“Japanese inspired, Melbourne bred” is the tagline for new Melbourne ice-creamery Kōri. It arrived in Hawthorn earlier this month and already it’s hitting the sweet spot.

“We definitely underestimated how busy we were going to be,” says ex-Coda chef Joane Yeoh, who owns the business with Bernard Chu, co-founder of South Yarra patisserie Luxbite. “We try to keep up with the consistency and quality [but] we don’t want people queuing for long.”

The slim heritage facade on Glenferrie Road might be discreet, but inside Kōri is anything but, with a dramatic two-tone paint job – half crisp white, half vibrant coral. The space was designed by Collingwood-based firm Architects Eat.

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Here you’ll find 24 ice-cream flavours – including eight vegan options. Some of the most popular include matcha (and matcha pistachio) and strawberry shortcake. Or you can venture into more savoury territory with flavours like miso, black sesame, dassai sake and sweet potato kuromitsu (a Japanese sugar syrup similar to molasses).

Yeoh’s number-one, though, is fuji apple, a plant-based sorbet with a tart punch. “I had this flavour in Tokyo in this cute little store and it was mind-blowing. I wanted to do it again here and I feel I’ve nailed the recipe … it’s really light and refreshing.”

The plant-based options – including yuzu, nashi pear and even nori (don’t knock it till you try it) – range from sorbets to almond and soy milk-based mixtures. Plus, family-sized ice-cream cakes and thickshakes are on the cards for spring.

Kōri Ice Cream
659 Glenferrie Road, Hawthorn
(03) 8394 7066

Mon to Thu 12pm–10.30pm
Fri & Sat 12pm–11pm
Sun 12pm–10.30pm