One thing that German-born Mascha missed when she moved to Australia five years ago, was spaghettieis – spaghetti gelato. The solution – she made her own, and so Madame Spaghetti was born.
Spaghettieis is very much a German thing. It was invented in 1969 by Dario Fontanella, a third generation gelatiere (gelato maker) based in the German city of Mannheim. Dario was looking for alternative ways to serve gelati. He found that when the right sort of gelato is extruded through a spaetzle (noodle) press, served with strawberry sauce and a topping of grated white chocolate, you have something that looks uncannily like a serve of spaghetti napoli with grated parmesan. Add chunks of chocolate brownie or chocolate truffles and you have spaghetti with meatballs. And for extra indulgence the spaghettieis sits on a bed of whipped cream.
It’s a novelty, and the Germans love it.
Recognising that cracking the Australian market with traditional spaghettieis may be a challenge, Mascha focuses on retaining the extruded gelato format, but with flavour/topping combinations that appeal to local tastes.
In April 2019, after loads of experiments, Mascha opened her Port Melbourne gelateria in the historic Floodgate Hotel building, just at the rear of Nonna’s Cucina (the entrance is in Ingles Street). A St Kilda pop-up followed eight months later.
The modest menu has just six gelato flavours: vanilla bean, Belgian chocolate, salted caramel, salted honey, mango and strawberry (those last two are vegan). There is also the occasional special. For the extrusion process, the gelato must be very smooth – no lumps or chunks, otherwise it won’t go through the press.
Of course I had to try the spaghetti gelato. Mascha loaded up the press with my chosen flavour (mango) and with a bit of pressure, strands of gelato started oozing onto the plate.
The serving is very generous, and includes two toppings plus a tiny chocolate square with the Madame Spaghetti logo. So you can mix and match, with whatever combination takes your fancy. My toppings: fresh strawberries and golden peanut nuggets. Other toppings include grilled white chocolate, dark chocolate brownie chunks, cookie dough fudge, vegan chocolate sauce, honeycomb and raspberry jam. Many of the toppings are vegan.
For those that prefer gelato served in the traditional way, Madame Spaghetti also offers cones, cups and tubs to take away.
Benny passed on the spaghetti gelato, but couldn’t resist a cone with the day’s special flavour – coconut – which he paired with Belgian chocolate. A tiny chocolate square perched on top.
Our flavours were all excellent. Special shout-out for the Belgian chocolate which will definitely satisfy any dark chocolate tragic.
All the gelati and the toppings are made from scratch on site at the Port Melbourne gelateria, which also supplies the St Kilda pop-up. Waffles are also on the menu, made fresh to order. An added bonus: all packaging is eco-friendly: all-natural, biodegradable and compostable.
The light-filled space has room for seating at a long bench. A very pleasant spot to watch the Ingles Street action while enjoying gelati.
Update: Madame Spaghetti closed its Port Melbourne gelateria, but is still available for functions and events.
A fresh interpretation of the traditional German spaghetti gelato. Super friendly service. And for those who prefer their gelati in cones or cups, Madame Spaghetti’s modest menu packs some excellent flavours.
40 Crockford Street (enter from Ingles Street)
Port Melbourne Vic 3207