Burgers & gelati! Eat here: The Beer & Burger Bar and Pidapipó, Melbourne

Summer in Melbourne. The perfect time of year to pull up a seat outside with a few friends and enjoy some good food. Burgers and gelati in particular scream Melbourne summer to me, and we’re blessed with some amazing options 🙂 These are two I tried for the first time this summer, and would definitely recommend adding them to your list, too…

 

The Beer and Burger Bar
112 Swan St, Richmond
http://tbbl.com.au/

I’d heard plenty about this place, but had never managed to make it in – Richmond isn’t the easiest area to get in and out of at peak times, so I generally avoid it. But, a few weeks ago I had a new tattoo added to my collection at Good Luck Tattoo in Richmond, and I decided that after a couple of hours under the needle, a nice, big burger was in order. A few minutes walk later, and I was finally ready to try this popular burg. I went with the cheeseburger – brioche bun with a beef pattie, cheese, tomato sauce, Dijon mustard, gherkins and aioli. Plus bacon. Obviously.

The buttery brioche bun was perfect for this kind of burger, toasted just enough to help hold it together against all the sauces and juicy pattie. And it was a juicy one – perfectly cooked to medium-rare, still pink inside. The cheese was just right and melted all over, bacon nice and crisp, but not the point of being like cardboard. The trio of Dijon, ketchup and aioli were on point, and to be perfectly honest, there’s really nothing I can complain about with this burger. It was really fantastic, much better than I expected it to be!

The Beer and Burger Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Other burgers worth your calories this summer are:
– 1090
– Beatbox Kitchen
– Burger Boys
– Chew
– Easey’s
– Grand Trailer Park Taverna
– Huxtaburger
– Laurie Dees
– Mr Scruff’s
– Rockwell & Sons

 

Then, after a burger, you need dessert. And it’s gelati weather right now.

Pidapipó
299 Lygon St, Carlton
http://pidapipo.com.au/

I can’t believe I didn’t make it here last summer… To be fair, though, I did spend just over half of summer on the other side of the world, but it’s been a long time coming getting here. Lisa Valmorbida’s proper Italian gelateria came after years of experience in some of Melbourne’s best restaurants, a solid education at Carpigiani Gelati University, and a visit to her family’s home town in Vicenza, Italy, to eat real gelato with her Nonno. What she’s doing at Pidapipó (the name comes from a childhod game her Nonno made up to keep the kids entertained) is amazing, genuine, honest Italian gelati, and it’s phenomenal. I visited during cheese week, where they had their amazing formaggio flavour range available – three unique cheese-flavoured gelati, because Italians love cheese… and gelati!

Available flavours were:
– Parmesan, fig and honey
– Ricotta, cannoli and Nutella swirl
– and the one I knew I had to have, mascarpone, berry and biscuit crumble

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Silky smooth, with just the right amount of mascarpone to remind you that there was in fact cheese in there. The berries and biscuit crumbles added the perfect sweetness and texture, and it showcased 100% the originality Lisa is bringing to the gelati game. This is the stuff Italians dream off, it’s worth lining up for, and it’s something you need to experience this summer.

Pidapipó Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Other ice cream to get your sticky paws into:
– Billy Van Creamy
– Dex2Rose Nitrogen Gelato
– Gelato Messina
– Il Melograno

 

While the sun is still shining, go grab a burger and ice cream, and enjoy the last few days of 2015! Hopefully most of you get the change to do that instead of being back at work this morning like me  >_<

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Sometimes you DO get to choose your family… Eat here: Ichi Ni Nana, Melbourne (Japanese)

Ichi Ni Nana
127 Brunswick St, Fitzroy
http://ichininana.com.au/

“Family isn’t always blood. It’s the people in your life who want you in theirs; the ones who accept you for who you are. The ones who would do anything to see you smile & who love you no matter what.”

Last weekend I posted this quote on Instagram after a particularly fantastic night out. As I wrote a few days ago, I wasn’t real keen on “celebrating” my birthday this year, but I was convinced that dinner with my best friends wouldn’t be the worst idea in the world. I texted the four girls I consider to be my best friends, and three were available. I decided on Ichi Ni Nana, because I love Japanese food, I hadn’t been there yet, and it was in an area easy enough for everyone to get to after work. So last Friday night, I had dinner with my husband and the three girls – my family.

