Pidapipó

Since January Kate has been insisting that I needed to get along to Pidapipó, a new gelateria in Carlton. She had quickly become obsessed with it and was encouraging everyone in our office to go down when we next hit up Cinema Nova, which for us all is multiple times a week, so really none of us had any excuse.

What I soon discovered upon entering the threshold and sampling Pidapipó’s wares was that there is no way that you can stop at just one visit. Because, and I am very confident in stating this, Pidapipó is serving up the best gelato in town. Yes, even better than Gelato Messina. COME AT ME.

Take the first combination that I sampled: salted caramel topped with Nutella swirl. Let’s not even get into the fact that the salted caramel balances sweet and salty on a perfect knife edge and that I may have subsequently sampled it at least three more times. Let’s focus on when I ordered the Nutella swirl, which as the name suggests has Nutella threaded through vanilla gelato, I was asked by the counter girl “Would you like some Nutella drizzled on top?”

Would I like Nutella drizzled on top, ahahahahahahahahahaaaaaaa OF COURSE I WOULD.

On my second visit I thought it would only be sensible in terms of further research to get a double fruit sorbet cone, but I ruined the experiment by only getting one fruit flavour due to the fact peanut butter was available and we all know I wasn’t going to say no to that. I topped the peanut butter with peach, which was bright pastel orange and liberally flecked with small pieces of fruit. Like all of Pidapipó’s flavours it was robust, just a huge burst of stone fruit goodness. But the peanut butter… ahahahahahAAAAAAAAA THE PEANUT BUTTER. Seriously I just wanted to cackle malevolently like a super villain who finally has their hands on all the plutonium.

It would take me forever to write about the rest of the flavours I’ve sampled in the proper manner I’ve established, so let’s bullet point this shit:

  • Ricotta and fig – creamy gelato with thick, luscious threads of caramelised fig. This is my three-way tie for favourite with salted caramel and peanut butter.
  • Banana – thick and flavoured like they’ve straight up frozen mashed banana with the barest of embellishments just to make sure it’s creamy as all fuck.
  • Pistachio – One of my all time favourite ice cream flavours, Pidapipó’s pistachio is a highly impressive iteration, ratcheting up the nuttiness until it threatened to become an overpowering flavour explosion. Sample at your delicious discretion.
  • Pineapple – one of the sorbetti flavours, like most of the fruit ones are, and while not as creamy as the milk based gelatos, they still pack an impressive flavour wallop. Pineapple is all sharp-sweet tropics in a cup.
  • Blood plum – Another sorbetti, and so clean, sweet and tart all at once, this one’s a great palate cleanser after a meal.
  • Banana and choc fudge – This is the only flavour that hasn’t managed to completely wow me, but that doesn’t mean that it was bad, indeed, how can any gelato threaded with thick seems of gooey chocolate fudge ever be anything but enjoyable?
  • Hazelnut – Another nutty flavour explosion, these are Italians, of course they are not going to do hazelnut by halves, it’s going to explode your face off is what it’s going to do.
  • Coconut – Such a divisive flavour, but if you don’t like coconut son I feel sorry for you, because you are MISSING OUT ON DIVINE REVELATION.

The gelato at Pidapipó is impressive enough, but I’m also so pleased with how spotlessly clean the store always is, how friendly the staff (all Italian) are, how you can always see the baskets of fresh fruit and giant jars of Nutella waiting to be turned into chilled delight, and how the phrase “so we have to go get The Ice Cream” has become so ubiquitous among my friends and I. Because it is the only ice cream now, for all of us, everyone I have introduced to Pidapipó have immediately caught evangelical zeal for it. Come join us. JOIN US.

Pidapipó

222 Faraday Street, Carlton

pidapipo.com.au

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Yo-Chi

I have a confession to make. I am addicted to frozen yoghurt. Like, “oh I meant to have a well-balanced meal but I walked past a Cacao Green and now I’m shoveling green tea froghurt in my face, what do you mean that’s not healthy, green tea is full of vitamins, and also mochi” level of addiction. I’ve basically got to a point where if I even see a frozen yoghurt place, I actually can’t stop myself from getting a cup.

Which means that when at our recent outing to The Local Taphouse, when Jojo mentioned that she had parked her car in front of a frozen yoghurt place, my mind started clicking over as to what one it might be. And when I figured out that it must be Yo-Chi, heralded by many a froghurt-loving hipster as the pinnacle froghurt experience, well, I just had to connive a reason to walk Jojo to her car. For her safety in the wilds of Balaclava, obviously. Nothing at all to do with us both wanting iced treats.

