October 2018 update: Gelocchio in Carlton has closed – we will miss its wonderful gelato! But Gelocchio Cairns is still open. Definitely one to check out when visiting Far North Queensland!
The iconic children’s character of Pinocchio is the inspiration for this Lygon Street gelateria. Gelato + Pinocchio = Gelocchio. This theme continues throughout, from the spectacular mural – by Melbourne artist Hayden Dewar – through to dozens of small wooden Pinocchio figures arrayed along the shelves.
Opening in mid 2017, Gelocchio makes all its gelati in the kitchen at the rear of the store. The owners, Valeria and Renzo, are passionate about producing gelato the old-fashioned way, using raw ingredients – real fruit and nuts – and no additives. This is a true test for gelato chefs. Creating a consistent quality product is a greater challenge as the chef must adapt the mix in response to variation in the natural ingredients. And as natural gelato only has a short shelf life it must be made in small batches so that it is always fresh.
And the result? An explosion of intense flavour, and some of the best gelato in Melbourne.
On my first (solo) visit to Gelocchio it was mid-morning and Renzo was setting up. Several of the gelato tubs were still empty – he was deciding what to make that day. Nonetheless, it was a difficult choice.
My pick was lemon and basil sorbetto, paired with bounty gelato (coconut with a delicate drizzle of dark chocolate). Awesome. The sorbetto was one of the best lemons I have tasted, with a strong hit of citrus (both juice and rind) and the basil adding a subtle touch of peppery heat that intensified the lemon. The bounty was a perfect match – creamy, and packed full of slivers of real coconut. And the serving was super generous.
The coconuts come from Queensland, and Renzo said that other tropical fruit, such as soursop, will also be coming soon. The Melbourne Gelocchio is actually their second store – they have another in Cairns.
The gelato is available in cups or cones, or even on a stick, and take-away tubs are available. There are around two dozen flavours, both dairy and non-dairy, and I noticed that there were also cups of durian gelato (these were well sealed!). For something more extravagant, gelato cakes can be ordered.
The next weekend, I was back, this time with Benny.
We sampled several flavours: blood orange, mandarin and thyme sorbetto; salted caramel; cioccolato (chocolate, dairy version); and black forest. All were excellent.
Benny loves coconut, so the bounty was an obvious pick for him. He paired it with blunana, a combination of blueberry and banana. He was very, very happy.
This time, I chose choc sorbetto, together with mango. As I am a dark chocolate tragic, I preferred the non-dairy sorbetto to the dairy version. It was awesome, one of the best dark chocolates around. And the mango was sublime, with the gorgeous flavour and aroma of perfectly ripened fresh fruit.
With its quirky décor and plenty of seating, both inside and out, Gelocchio is an ideal spot to indulge in a sweet treat. And it is open until late.
One of the best gelaterie in Melbourne. Outstanding gelato made the old-fashioned way, from 100% natural ingredients. With friendly service and generous servings, Gelocchio offers exceptional value for money for a high quality product.
230 Lygon Street
Carlton Vic 3053
T: (03) 8672 8412