“Family isn’t always blood.” No, it isn’t. My family is rocky at the best of times, which has necessitated the finding of other “family” over the years. I’ve had friends come and go, as we all do, but I think it’s been particularly devastating to me when “friends” have cut ties with me because of how important they’ve always been to me. During the times my blood family weren’t there for me and couldn’t/didn’t have my back, my friendship family did. These girls are that family to me.

One I’ve known since year 7, and we have truly been there for each other through the most horrendous times of our lives. Where a lot of people might shirk that friendship in later years through embarrassment of what the other knows, it’s only made us closer. We’ve seen each others’ rock bottom and we’re still here for and because of each other.

Another two of those ladies I’ve been friends with for a good 6 or 7 years, although it feels like a lot longer. We worked together and became life long friends. One of them has been not only my best friend, but sister, mother, soul mate, counselor, shoulder to cry on, drinking buddy, partner in crime, and MC at my wedding. She’s one of those remarkable souls that I know I’ll be infinitely connected to and who’s mere presence will assure me that everything will be ok.

The other is the rare type of friend that you don’t have to be constantly seeing or texting or calling to know she’s there. She respects the need for isolation during the shitty times, and is ready to pick right back up where you left off when you’re ready to face the world again, no questions asked.

And the fourth horseman is one I worked with a few years ago in the travel industry; we initially bonded over a mutual love of travel, burgers, donuts and a shared hatred of stupid people, and now it feels like we’ve been friends for a million years. We share an intolerance for fructose and lactose, a lot of personality traits, and the understanding that sometimes all each other needs is a shoulder to cry on and then a cake to share. She’s one of the few people I can turn off my filter and just be 100% myself around.

And then, finally, my husband. We’ve been through a lot together, which elevates him to best friend status, and not just husband. Us girls don’t talk fake tans and new shoes around him (or ever, to be honest), and we’re not a lovey-dovey annoying couple around them (or, once again, ever). These are the people I wanted to be with to enjoy good food and a good night, and so (with one missing), I did 🙂

So now that you’ve “met” my “family,” let me introduce you to some amazing food…
Ichi Ni Nana (Japanese for numbers one two seven) opened only a few weeks ago in the cavernous space that was Old Colonial Inn. Paul Adamo and Vince Sofo (the guys behind The Espy, among other ventures) have spent the last few years prettying up the old space and transforming it into a multi level bar and eatery. And it’s gorgeous inside – with hand-made wooden detailing, dim lighting and beautiful lanterns, it’s the Fitzroy take on a classic izakaya. The menu is enormous, and made to share, so here’s a look at some of the food we got stuck into…

Drinks first – I went with the Jasmine Sake-Tea-Ni ($17.00) – sake, jasmine, tea, fresh grapefruit and a little sugar syrup. Perfect.

Sashimi salad ($20.00) – a beautiful little plate of salmon, tuna, white fish, crab and fish roe, served with wasabi that’ll knock your socks off, soy and herbs. Fresh, clean, flawless.

Pork bao ($14.00) – fried rice bun with BBQ pork – I’ve never had bao in fried buns before, but this is something that needs to be happening more often. Being fried meant they kept their shape and didn’t fall into a mushy heap with the sauces, but they were still soft and pillowy inside. And that pork…

Wagyu sliders ($14.00) – juicy, tender wagyu beef and wasabi slaw in a really eye-catching black bun, with the most delicious pickle I’ve ever eaten on the side. Really great addition to the table, and they were pretty popular all round.

Salmon teriyaki mayo hako sushi ($20.00) – seared salmon block pressed sushi seasoned with Japanese mayo and teriyaki (best combination of sauces ever, FYI) and topped with roe and spring onion. I loved this – the salmon was buttery soft, there was just enough sauce, and the roe on top was the perfect salty addition.

 

Other items ordered and enjoyed included:
– fried eggplant with sweet miso sauce
– scallop 5 ways
– vegetable gyoza

 

And then, dessert. Two of the girls ordered the chocolate mousse ($12.00) – star anise-infused chocolate mousse with yuzu cream, chocolate soil and charcoal waffle. I tried it, I liked it, that yuzu cream was delicious!

