Dex2Rose Location: 377-379 Little Bourke St, Melbourne CBD 3000 Contact: (03) 9078 0784 A cool change has hit Melbourne’s CBD, and kids, this time it’s a welcome one. Gelato doesn’t get much better than frozen at Dex2Rose (a wordplay on “dextrose”, the dextrorotatory form of glucose), where the friendly team whips up cheekily-named, innovative flavours (from ‘pinoy colada’ to ‘not your granny’s apple pie’) to order. White clinical walls are pitted against select splashes of colour and plush chairs inside. At the front bench, clouds of liquid nitrogen spill from KitchenAid mixers as the gelato is made before your very eyes. It’s a chem nerd’s dream, and a sweettooth’s secret escape.
I am constantly astounded by the quality and diversity of food that is offered in Melbourne. Having recently returned from travelling and working overseas (where I had the pleasure of dining at quite a few Michelin-starred restaurants), I can comfortably say that Melbourne offers some of the best restaurants and cafes in the world, which, believe it or not, I much preferred over their Michelin-starred counterparts. This past month I have been very ‘busy’ re-acquainting my palette with Melbourne food. Here are a few favourites that I’d happily eat at (over and over) again: Hinoki Japanese Pantry Location: 279 Smith Street, Fitzroy, VIC 0065 Contact: 03 9417 4531 Fonda Mexican Location: 248 Swan Street, Richmond, VIC 3121 Contact: 03 9429 0085 Jinda Thai Location: 7 Ferguson St, Abbotsford, VIC 3067 Contact: 03 9419 5899
Melbourne Night Noodle Markets 2014 Location: Birrarung Marr Dates: November 14-30, 2014 Back with all the buzz and vibe from last year, the Night Noodle Markets returned to Melbourne this year with a bang. Lighting up the banks of the Yarra River in a new (and much better) location this year (Birrarung Marr), the festival boasted over 50 food stalls and food trucks representing dishes spanning Korea, Vietnam, China, India, Malaysia, Burma and Nepal. All of our favourite eateries returned (think Chin Chin, Mamak, Izakaya Den, Longrain and Gelato Messina), as well as some exciting newcomers (Kong, Charlie Dumpling and Mr. Miyagi). The festival was by far bigger and better than last year, with minimal wait times (on the days that we visited, there were hardly any lines), ample seating and enough space to lounge around on the grass while relaxing to the sounds of Melbourne’s top DJs.
Gelato Messina – Happy Taste Bud TimeWe loved Gelato Messina’s bespoke creations last year, and this year was no exception. Messina’s ‘pot luck pies’ included tubs of goodness with cheeky names like ‘Bangkok Holla’, ‘Phuc King Tasty’ and ‘Happy Taste Bud Time’. Our Happy Taste Bud Time pot luck pies were huge, encompassing a deadly sweet mix of lychee sponge, mango puree, rambutan and coconut gelato, whipped salted coconut cream and a chewy coconut macaron.
Sugar Hit Melbourne Website: Facebook page For three months only, Sugar Hit Melbourne, a roving pop-up music festival for sweet fiends, is bringing all of your favourite dessert houses to one convenient place. The first pop up festival kicked off on a Friday with a Bangkok theme at one of our favourite laneway hideaways, Krimper Cafe, with custom desserts from N2 Extreme Gelato and Luxbite, and decadent drinks from Mork Chocolate.
Pidapipo Location: 222 Faraday Street, Carlton, VIC 3053 Contact: 0422 004 750 With the turn to sweltering heat and Summer days, Carlton has thrown us a bit of a lifeline, with the pop-up Pidapipo gelateria store opening up last month. The gelato test lab is open for this Summer only, and is the brainchild of Lisa Valmorbida, a Carpigiani Gelato University graduate and master of experimental gelato flavours. The launch night was hectic as ever, packed from the store to the street with one big family of gelato-lovers and media personnel. Apart from some enticing flavours on offer, there was plenty of aperol spritz to go around, and the boys from DOC also came over to serve up some mini pizza favourites. Bless.
