You can breathe a sigh of relief, liquid nitrogen ice-cream has made it to Australia. Ice-cream made from liquid nitrogen surfaced a few years ago in London while I was still living there. It promised a smoother, superior ice-cream taste and the high tech wizardry of ice-cream made from clouds of steam swirling in the air. You may wonder how we survived in Australia without it for so long but don’t worry any longer as N2 Extreme Gelato has now opened on Brunswick street in Melbourne and in Chinatown in Sydney as well.
Buying an ice-cream at N2 Extreme Gelato is certainly an experience thanks to the theatre of having your ice-cream made on the spot in what looks to be some kind of crazy science lab complete with fake grass and shop assistants in lab coats and goggles. N2 Extreme Gelato has also amped up the fun by creating creative and unusual flavour combinations like Earl Grey ice-cream and raspberry and white chocolate cheese cake.
Unfortunately despite all the theatre, the ice-cream just doesn’t taste as good as standard ice-cream. I’ve visited twice and while the buttered pop-corn flavour was whimsical and interesting with crunches of pop-corn scattered through the gelato, it didn’t have the same creamy, luxurious taste as the top notch gelato at Spring Street Grocer in Melbourne or Gelatissimo in Sydney.
What’s more some of the flavours just don’t work like the salted caramel with black lava. The black lava was in the form of a sprinkling of black lava salt on top which gave an uneven and unpleasant distribution of saltiness to the otherwise bland gelato flavour.
Although it’s entertaining, liquid nitrogen ice-cream is just a gimmick and if you are serious about your ice-cream you’re best to stick with your tried and true ice-cream spots. That’s what I’ll be doing this summer.
Details: N2 Extreme Gelato, 329 Brunswick street, Fitzroy 3065
Damage: Pricey. One scoop is $6.