Dark purple and bright green – those 1970s throwback colours create a bold atmosphere for enjoying quality artisan gelato. And with four visits over the past nine months, 7apples is definitely on our “happy to return” list.
Artisan gelato is not a new thing for Melbourne – there are a number of quiet achievers that have been around for years and years. Just like 7apples.
7apples started up in St Kilda in 2001, when its proprietor returned to Melbourne after gelato training and apprenticeship in Tuscany.
All the gelato is made fresh daily in the St Kilda store from seasonal ingredients. There are over one hundred flavours in 7apples’ repertoire, with 26 flavours normally available at any time. In addition to the St Kilda store, 7apples also has two gelato carts – one at Emporium and one at Chadstone – which store the gelato in shiny lidded pozzetti. The carts offer a smaller range, which usually includes 7apples’ two most popular flavours: salted caramel and Ferrero Rocher.
Back at the St Kilda HQ, seating is minimal – just a couple of tiny tables with stools, plus a couple more tables outside in Acland Street. But St Kilda is an ideal place to stroll around with your gelato, and Luna Park is not far away.
Over our visits this year we have worked through quite a few flavours, and have been impressed with the consistent quality. Nut options tend to be an excellent test of gelato – and we have not been disappointed. In particular, we have loved the pistachio sorbet and the hazelnut, both having a freshness and a flavour true to each nut.
The dairy free sorbets are exceptionally creamy – another sign of quality gelato – and the fruit flavours are super intense, tasting just like the fresh fruit.
Our normal gelato order is two flavours in a waffle cone. Choosing the right combination can be tricky, and if you aren’t sure what you want, tastings are available.
If you prefer your gelato in a cup, the serve comes with a crisp waffle biscuit. Serving sizes – whether in cup or a cone – are generous.
As dark chocolate tragics, we find it difficult to go past the dark chocolate sorbet, which is outstanding. With such an intense bitter chocolate hit it can be tricky to pick a suitable match for a second flavour, but we can recommend the pannacotta or the blood orange sorbet. We have also tasted the regular (dairy) chocolate – it’s good, but not in the same league. Or maybe that’s just us.
Another excellent pairing is Ferrero Rocher and cherry mania. The Ferrero – one of 7apples’ most popular flavours, a lovely mixture of chocolate and hazelnut – is lighter than the dark chocolate sorbet, and has a generous scattering of chocolate chunks. The cherry also has some chunks of chocolate plus a swirl of what looks like Italian amarena cherries. Bliss.
Other flavours we have enjoyed include 7apples’ prize-winning salted caramel (just the right balance of sweet and salt), mango sorbet, melon sorbet (like eating fresh cantaloupes), coconut with a mango puree swirl and dulce di leche with macadamia.
And if you weren’t in the mood for gelato (as if!) 7apples also offers a range of fresh fruit juices and smoothies.
75 Acland Street
St Kilda Vic 3182
T: (03) 9537 3633