't provide the full range of products on offer at its larger branches, but carries all the essential frozen delights nonetheless.

Twelve flavours of ice-cream, sorbet and granita were on offer, including strawberry, lemon, pineapple, chocolate, mastic, pistachio, caramel, vanilla, mango and many more. Combination flavours such as tiramisu and vanilla-caramel were also available. Each scoop costs 8LE and can either be put in a cup or waffle cone. The lemon, berry, mango or strawberry slushies (10LE) continuously rotate in the slush machines, before being served in medium-sized, domed plastic cups.

We decided on a mixed scoop of the caramel-vanilla ice-cream and one lemon slushy. The slushy transpired to be incredibly refreshing, with a tart lemon tang, all the while tasting natural. Fortunately, the ice was very finely crushed and didn't over-dilute the mixture.

The caramel-vanilla ice-cream was a sticky concoction containing miniscule granules of caramel which gave it a curious, sandy texture. The ice-cream itself was incredibly light and creamy without being too dense or sickly. What impressed us the most is how this multinational company manages to mix their ice cream in a way that is reminiscent of local, traditional dessert doyens.

Although it may be hard to differentiate between most dessert corners, Gelateria Roma creates unique tasting treats in a very homely manner; providing a truly charming experience.