So Yo-Chi’s deal is that it is do-it-yourself frozen yoghurt. You line up – and boy at our visit did we have to line up, at 10pm on a hot Saturday night the line was out the door – choose your cup size, select what flavour/s you would like out of at least eight different varieties, choose your toppings, which range from fruit pieces to nuts, chocolate, candies, and even sweet sauces, and then your final creation is weighed in order to determine price.

I like my froghurt to be a simple and mainly fruity concoction, so I went with the coconut and mixed berry yoghurts topped with strawberry pop pearls. I am ridiculously addicted to pop pearls, I blame my twin bubble tea and Dessert Story dependencies. If you have not yet been fortunate enough to discover pop balls, they are essentially akin to little hollow tapioca pearls filled with fruit nectar. They are dessert crack. The ones at Yo-Chi were very syrupy and sweet, yet still had a reasonable strawberry tang to them. Not quite as nice as the more standard mango-flavoured ones you see about, but still good.

As for the froghurt itself, Yo-chi clearly like their flavours big and bombastic. This nearly made for coconut’s undoing, as it was such a strong blast of tropical goodness it very quickly overwhelmed me. One for the mad fans of coconut, not the merely curious! The mixed berry, however, was much more to my liking, with noticeable tangs of blackberry and raspberry.

Jojo went slightly mad and attempted to fill her cup with as many different flavours and toppings as she could. From what I can remember, among what she sampled included the coconut, chocolate, and honey soybean yoghurt flavours, and she topped them with a big spoonful of halva, drizzled with hot chocolate and caramel sauces. From a spoonful that I managed to pilfer, I was particularly interested in the honey soybean yoghurt, which Yo-Chi touts as their original flavour. Being mild and sweet, it would definitely be the perfect yoghurt for those that love their toppings, as it would complement anything.

Yo-Chi is the sort of ice creamery (froghurtery? Patent pending, patent pending, patent pending!) that provides endless variation and experimentation, meaning that re-visitation prospects are high. The froghurt itself is of good quality, and frankly I’m just lamenting the fact that Balaclava is well out of the way of my day to day meanderings, otherwise I’d be having their tart frozen treats every day.

Yo-Chi

292 Carlisle Street, Balaclava

Ph: 9527 7001

www.yochi.com.au

Helados Jauja

Ice cream, ice cream, nothing is better than ice cream! So was the refrain running through the brains of Jen and I on a sunny Sunday afternoon. We had just stuffed ourselves silly with the Tramway’s delicious quinoa burger in celebration of a mutual friend’s birthday, but being us we were nowhere near satisfied with just making some burgers our bitch.

This is how we found ourselves strolling down Lygon Street dodging the Italian restaurant spruikers in order to find Helados Jauja. Unlike the Italian gelaterias that pepper this length of Lygon Street, Helados Jauja is instead an Argentinean establishment. They seem to be going out of their way to use fresh and seasonal ingredients, and the flavours rotate depending on what’s available to them. Dulce de leche is the dominant flavour, with several varieties of it on offer the day of our visit, but the spectrum is widely varied, refreshingly including a lot of flavours utilising Asian fruits.

Of course I couldn’t go past something with dulce de leche in it, even when my tastes in ice cream run more towards the fruity end of the spectrum. I went with the salted caramel version, and paired it with the pandan (did you know that salted caramel and pandan flavours work AMAZINGLY well together? They totally do!). The consistency of the ice cream was softly elastic and almost unimaginably creamy, with such strongly marked flavours. I was immediately impressed.

Jen also had a variety of the dulce de leche, although hers was studded through with walnuts, and she teamed it with honey popcorn. She ended up being a little perplexed by the honey popcorn; she said that it tasted good but the texture of the soggy pieces of popcorn included in the mix just seemed weird. The walnut dulce de leche was gorgeous though, with the distinct husky taste of walnuts permeated throughout the dulce de leche was well as having noticable nutty chunks.

It was worth it to take some time out of our day to hunt this place down, because it was hella impressive (no I will not apologise for using the word “hella”, no you are destroying English). If you want to treat yourself to some really decadent ice cream, Helados Jauja is the place to be.

Helados Jauja

254 Lygon Street, Carlton

Ph: 9041 2927

www.heladosjauja.com.au