Say ciao bella to melting moments at one of Melbourne’s newest, and one of its finest, gelateria.
Have you been to Milan before, readers? Unlike Rome, Florence and Venice, it isn’t a usual destination for most tourists unless one is a banker, a fashionista, a fashionista with a banker, or a banker with a fashionista tendency. Yet, it was in Milan that these Dessert Correspondents found, among other things, a sudden fascination with gelato. The unattractively-named Grom was the gelato shop that we fell head over heels in love with, even more so than the financial crisis-inducing heels just purchased at La Rinascente. With one hand occupied with shopping bags, and the other with a cup of Grom gelato, blissful contentment was guaranteed. Fast forward two years since that very first trip to Milan, and a gelateria sprung up on Melbourne’s Spring Street at the first breath of summer in late 2012,. Thankfully, despite the volatility of Melbourne’s food scene that has seen a high number of “crash and burn” food ventures in the past months, Spring St Grocer’s Gelateria Primaveria continues to do a brisk trade this hot summer. A neon light is a beacon to office workers, theatre-goers and the general populace day and night. Beyond a short flight of stairs, a red marble bench studded with silver lids and a long scroll of butcher’s paper is scrawled with a weekly rotation of ice cream flavours. It triggers curiosity. What lies beneath, you ask? For $4.50 for one scoop and $6.50 for a holy trinity, you call out your choice of flavours, they whip off a silver lid, scoop up from the icy depths a soft mound, sculpt it with the care of an artist into a shallow paper cup. With one hand, you pass a handful of coins, and with the other, you make a greedy grab for the paper cup. You spoon a little pedal-spoon into your mouth, you close your eyes and Melbourne disappears. It’s a melting moment.
Over too many visits, we detail below a few of the better flavours that we have sampled, and depict four of the many cups we have gulped. Gelateria Primavera specialises in unusual flavours, infused into sorbet and gelato. The sorbet generally lack a characteristic tingly lightness, but its repertoire of gelato ice creams are difficult to fault — creamy, experimental, developed in flavour. For undeniable pleasure, look out for the tingly Mandarin Vermouth, lingering tropical burst of the Coconut, the more bitter-sweet richness of Dark Chocolate Raspberry and springtime pleasantries of the Lavender Rock Melon and Honey Thyme Stracciatella. The Salted Caramel, with or without a chilli kick, is good, but we love Helados Jauja‘s version more. The Fior de Latte is akin to eating skims of milk, it is that milky and creamy. The proclaimed Amedei 70% Chocolate is not very pronounced in terms of chocolate depth — we’ve had better. For the more adventurous, surprise yourself with the very pungent, somewhat earthy, sticky creaminess of the Figs Ricotta, the more saccharine glace sweetness of the Torrone and the contemplative, love or hate, Tumeric Cardammon Saffron.
From its friendly service to its rotating flavours, from its hidden-from-sight gelato arrangement to its Spring St location, there’s much about Gelateria Primavera that reminds these Dessert Correspondents of Italy’s Grom. We do love Gelateria Primavera’s gelato offerings more than the sorbets, and of these, the more unusual flavours rather than the traditional ones. Full flavours with no fridge taste, creamy texture with no crystallisation, well priced with scoop-size generosity, say Ciao Bella to one of Melbourne’s newest, and arguably, one of its finest gelateria. It needs nothing but a loyalty reward program for gelato addicts such as us.
Dessert adventure checklist
- ☑ Dessert destination: Gelateria Primavera at Spring St Grocer, 157 Spring Street, Melbourne CBD, Vic 3000.
- ☑ Budget: $.
- ☑ Sweet irresistibles: Ice cream.
- ☑ Must-eat: The “Lavender Rockmelon,” “Coconut,” and the “Tumeric, Cardammon, Saffron.”
- ☑ The short and sweet story: Say ciao bella to melting moments at Melbourne’s newest, and one of its finest, gelateria.