Also ordered were a few serves of the chocolate harumaki ($12.00) – chocolate filled spring rolls with vanilla ice cream, salted caramel, toasted almonds and a little mascarpone cheese. These were a big hit – crispy golden pastry filled with warm chocolate and a pile of ice cream to dip them in – what’s not to love?!

The final dessert was the one I wanted most – a scoop of green tea & biscuit ice cream ($10.00) probably the best ice cream I’ve ever had outside of Messina, which is a big call for a place that doesn’t specialise in ice cream! Smooth, creamy, amazing green tea flavour – hands down the best thing to finish on! I’d go back just for that and some sushi in summer!  

One of my favourite new arrivals to Melbourne’s summer dining scene – while it isn’t super cheap (but what is in Melbourne?!), the quality and variety make it well worth a visit, particularly for a special occasion 🙂
Ichi Ni Nana Izakaya Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

10 Delicious Things To Eat In Thailand

I wrote this article last week for Outlet Magazine, and enjoyed writing it so much (it brought back so many great memories!) that I thought I’d share it here, too 🙂 Thailand has been relatively quiet in the world news since the Shutdown Bangkok movement of January 2014 that we somehow managed to get caught up in; that is, until the bombings in the country’s capital last week. For a country that makes a great portion of its living from tourism, this is a huge blow to the already struggling economy, which actually really upset me; for the most part, they’re good people who are working hard to make better lives for themselves. To be attacked like that is just cruel, it’s really really hard to hear about, especially when it’s Bangkok – the city gets a shitty wrap, but it’s still one of my favourite places! But, like I said when I wrote about the Shutdown thing, there are still so many great reasons to visit Thailand! Think cheap cocktails and beer, endless shopping, bustling markets and (best of all) some of the best food in the world. When things settle down and we’re all ready to head over to spend up on handbags and food, here are ten of the best things to eat.

 

  1. Anything on a stick
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    Chances are if it’s edible meat of any description, you’ll find it in Thailand threaded onto a skewer and grilled. Chicken, beef, pork, seafood, whatever – it’s all fair game, and it’s always delicious. Extra delicious if you can find honey marinated grilled pork skewers, those are the best.
  1. Noodles with wontons
    Photograph © Jess Carey 2014
    There’s a pretty noticeable Chinese influence in Thailand, and you can see it in a lot of the food. Fresh noodles with BBQ pork and wontons are one of those dishes that allows the Chinese influence to sneak in, but it’s so good no one seems to mind.
  1. Satay chicken skewers
    Photograph © Jess Carey 2014
    This is a simple dish, but a huge street food favourite. Grilled chicken on a stick with flavourful, delicious satay sauce. Really good option on the way home from a big night on Bangla Road.
  1. Freshly grilled seafood
    Thai food 4
    Find a decent seafood restaurant (look for somewhere super busy), pick out your dinner from the monster crustaceans displayed on ice out the front, ask to have them grilled and go with a simple butter garlic sauce on the side. Amazing!
  1. Pork fried rice
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    Another dish with a Chinese influence, fried rice is always a classic. It’s a great one to order from the street food vendors at night, particularly if you’re looking for something a bit more comforting and familiar.
  1. Nutella crepes
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    Every bit as good as the Parisian stuff. Actually, they’re better here, because more often than not, your Nutella and strawberry stuffed crepe will be doused in condensed milk before it’s served up to you. If that sounds unappealing to you, it’s only because you haven’t had one after a few cheap cocktails at 1am. You should try it.
  1. Pad Thai
    Thai food 7
    Duh – can’t well go to Thailand without eating Pad Thai!! Skip the tacky Westernised restaurants and head straight to the street food vendors; that’s where the best stuff comes from. Grab a fresh coconut to drink from while you’re at it – absolute winning combination.
  1. Fresh fruit smoothies
    Thai food 8
    These little stalls are set up absolutely everywhere and are the best way to feel better about your holiday food intake. Fresh mangos, strawberries, watermelon and pineapples all blended with ice into a cool, thick cup of healthy deliciousness. They also double up as great happy hour options if you buy your own liqueur at one of the infinite 7/11s floating around 😉
  1. Coconut sticky rice with fresh mango
    Photograph © Jess Carey 2014
    Another Thai classic – thick, sticky, coconut rice topped with sweet, fresh mango. It’s one of those dishes you don’t even need to be hungry to eat – it’s just soooo good!
  1. Coconut ice cream
    Thai food 10
    Yeah, they like their coconut over there. And when it’s so delicious and fresh, you can’t blame them for coming up with so many ways to use it. Freshly churned coconut ice cream at the end of a hot day is complete perfection. And because it’s technically made from fruit, you can eat as much as you like without feeling guilty! Everyone wins!

