Cheese and vegemite. Milo milkshake. Lamington. Somewhere in Italy, gelato purists are rolling over in their pozetti gelato cannisters, cursing Australians for their cavalier attitude towards one of their sacred food stuffs. But for Kane Hipper and Stevie Gale, the brother-and-sister team behind Scarborough’s Dumbo Gelato, these flavours are edible memories of their childhood in Geraldton.
Hipper and Gale are combining the flavours they loved during their typical Aussie upbringing with traditional gelato-making techniques. Those aforementioned pozetti, for instance – airtight, cool and dark – are used to store the gelato and keep each flavour fresher for longer. Look closely and you’ll find classic Italian flavours – pistachio made with Sicilian produce and hazelnut made with nuts from Piedmont – hidden among the more creative conconctions, such as Margarita- and limoncello spritz-flavoured gelato. But most tellingly, Hipper and Gale spent three weeks studying at the Carpigiani Gelato University in Bologna earlier in 2019.
The number crunching, it would appear, has paid off. From the traditional milky varieties through to the water-based sorbets (because we’re talking Italian frozen treats, say “sore-bet” rather than the French “sore-bay”), creaminess and high-definition flavours are par for the course. While the milk is organic and comes from Margaret River Dairy, half the range is vegan – including a riff on the world’s greatest chocolate bar, Bounty. As evinced by the use of Italian pistachios and hazelnuts, team Dumbo seek out top-shelf ingredients. Among the things you’ll find in their shopping basket: chocolate from Margaret River bean-to-bar chocolatiers Bahen & Co and seasonal fruit – mulberries and watermelon, say, from their family’s farm.
Gelato and sorbet is available in cups, cones, take-home containers and – most dangerous of all – a baked-to-order brioche “pie” that entombs desserts in a hot, crisp and buttery pastry shell. Although Hipper, Gale and their parents are the majority partners in Dumbo, the team from Floreat cafe Someday Coffee Co are also involved and are overseeing the coffee offering.
The beach-facing open shopfront on the Esplanade feels summery as. Blue and white tiles conjure fantasies of Greek islands, getting around in sandals and stretching out by the water.