March 2019 update: Lunigiana Gelateria has closed. The premises are now the home of Brazen Brownies.
The best honey in Italy comes from the region of Lunigiana, north-west of Pisa. With such a notable pedigree, it’s a natural choice to call your new gelateria after your ancestral home.
Andrew, the proprietor, loved gelato so much that he travelled to Italy to study gelato making. Now he is back in Melbourne, with the family helping out at his gelateria in Harp Village.
It’s a modest shop, with rather stark décor – we reckon a few colourful posters would give the place a lift. But there is plenty of space around the gelato cabinet as well as seating at several tables inside where you can enjoy your gelato. A couple more tables are outside on the footpath.
All the gelati is made in-house, using natural ingredients. The flavours change every day, with around 20 available at any time. Gelato is served in cups or cones, or you can take away tubs to enjoy at home. Shakes and coffee round out the menu.
The largest containers in the gelato cabinet contained what we guessed must be the most popular flavours: chocolate, hazelnut, pistachio and coffee. But on a hot day we were leaning towards the fruit flavours, which are all based on fresh seasonal produce.
My choice: plum gelato paired with mango gelato in a cone. The plum was a revelation, deep colour and intense taste, my star flavour of the day. The mango was also very good.
Benny is very partial to figs, and so a fresh fig gelato was a no-brainer for him. Lunigiana’s fig was exceptional. He paired it with an excellent hazelnut, which like every other gelato we tried had a beautiful texture.
A week later, we returned for more gelato. For me: lemon paired with amarena cherry. Benny had pineapple paired with coconut. Just as good as on our first visit – gorgeous flavours, velvety textures. Our friendly server also kindly provided a very welcome bottle of (tap) water – it was another hot day and Benny had worked up quite a sweat riding his bicycle to East Kew.
661A High Street
East Kew Vic 3102