No matter what ice-creamery or gelateria you may find yourself in around Australia, whether it’s the old-school corner store down the road or a new-wave flavour connoisseur, you’re almost always guaranteed to find vanilla, chocolate and pistachio on the menu. The specials board? That’s another story.
While the classics are classics for a reason, the risk (and reward) of trying something new and experimental is unmatched, and there are plenty of scoop specialists around Australia playing around with out-of-the-box flavours. Here are some of the best.
Kenny Lover, Melbourne
You’re probably used to having Vegemite on toast and Negronis by the glass, but have you had them in a cone? They’re two of the most recent weird and wonderful flavours to hit the display case at inner-city Melbourne ice-creamery Kenny Lover, alongside decadent buttermilk ice-cream jaffles with blueberry compote and maple syrup. Plus, it also serves hot chips specifically so you can dip them into your scoop of choice. Co-owner Michael Baker upskilled in the craft while cooking at Alkimia, a one-Michelin-starred restaurant in Barcelona, and honed it further at the three-Michelin-starred El Celler de Can Roca. The flavours might be all fun and games, but the quality of the ice-cream is no joke.
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Zini Contemporary Gelateria, Sydney
Known for experimenting with flavours like Parmigiano-Reggiano and pesto, Zini Contemporary Gelateria in Circular Quay is not your average gelato shop. Founder Matteo Zini follows the traditional method of his native Bologna, meaning it’s all made in a Cattabriga vertical gelato machine. He’s got four stores scooping more traditional flavours in Brisbane but, with this Sydney shop, he wanted to experiment with unlikely flavour combinations like raspberry and black pepper, or yuzu Earl Grey. More common flavours like pistachio, tiramisu and dulce de leche are still being churned, and there’s an espresso bar for your morning coffee or decadent affogatos with Italian hot chocolate.
48 Flavours, Adelaide
Family-owned 48 Flavours has – you guessed it – 48 flavours in each of its five stores across SA. Bonus: 12 of the flavours are always vegan. No matter which location you visit, there’ll be inventive flavours like pear and gorgonzola with fig and walnut; lemon cheesecake; Asian-inspired black sesame and pandan; and more. Belgian street waffles are the latest addition to its line-up, with flavours including salted caramel and pistachio on the rotating menu – you can top them with ice-cream, too.
Condensed milk and nutty brown butter with salted almonds are just two of the creative flavours you might see on the menu at Lick! Ice Cream. Familiar go-to flavours like boysenberry, and cookies and cream still abound, and you can jazz up any scoop with a warm butterscotch sauce. Ice-cream sandwiches are regularly on the menu as well; choc-chip cookie with macadamia praline ice-cream was a recent hit. Since first opening in 2004 as a wholesale business to local restaurants and grocers, the brand has expanded into two bricks-and-mortar stores in Graceville and Paddington. The ice-creamery is also known for its famous and much-loved Ekka strawberry sundae, served each year at the Royal Queensland Show.
Chicho Gelato, Perth
Chez and Carly De Bartolo, the owners of Chicho Gelato, experiment with one-off flavour creations for a limited time only, so it’s worth checking out the Northbridge and Fremantle stores whenever you’re nearby. From ricotta lemon to sticky date pudding and matcha raspberry with white chocolate almond, the flavours are a step up from your average gelateria. Another notable recent creation is a hot apple bun that’s filled with burnt butter gelato and poached apples, then drizzled in duck-fat caramel. The pair studied at the Carpigiani Gelato University in Bologna and use quality local ingredients, fresh dairy and real fruit to create their silky scoops.
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