8 Degraves St
Melbourne, VIC 3000
I had promised my sister a pasta-and-gelato date for the next time I came back down to Melbourne, and despite minor shenanigans in the form of a last-minute search for a restaurant that was actually open, the first part of the operation was carried off without a hitch. After wandering around for a couple hours, digesting the ridiculous amounts of carbs we ingested, we hit up Pidapipo for our gelato fix.
I had first come across Pidapipo a couple years ago, when they only had their flagship Carlton store. The deliciousness of their gelato, the hazelnut flavour especially, absolutely blew my mind. Unfortunately Carlton is just out of the way enough for me to not be able to frequent it nearly as much as I would like, so the opening of the CBD branch last year was very welcome indeed.
Instead of the classic European vibe of the original, the CBD branch was adorably reminiscent of an old-school ice-creamery, compete with hand-drawn pictures on the glass, and a beautiful pastel colour palette reminiscent of sugary treats. Everything else however is pretty much the same – the gelato hidden away in pozzetti for maximum flavour and freshness, the friendly staff boasting Italian accents, and of course, the fountain of endlessly flowing Nutella.
My sister and I share a love for Hazelnut ($6.8, 2 scoops) gelato, and as the Pidapipo rendition is probably my most favourite ever, it was a no-brainer of a first choice. And it was as perfect as ever – if you want an extensive iteration of every single one of its merits, then go here. The other flavour we tried out was the Coffee with Sponge Cake ($6.8, 2 scoops), which for lack of a better word, felt rather European with its combination of excellent coffee and airy flecks of sponge. Maybe it’s because of how reminiscent it is of tiramisu, or a thimble of espresso with an after-dinner pastry.
We had room for one more scoop, which went to the Strawberry Rose and Cream ($4.8, 1 scoop). What impressed me the most was the fact that you can actually distinctly taste the smooth milkiness of the cream. It complemented the delicate fragrance of the strawberry and rose, and is a light and elegant alternative for those who are sick of chocolate.
As I had both hoped and expected, Pidapipo is just as good as it ever was. It may not have the crazy flavours that Messina is famed for, but if you want something more traditional, then Pidapipo is hard to beat. Plus, endless Nutella fountain!
Rating: 15/20 – hazelnut dreams.
This rating reflects my personal experience at the time of visit.