Eat here: Billy van Creamy, Melbourne (ice cream truck)

Billy van Creamy
Food trucking around Melbourne
http://billyvancreamy.com.au/

Once upon a time, before burgers and tacos and jaffles and creme brulee were being trucked around the cities, there was the good old-fashioned ice cream truck. Remember them? The ones with the tinkling music that got louder and louder as it got closer to your house, trailed by kids with money in hand and smiles on faces… Well, two brothers are reviving the fairy-tale ice cream truck that us kids of the 90s remember so fondly. After a light bulb moment in a bar and an ice cream making course with Gelato Messina and a lot of practice thereafter, they got their truck on the road and have been selling delicious, handmade and natural gelato ever since.

After yet another, recent visit to my favourite burger truck, 1090, I was pretty stoked to see that dessert was parked right next door! If you haven’t hit up Rucker’s Hill on High St, Northcote on a Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday night, you’re missing out – I know it’s a little fuzzy, but check out that view (above, left) of the city all lit up at night… amazing! Know what else is amazing? A big, warm, fudgy, nutty chocolate brownie with a massive scoop of peanut butter ice cream on top from Billy van Creamy. Not only was the scoop, as promised, smooth and creamy and tasting like heaven, the guys can whip up a bloody good brownie, too! You can check out the truck’s latest location on their Facebook page, and they are worth tracking down; this is the perfect way to end the day! So, as we make our way into another Monday and we’re already needing something to look forward to to help us get through the week, keep Billy can Creamy in mind when you need your sugar hit this week!

Zomato/Urbanspoon blogger meet up at SUPERNORMAL (Eat here. Seriously.)

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Thanks for the re-gram @zomatoaus – awesome shot and a great night!

Last night I had the pleasure of hanging out with the Zomato Melbourne crew and a handful of other bloggers. You may have read that Zomato recently acquired Urbanspoon and they’ve recognised the big role bloggers have been playing in making Urbanspoon as successful and popular as it is, leading them to host their very first Zomato Meetup for some of the busier Melbourne food bloggers. Needless to say, I was beyond excited to have been invited along, particularly when I found out Supernormal were going to be hosting us!

Before I cut back to the awesome night we had, let me focus on Supernormal for a bit. This is the latest success in the seemingly endless string of greatest hits from Andrew McConnell – even if you don’t recognise his name, you’ll no doubt recognise the names of at least one of his restaurants: Cutler & Co, Cumulus Inc, Luxembourg Bar & Bistro… the guy really knows his stuff.  I’ve walked past Supernormal so many times I’ve lost count, always drawn by the neon red sign in the front window, but still hadn’t visited. It didn’t take long after walking through the front door to realize that the hype was warranted.

We were greeted with an epic banquet menu, which, needless to say, was enough to get a table full of food bloggers more than a little excited. After that, the night looked a little something like this…

 

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– Cucumber & wakame pickle
– Seaweed cracker with kingfish & pickled fennel
– Grilled baby corn with miso butter

These were great to start, and I think everyone fell a little bit in love with the miso butter on the baby corn. Indulgent, heavenly deliciousness.

 

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– Bonito, avocado, cucumber & wakame
– New England lobster roll

Do you have any idea how hard it is to shut a table of food bloggers up? Apparently not as hard as I thought – just put a few platters of those lobster rolls out. They were that elusive sandwich that can stop the chatter of 15 people, who decide they need to devote their full attention to eating for a moment. Amazing. And we found out that you can get these guys as a take away – work lunch breaks just got a little bit more exciting if you’re in the CBD! I’m a huge tuna lover, so I adored that dish, too – buttery soft, so very good.

