The little foodie enclave at Kew’s Willsmere Village – home to a clutch of on-trend cafés as well as one of our favourite burger places – now has its very own artisan gelateria. Opening in mid-January, Lui Jon Gelato is already a rising star of Melbourne’s gelaterie.
Smartly turned out in its signature deep blue and white, the centrepiece of the small shop is – of course – the gelato cabinet. While COVID restrictions meant that we couldn’t sit inside when we visited, there is room for a few stools – a lovely bright spot to watch the world go by.
Lui Jon – the gelato maker – has a long family tradition in food. From a young age he lived above his grandfather’s pasticceria, absorbing the intricacies of the business. He went on to forge a career in the food industry, from fine dining to manufacturing. And now he is focusing on just one product – gelato.
As a true artisan, all Lui Jon’s gelati is made fresh each day from natural ingredients. No pre-mixes, no artificial additives, colours or flavours. And those flavours demonstrate Lui Jon’s skill in creating new and exciting recipes. Served in cups, cones or tubs to take away.
Nestled in the gelato cabinet are two dozen of these amazing flavours, with dairy and non-dairy (vegan) options. What to choose? And given we wanted two scoops, what would be good matches? It’s a tough job, but we were up for the task.
I picked masala chai gelato, which I paired with the vegan strawberry and elderflower sorbetto. The masala chai was glorious, the warmth of the spices perfectly blended with the tea undertones. And the sorbetto was a great match – the freshness of real strawberries with an added floral note from the elderflower.
As regular readers will know, coconut is one of Benny’s favourites. He paired his coconut with chocolate and orange gelato, the latter having just a subtle hint of orange to contrast with the chocolate.
Flavours were exceptional. Texture was a touch firm, not helped by being served with scoops rather than being worked with a gelato paddle. But those flavours were amazing.
We would be very happy if we lived close by!
Excellent gelati from an artisan maker with a true flair for flavour. Based on natural ingredients, and with friendly service, we’ll definitely be returning.
Lui Jon Gelato
87 Willsmere Road
Kew Vic 3101
T: (03) 9193 2259