Gelato in Sydney these days is facing a have-it-all complex: it needs to combine tradition with innovation, look good enough to become a social media talking point and be worth queuing for in winter. Despite all that, a long line of purveyors is up for the challenge, including new Chatswood gelato bar, Celsius.
A modest kiosk in the Chatswood bus interchange, Celsius is decked out in the kind of pastel colours you might spoon from its cups. Owners and operators Jennifer Djasa, Cynthia Arifin and Irene Tan opened Celsius after travelling overseas and finding gelato made with liquid nitrogen is commonplace in Asia and America. It has a texture that’s noticeably smoother and creamier than that of normal gelato (thanks to the nitrogen, which minimises the ice crystals).
The focus is on experimenting with classic flavours without pushing the boundaries too far. “We create desserts, something a bit more gourmet,” Djasa explains. The six flavours change monthly, according to what’s in season. Current specials include the unexpectedly delicious sweet-corn gelato with blackberry coulis and white-peach rosewater gelato with roasted pistachio and edible rose petals.
Chocolate will always star on the menu in one form or another, as will one sorbet, such as the watermelon splash (watermelon and raspberry sorbet topped with honeycomb crunch). As cooler weather approaches, the team is anticipating concoctions such as burnt-butter gelato with apple-pie crumble.
Djasa, Arifin and Tan also draw on their own lives for inspiration. “Our backgrounds are Indonesian, and our flavours incorporate that heritage,” says Arifin. This means coconut-milk bases and upcoming flavours that borrow from Indonesia’s American-influenced culture, such as sweet-potato gelato with marshmallow.
Celsius whips up coffees and affogato with the same Melbourne-sourced Clement beans it uses in its espresso gelato, and there are milkshakes and popsicles on offer.
Being the first business to open in the interchange was daunting for the trio. But with the increasing foot traffic they’re receiving as more businesses begin to trade in the transport hub (notably the Michelin-starred Tim Ho Wan), plus solid flavour combos and a growing fan base, things are looking promising.
Celsius Dessert Bar
Kiosk 4, Chatswood Bus Interchange
436 Victoria Avenue, Chatswood
Mon to Wed 6.30am – 8pm
Thu & Fri 6.30am – 10pm
Sat 2pm – 9pm