 

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– Smoked beef, mustard leaf, clam mayonnaise (top left)
– Pork bao with tamarind sauce (top right)
– Prawn and chicken dumplings with chilli and vinegar sauce

The smoked beef was the surprise package of the dinner – we were instructed, after photos were taken of course, to just mush it all together in order to experience the flavours fully. It looked like a hot mess when we were done, and tasted better than anything I could have possibly imagined. How clam mayonnaise not only works but is something I was ready to lick off the plate is beyond me. The fried shallots with the soft beef were magic. I absolutely loved this one, and it’s a dish I’d love to order again. As was the bao – oh my… pulled pork in a crumbed, fried package in the softest little bun.. not really sure there’s much else to say about this one other than make sure it’s on your order when you visit!

 

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– Slow cooked Szechuan lamb, spring onion pancake and coriander paste with steamed white rice and an iceberg salad with ginger vinaigrette & mint

Not being a “spicy food” person, I was a little worried about this one, but my concerns were completely unfounded. The spice levels were more peppery than pure spice, so don’t be scared if you’re a chilli wuss like me! The lamb was magnificent – slow cooked, fall apart on your fork, tender juicy perfection. The pancakes were crispy, the coriander paste was fantastic, and the salad was the perfect way to refresh yourself from the heat of the lamb. Brilliant dish to share around a table of friends.

 

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– Peanut butter parfait with salter caramel and soft chocolate
– Plum and green tea soft serve ice cream

If there’s a better way to finish a meal, I’m neither familiar with it, nor am I particularly interested in it. The parfait was everything you dream it’d be – rich, thick, super-smooth and creamy. It’s basically a sexier, ice creamier version of a Snickers, but still better than you’re imagining. It’s worth visiting Supernormal just for this. Honestly. And just when we were all ready to burst, the soft serve cups arrived. They were the exact way we all wanted to finish the meal without realising it; fresh, crisp, clean, sweet without being crazy sugary like the parfait. The sharp plum sat perfectly with the gentler green tea, and when you order this, dig deep into the cup for a little surprise!

I have to say a HUGE thanks to the team at Supernormal for an absolutely incredible experience. We had the most attentive team at our service, no glass was ever empty and no question unanswered. We were asked at the beginning of the night if there were any allergies, preferences, what not – my main concern was the heat factor from the chilli. The lovely lady looking after these requests went out of her way to explain the menu as it could be modified for me, to ensure I’d still get maximum flavour and meal enjoyment without burning my tongue off. She could have just said “no worries, we’ll put the spicy stuff on the side for you” and been done with it, but I can’t tell you how much I appreciated the extra few minutes she took to talk me through it all instead. It’s these things that take it from a nice dinner to an experience you’re going to remember and talk about for a long time to come.

We were also sent off by the Supernormal team with little goodie bags containing, among other things, a box of Pocky (!!!!!!!!!) and a jar of their amazing toasted pepitas which we started to night on and a “goodnight, thanks for coming!” from everyone I passed on my way from the table to the door. You guys are absolutely amazing, thank you for looking after us so well!

 

And another big thank you has to go to Pranav and the team at Zomato – they’ve been working superhumanly hard to get the integration and re-launch ready to go, and they’ve still been making time to speak to local bloggers to get their input. It’s so refreshing and so nice to have a big company take things to such a personal level, and to actually genuinely value the input and opinions of the people who are using their products every day. It was also so much fun to be able to finally put some faces to names of blogs I read so often and talk food and travel with a bunch of people who are also interested in all of that! And great to be able to have a table of equally patient diners who get that the photos must be taken before the digging in commences; we all love our family and friends, but they just don’t get it! Thanks for a fun night guys, looking forward to big things from both Zomato and all of the bloggers who took part last night:

Sheena and Thomas from Chasing A Plate

Paul from The City Lane

Winston from The Hungry Excavator

Cass from Hungry Cookie

Tian from Eating Diaries

And apologies to those I’ve missed from either forgetfulness or not being able to get around to everyone last night – if you’re reading this please let me know so I can put you on the list too!

 

Supernormal on Urbanspoon

 

 

Disclosure: I was generously invited by Zomato to dine as a guest at Supernormal, however the opinions contained herein are completely based on my own experience.

