Wow. Spring has really sprung in Melbourne town this week. As I whip off my woolly hat and peel off my opaque tights I have only one thought…bring on gelati weather!
After hibernating for most of winter I’m well due for a trip to the most hyped gelati counter in Melbourne, to the stainless steel ice-cream filled vessels of Spring Street Grocer.
As its name suggests, Spring Street Grocer is actually first and foremost an upmarket, niche and tightly curated produce and deli store. There’s fresh fruit and veg, an underground cheese cave and charcuterie. Their in house label is called ‘Primavera’ and you’ll find anything from porcini to pasta as well as some excellent home-made meals created by the kitchen of The European such as the chilli con carne ($10.50) and their very spicy (and addictive) Arrabiata pasta sauce ($6.90).
Gelateria Primavera offers up to ten gelati flavours and six sorbets that rotate daily depending on what’s in season, all of them churned on site. Note that the gelati master’s days off are Monday and Tuesday which means that if it’s busy over the weekend many flavours are only restocked late Wednesday. As such, on my (Wednesday) visit I had a choice of only six flavours, which was fine as I decided to go for an all-white cup of Fior di latte, yoghurt and lime and coconut vanilla.
Out of all three flavours my favourite was the tangy yoghurt and lime gelati while the cheesiness of the fior di latte was too shocking for my dessert-trained tastebuds. All of the gelati was distinguished by the silken creaminess of their textures and the cleanness of flavour on the palate – no hint of powder, grit or lingering aftertastes.
I’ve become a little obsessed with Spring Street Grocer for lunch and pre/post theatre indulgences. If you go for lunch they have a made-to-order sandwich bar where I recommend the fish with smashed peas on light rye ($12). As it comes with some potato crisps it’s literally fish and chips with mushy peas in a sandwich format! You can eat it a little squashed up at one of the tiny tables, perched on the orange-stooled counter, or take it to Treasury Gardens and enjoy the sun.
With your gelati, of course. It’s the main event!
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