Frolic Yoghurt Fitzroy Location: 365 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy, VIC 3065 Contact: 03 9417 0097 Finally summer seems tantalisingly within our reach, and with that T and I were delighted to accept an invitation to drop by and savour all things froyo at Frolic Frozen Yoghurt, Fitzroy. Step in and you can’t help pausing to admire the feature wall – custom artwork sprawled across bare brick, so fitting and at home at its residence on Brunswick Street. Traverse further in, past the toppings bar (oh, so many choices – don’t worry, we’ll come back to that) and you’re ready to get down to business.
Cacao Green Various locations Cacao Green’s gorgeous waffles and frozen yoghurt offering are more than likely to lure you from the street into this quirky chain cafe. Apart from offering St Ali coffee, Cacao Green also boasts a range of healthy fruit smoothies and fruit parfaits, which look divine. Having heard that they had just launched their earl grey flavour, a visit was a must.
Gelato World Tour Location: Argyle Square, Lygon Street from 25th-27th October 2013 We made our way down to gelato heaven this week (aka the Gelato World Tour in Argle Square) to sample some incredible talent. Eight cities in 5 continents were chosen to showcase their local gelato specialists as part of the world tour: Rome, Valencia, Dubai, Shanghai, Austin, San Paulo, Berlin and Melbourne. Up to sixteen gelato artisans are selected for each stage and they compete for the best flavours, combining tradition and innovation, with all of the artisans vying for a place in the grand final in Italy in September 2014.
The Lab Nitrogen Gelato Location: 188 Bourke Street Melbourne, VIC 3000 Contact: 03 9077 5354 The liquid nitrogen ice cream craze has well and truly arrived at Melbourne, with The Lab Nitrogen Gelato having just opened its doors in the middle of the Melbourne CBD.
Helados Jauja Location: 254 Lygon Street, Carlton, VIC 3053 Contact: 03 9041 2927 We were immediately drawn to Helados Jauja by the constant stream of lickers crowding around its quaint facade. One look at the list of intriguing flavours etched into the blackboard at the front, and we knew that we’d be in for a treat.
Connoisseur Link: Facebook page It’s pretty evident from here, here, and here that we’re absolutely, soaddicteditsscary obsessed with ice cream. And now that the weather’s (finally) taking a turn towards sunnier days and more t-shirt friendly temperatures, the timing of Connoisseur’s release of its new stick ice cream range couldn’t be more perfect.
Spring St Grocer Location: 157 Spring St, Melbourne, VIC 3000 Contact: 03 9639 0335 Having heard of Spring St Grocer’s array of interesting flavours and delicious cheeses, a dinner at Mamasita was the perfect precursor to a quick detour to the CBD’s hippest grocer.
So my inner-geek kind of flipped when I heard that N2 Extreme Gelato had made inroads into Melbourne. The funky lab on Brunswick Street, with its rows of kitchen aid mixers and savvy fit-out in tow, serves up not-so-ordinary gelato in enticing flavours
Just a quick stop at Frozen by a Thousand Blessings to get that good ol’ Froyo fix. Things are kept simple – take your cup, lever that froyo and top it to your heart’s content. All for $2.90 per 100 grams.
Mmm Yo-Chi. I love this place, and for good reason: with an abundance of froyo flavours (think berry, chocolate, chai and honey-soy), and an even greater array of toppings (halva, crumble, and popping pearls), it’s a bit of an interactive affair
With decadent walls of chocolate, large tasting bowls of pastilles, a enticing view of the chocolate-makers at work, and a café offering the most luxurious of desserts, the Yarra Valley Chocolaterie gratifies the most prominent cocoa aristocrat with hand-made chocolates and a rather modestly named ‘the best brownie’ with a shot of hot couveture chocolate.
Lindt is fairly convenient for us, and boy do they serve some good waffles.
At 2 flavours for $6.95, Movenpick may be a little bit on the pricier end of ice-creameries, but with flavours like crème brulee, swiss chocolate, gingerbread and maple walnut, how could you pass this one up?