Eat here: Dex2rose Nitrogen Gelato, Melbourne

Dex2rose
377 Little Bourke St, Melbourne CBD

https://www.facebook.com/dex2rose
http://www.dex2rose.com.au/

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As a non-professional food blogger (read: this is my hobby, I still have to go to work at my “real,” job every day!), it’s always super exciting to be invited to new food spot openings! I’m a big fan of ice cream, and have really enjoyed the few nitrogen gelati I’ve had in the past, and have always wondered why there haven’t been more opened; it seems like there are endless opportunities to create amazing flavour combinations, if you’ve got the right people and passions behind it. Enter Jesse, the brains behind the operation of Dex2rose, Melbourne’s newest offering in the nitrogen gelati department.

This is a project that’s been four years in the planning and opened only 6 weeks ago. You’d be forgiven if you haven’t heard of it yet; strict council restrictions have prohibited the team from putting up A-frames or signage to point you down Racing Club Lane, so they’re relying pretty much solely on word of mouth and social media. But despite these minor frustrations, having spoken to owner and head chef Jesse for a while yesterday afternoon, the passion and excitement behind it all was pretty clear. After deciding on making Melbourne the home for his gelati baby rather than his home city, Singapore, Jesse said he was pretty happy with the decision; he said that Melbourne’s super supportive culture of wanting new food ventures to succeed was the driving factor behind the decision.

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Tucked down one of Melbourne’s city laneways, like so many of the good places are, Dex2rose boasts something that not many other dessert/coffee places in Melbourne have; plenty of space! The shop fit out, which took several months of work, is a gorgeous open, light space – clean white walls, pops of bright teal and wooden tables and seating. Jesse said the aim was to make it a place for people to gather, relax, enjoy, hang out. Somewhere to enjoy a coffee and a gelati with friends at a table or on the couch in the corner, and the intention came across; it was one of those places you feel instantly comfortable in. A big part of this was also the staff – we were greeted at the front door, before we’d even walked in! Jesse said that he makes it an aim to spend a good part of his day walking around and speaking to his customers, asking for their opinions and feedback, which I thought was a pretty brave and smart thing to do. Sure, it’d be tough to hear the not so positive feedback, but as he said, Melbourne foodies are pretty honest and it’s their honesty that’s helped him evolve the menu and make sure it’s constantly changing to include flavours that the people actually want.

But what you really want to know about is the gelati and coffee – why you should bother going. For the coffee addicts, you’ve got a few options, which husband sampled on my behalf. First up was the cold brewed coffee – containing around two thirds less acidity than hot brewed coffee, it’s also naturally sweeter, which takes out the necessity for added sugar. They serve it over ice, but will gladly provide milk and sugar if you’d like.

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Husband’s only been a coffee drinker for a year or so now, and he really enjoyed this one, noting instantly that the acidity he usually noticed in his coffee was non-existent in this brew, and surprisingly refreshing on such a hot day. Big thumbs up.

I tried the cold brewed tea, steeped in cold water for around 12 hours – again, the process completely removed any hint of astringency and bitterness and eliminated any need for extra sweetening. It’s not yet available to the public, while Jesse refines the process, but the prototype I tried was a Japanese green tea infused with fruit, and it was amazing! I usually find most green teas can be a little bitter towards the end of the cup and I need a little sugar with them, but this was perfect as it was. And served over ice on a hot day – magic!

Husband also tried the nitro brewed coffee, served out of a beer tap! It’s immersed in cold water for 16 hours, and much like a good stout beer, this coffee has a creamy foam head, and Dex2rose is serving theirs infused with flavours like maple and vanilla bean, which husband sampled. Rich flavours, again no need for any milk or sugar, perfect served cold. Happy summer time coffee drinking for those who want the coffee flavour without having a hot drink on a hot day.

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Now, the real stars of the show. The gelati. Nitrogen gelati is a 30 second quick freeze job, as opposed to the 7 – 10 minutes it takes in a regular ice cream churner, which makes for a richer, creamier blend, and it makes a big different. Upon entering, we were offered a sample cup of the W.I.T.S – Watermelon Iced Tea Sorbet made with fresh watermelon, lime, mint and brewed tea. It was like a cocktail in sorbet form, and as a watermelon lover, I absolutely loved this one! Let the fun begin!

