Adriano Macri, owner of Bottega Gelateria, opened gelati store in Henley Beach that’s like a “journey back in time”.
In the kitchen it’s a one-man show, and you’re invited. Behind a huge pane of glass Macri makes everything – including labour-intensive nut pastes and caramel – from scratch, by hand and in small batches. Everything he does is on display – except the actual gelati. It’s hidden under lids in deep steel canisters called pozzetti, where it’s protected from light, air and moisture.
Macri has converted a former real estate agency – just down from Henley Square – into a pastel-coloured snapshot of Italian summer. Gelati churns in a Cattabriga machine right next to the pozzetti, which incorporates less air than commercial operations to make for a denser product.
Hazelnut is the jewel in the crown, and with good reason. Macri imports the world’s “queen” of hazelnuts from Italy’s Piedmont region. The result is intensely roasty, at the same time delicate, and without the bitter aftertaste of homegrown hazelnuts.
Want to go all-out? Have the inside of your cone coated by an undulating chocolate fountain. Or there’s the stracciatella strewn with perfectly hardened shards of it – Cottee’s Ice Magic style.
Of a dozen-or-so flavours, some – such as hazelnut, pistachio, salted caramel, chocolate and vanilla – will stay. Seasonality will govern the others.