Matteo Pochintesta expected a few things to be different when he opened an outpost of his Newtown gelato shop, Mapo, in Bondi. But he didn’t think he’d have to adjust his tried-and-true gelato recipe.
Because Mapo doesn't use any stabilisers in its cream, the saltier and more humid Bondi air melted the gelato and changed the texture. So Mapo Bondi's recipes are all tweaked to suit its ocean-side locale.
There are seasonal fruit flavours on top of its core offerings, which include fior di latte; Sicilian pistachio; Piedmont hazelnut; single-origin chocolate from Bolivia; and Pepe Saya sea-salt caramel. The nectarine gelato is sweet, tart and tastes like an even more delicious version of the stone fruit. There’s also honeydew melon, salted coconut and fig. These mild fruits create a mellow, gently sweet gelato that ushers out the last of the summer.
At the Bondi shop, Pochintesta once again reveals his past life as an architect, with a fit-out that combines industrial elements such as black track lighting, roughly rendered brick and sanded-back plaster with modular plywood workspaces. Boxes of waffle cones and fresh fruit are stored on high wall-mounted shelves, and in the centre of a stainless-steel counter are 16 silver-lidded pozzetti – traditional metal containers that keep the gelato at the precise temperature of -11 to -12 degrees.