Jesse took charge and selected our menu and serving order. First up was the Lazy Dinner: Sage, burnt butter and caramel gelato topped with caramel sauce.

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Savoury ice cream really needs to be more of a thing. I’ve tried chocolate rosemary before which was nice, but this was another level. The sage was perfectly proportioned, not so much that it was unbearable, but enough to know what it was. The caramel sauce was the perfect balancer, and Jesse said it was one of the most popular flavours at the moment, which isn’t a surprise.

Next up was the Honey Stash: Sicilian pistachio and honey gelato with honeyed cashew nut clusters, topped with raspberry cream, made in house.

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After sampling eight different types of pistachio paste for this product, Jesse finally settled on one from Sicily, Italy, and it was a good choice; the flavour was again strong enough to know what you were eating, without being completely overwhelming. The sugary cashew clusters were the perfect pop, and the raspberry cream cut through the sweetness of the honey and pistachio perfectly.

Third serving was It’s A Match AH!: high quality Matcha powder (Japanese green tea) gelato topped with a crunchy peanut sugar.

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If you’re a big green tea/matcha lover, you’re going to enjoy this. Personally, the flavours were too strong for me – the peanut sugar helped a little bit, but it’s definitely not for everyone. I had a few spoonfuls, but it just got too strong for me after that!

This one was probably my favourite – the Rockkaido: Fresh rockmelon and Hokkaido Milk Tea powder gelato, topped with raspberry cream.

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I LOVED this one! The Hokkaido Milk Tea Powder had the most incredible flavour – almost gave it a creamy, coconutty taste, but there was no coconut in there! Add that raspberry cream and it’s the absolute perfect summer gelati, and I would go back for this one in a heart beat!

Finally, we finished on the Pink Flamingo: Peach and moscato sorbet topped with rosewater coconut cream (vegan, dairy free, gluten free).

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This was a great one to finish on – super fresh and clean, made using 90% fresh peaches and 10% peach puree. The coconut cream was great with it, though the rosewater is a strong flavour; I like it, but it’s not for everyone! The other great thing about this one was that it caters for individuals with special diets – Jesse said he was really conscious of having a menu friendly to vegans and coeliacs, so they wouldn’t have to be missing out on dessert – extra points for that!

It’s so great to see new places opening up in a city known worldwide for their food, and it’s even better to meet someone who cares so much about what they do. I’m grateful to Jesse for the invite to check them out, but to be perfectly honest, if I’d come across this place without the invite and time to chat, I’d have loved it anyway. With a constantly changing menu (Jesse is rolling a new one out every three weeks at the moment), the flavours are crazy enough to get your attention, but still familiar enough that you really want to try them.

 

Dex2rose Nitrogen Gelato on Urbanspoon

 

Disclosure: I was kindly invited to dine as a guest of Dex2rose’s, however the opinions contained herein are completely based on my own experience.

Eat here (if you can find it!): The best ice cream in Bangkok, Thailand

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FINALLY!! Something that resembles summer weather in Melbourne! After a pretty pathetic attempt at summer involving some rain and a lot of grey clouds, Mother Nature has finally lifted her game and given us some sunshine! I am generally not a summer person, I prefer the cold, but after spending the bulk of what would have been summer in the cold and snow of Chicago, Toronto, New York and the like, it’s actually nice to see a bit of sunshine this weekend 🙂 And for me, sunshine and summer time means ice cream, which has had me thinking of some of the best ice cream I’ve found on my travels… in Bangkok, of all places!

In amongst the craziness of the Shutdown Bangkok 2014 movement, I found a little piece of heaven. A few pieces, actually. I spotted it like a colourful, rainbow beacon nestled in between the thousands of people out in force; it was so bright, you couldn’t possibly miss it! What I did miss, however, was the name… I can’t for the life of me remember the name of this ice cream cart, but it was some of the best ice cream I’ve ever had (rich, creamy, beautiful flavours like the strawberry cheesecake which is the one with the bow on it below), not to mention the absolute prettiest!

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Anyone else been to Bangkok and seen this ice cream truck?!?