157 Spring Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
+61 3 9654 0811
I’m not a huge fan of cakes, puddings and chocolate. In fact, I’m not a fan of most desserts (yeah, what’s wrong with me?). But I love my ice cream. Oh yes, I do love my frozen treats (oh, and bubble tea… but that’s another story for next time). While my mates love their sticky date puddings and chocolate cakes, I risk looking like a tight arse by ordering a trio of sorbets. My sniggering mates, however, wouldn’t be laughing if they tasted ice cream that tasted half as good as the ones they scoop out of those stainless steel tubs at the counter of Spring Street Grocer.
Spring Street Grocer might initially sound like an odd name to call a gelateria – ‘Where are the so-called groceries?!’ I wondered on my first visit to the joint with Daisy and Ricky. Since then, though, they’ve actually opened up a neat grocery section where you can stock up some fruit, bread and cheese with the wine you will have bought from the City Wine Shop next door (which also happens to be owned by the same dude who owns Spring Street Grocer, Con Christopoulos.
When Daisy and I rocked up on our first visit, we had actually already consumed a decent amount of dim sum so we weren’t after massive servings of gelati. Instead, we wanted a little nibble and conveniently, Spring Street Grocer was practically across the road from where the dumpling festival was held.
At any given day, there’s about ten flavours available to choose from – and you usually don’t know what you’ll get each day. While it’s safe to assume that classics such as chocolate and hazelnut will be there on most days, some days you’ll discover totally random flavours such as Redbull sorbetti or chilli-charged Ferrero Rocher, which were on offer when the Grand Prix was on. Can you guess what teams those flavours were named after? :p
While Ricky opted for a juice, us ladies went for the gelati. A medium cup costs $6.50 and you can choose between one to three flavours. Wanting to try as much as I could, I chose three flavours: fior de latte, watermelon & mint and salted caramel & chilli. I like salted caramel anything so I knew I was going to love the chilli-accented creamy and salty mother of a gelato even before I took one bite. The watermelon and mint gelato was decidedly less in-your-face but just as lovely – it had a very refreshing flavour, even though I did find the mint flavour a bit muted. As for the fior de latte, well, let me just say that if you were going to try a cheese-flavoured based ice cream once in your life, let it be this one. Absolutely marvellous, as Richie would say.
Daisy also got a medium cup but the Dessert Queen surprised me when she said that she only wanted two flavours, hazelnut and coconut. That said, the flavours of those two were probably the most vivid out of the flavours we tried. The hazelnut gelato was so beautifully intense (how many nuts did they cram into it?) and while the coconut one was essentially pandan (which made me wonder why they didn’t just call this flavour ‘pandan’ instead), it was nevertheless eye-poppingly good.
The second time I went was with Marty one rainy Saturday night. It was a miserable night to be out and the plan was just to call it a night after dinner in town. But because we were in the vicinity of Spring Street Grocer, there was no way I was going to let this dude fly back to the Gold Coast without trying what has to be Melbourne’s finest gelati.
So while we watched a middle-aged Italian guy order a $20 box of gelati before hopping into his nearby-parked car and drive off (hey, it was funny at the time – but I guess you just had to be there), we enjoyed our gelati in cups.
Marty went for a trio of white peach & basil, yoghurt, meringue & cherry and hazelnut. Predictably, he loved the hazelnut (it’s one of his all-time favourite flavours) but he was equally impressed with the other two. I liked the lovely herb-y flavour the basil lend to the slightly tangy white peach gelato while the yoghurt, meringue & cherry one just screamed out, ‘FUN!’
As for me, I decided to be boring by sticking to a small cup (holds one flavour for $4.50). Which flavour? Why, grapefruit & vanilla! It was a pair that only Hollywood celebs could dream off – the piquancy and slight bitterness of the grapefruit was beautifully complemented by the creamy, sweet vanilla before being joined together in holy matrimony in a little cup.
So Melbourne’s weather (with the exception of today) will be cooling down just like Webber’s friendship with Vettel. However, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t saunter down to Spring Street Grocer for a spot of what really is the finest gelati I’ve had in Melbourne. As someone who doesn’t care much for sweets and all things that Sarah Wilson hates, I say, ‘GET YOUR SPRING STREET GROCER ONNNNN!’