Scoops of gelato? Ptooey. Who wants a boring old hemisphere jammed onto a cone when you can have a lovingly shaped gelato flower instead? Sydneysiders can't get enough of these rose-inspired artworks, judging by the crowds each night at i-Creamy. The gelato itself is serious business too. i-Creamy founder Ben Chitmitrechareon learnt the trade from Gelato Messina legend, Nick Palumbo, at Carpigiani Gelato University. i-Creamy scooped (pun intended) a dozen of gold and silver awards at the 2014 and 2105 Sydney Royal Cheese & Dairy Show.
Gelato counter and display cabinet
The original i-Creamy opened in Bondi Junction in late 2012 but their move to the city - and the new flower gelato offering - has opened up a much wider legion of fans.
The display cabinet holds 24 different flavours, rotated from a total menu of 96 flavour options. You can order by the scoop or pay an extra 30 cents to have them shaped into a rose. The majority of customers choose novelty presentation over the standard scoop.
1 scoop $4.60
2 scoop $6.60
3 scoop $8.60
9 scoop gelato platter $22.90
2 flavour flower gelato $6.90
3 flavour flower gelato $8.90
Beer artisan gelato
There's a definite Asian bent to a lot of flavours - hello Thai milk tea, palm sugar, black sesame and durian - but there are plenty of standards you'd find in an Italian gelato cabinet, including hazelnut, tiramisu and pistachio. They're not afraid to raid the supermarket confectionary aisle either, with riffs that include Kit Kat, Tim Tam, Bounty and Milo. Quirkier flavours include popcorn, white chocolate miso and beer.
The sorbets are all dairy- and gluten-free, in flavours that run from lemon lime and bitters to blood orange to mojito.
Shaping green tea gelato flower petals
Creating a rose out of gelato is mesmerising to watch. A small scoop is wedged into the cone to create a foundation then flattened curls of gelato are carefully pressed and curled over it to create petals. The curls get increasingly larger as the rose extends outwards.
Durian crunchy flower gelato
It takes several minutes to complete each one, and then voila! A gelato rose.
Watching and waiting
This does mean a significant wait during peak hours. If you're in a hurry, the plain scoop gelatos seem to get prioritised.
Blue bubblegum and pinky milky flower gelato
A lot of customers also seem to consider not just flavour matching, but also colour combinations when ordering. And it's no surprise that every kid wanted blue bubblegum. Maybe a few big kids too.
Young coconut and durian crunchy flower gelato
I can vouch that the young coconut gelato is incredibly good, tasting less like coconut cream and more like that young coconut flesh you get in coconut juice drinks. I'm glad that staff were wise enough to put the durian crunchy gelato at its core. By the time you start to hit the durian section, your tastebuds are overwhelmed with its pungency. The durian gelato uses real durian flesh imported from south east Asia. It's unrepentant in its intensity. We love it, although the crunchy bits - smashed up smithereens of durian chips - are a little weird to get used to.
Eating gelato in winter has never been so enticing. And getting a rose has never been so sweet.
i-Creamy Artisan Gelato
Skyview Plaza, Shop 13
537-551 George Street, Sydney
Open daily 11am-10pm
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7/18/2016 01:03:00 am