There are plenty of places in Melbourne to find Italian gelato and ice-cream. But Kori Ice-Cream adds some variety to the city’s frozen-treats scene. The Japanese-inspired scoop shop is the work of Joanne Yeoh (ex-pastry chef Tonka) and Bernard Chu (former owner and pastry chef Luxbite). The duo opened the first Kori in Hawthorn in 2022, before launching their second outpost in the CBD the following year.

On any given day there are 10 scoops on offer, in addition to bi-weekly specials. A customer-favourite is the Hokkaido cheesecake ice-cream, and the crisp and sweet Fuji apple or yuzu vegan sorbets for warm summer days. Other highlights include the caramel purin (custard pudding) ice-cream, the strawberry and sudachi (Japanese citrus) vegan sorbet, the white-sesame ice-cream, and the plant-based tofu vanilla ice-cream. Many scoops are inspired by the duo’s trips to Japan and their Southeast Asian upbringings (Chu is originally from Malaysia, Yeoh from Singapore).

Kori’s Hawthorn store is recognised (and has won awards) for its striking coral-coloured fit-out – so it’s little surprise that the CBD outpost makes its own mark. Chu and Yeoh worked on the aesthetic with designers at Architects Eat and Principle Design. There’s LED signage made to resemble car-park entry signs, concrete-grey finishes, mesh-metal shelving covers and exposed piping. And at the back, a vending machine nods to the shop’s Japanese convenience-store influence. Those looking to take home a pint or two can choose from the machine’s 12 tubs.

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Updated: January 12th, 2024

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