“We’ve got two Dancing Queens left. Anyone want one?” yells a young man in a T-shirt one would wear if they worked in an American-style diner. “Yeah. I’ll give you $10 for one,” someone replies.
It’s 9.15pm on the Kings Cross side of Potts Point, not outside a club, but out the front of a soft-serve shop called Good Times Artisan Ice Cream. Outside there’s about 20 people, half of whom are loitering. The other half is holding chocolate-ribboned ice-cream sandwiches, or sparkling towers of soft serve loaded with chocolate stars, cookie crumbles, gold dust and sheets of candied pumpkin. The Dancing Queen is coconut sorbet covered in shards of nitro-shaved coconut cream; passionfruit and mango “crispies”; mint powder; and crumbs of coconut macaroon.
Nathan Sasi’s soft-serve circus opened last night. Closing time is 11pm, but by 9.15pm everything: cones, soft serve, toppings, had sold out. The ex-Nomad chef, his wife Sali Sasi and their temporary partner, Christine Manfield, were slammed for almost every minute. "It was busy. I was head down tail up. I didn't really get a chance to think,” Manfield says. "There was lots of loitering on the foot path which is what we’re trying to encourage. We don't believe in lockout laws, we believe in lick-out laws. They licked until we were out.”
First to sell out was the Smashing Pumpkin, a salted-caramel soft serve with chunks of sweet pumpkin, salted-peanut praline, caramel praline and a protruding shard of candied bacon. And the Stoned Pony, an ice-cream sandwich with a chocolate and salted-caramel centre, chocolate-nougat crumble, chocolate shortbread and a “rim job” of chocolate pearls (their term). “That’s what we're about. We love sexual innuendo,” Sasi laughs.
In the future it will sell brioche jaffles; old-school ice-cream tubs; and DIY, customisable soft-serve creations. Sasi and Manfield will make everything fresh every day. Its waffle cones are hand pressed, its soft serves are done in-house with all natural ingredients and every little extra topping, not matter how wild, is made at Good Times each morning.
Good Times Artisan Ice Cream
87B Macleay Street, Potts Point
Tue to Fri 6pm–11pm