This dispatch is brought to you by Madeleine Bulger, aged 15 months. Because while we both believe food should be fun (and N2 Extreme Gelato is nothing if not fun), when it comes to ice cream, Madeleine is serious. And she is IN CHARGE. We actually wanted to do this post for a couple of weeks, ever since we were first lured in by the food theatre that makes this place so fun, and got a taste of the strange concoctions and impossibly-creamy goodness of N2's new Melbourne iteration. I made plans to return with my camera, pronto, but one or two (hundred thousand) Melbournians got in the way.
We took Mr B down Brunswick Street for a taste of N2 gelati on the weekend, only to find the little shop so thick with would-be gelati-eaters you couldn't see the counter, and punters were piled up three-deep all the way out onto the street. A few days later Madeleine and I wandered past in the afternoon to much the same scenario.
So on Thursday when we woke to pouring rain and fierce winds rattling against the windows, Madeleine and I were of one mind: "Perfect weather for gelati!"
We timed our visit to arrive bang-on opening time which was lucky because, Melbourne weather being typically contrary, the sun came out while we were walking and enticed folks out of their homes and into our little world of gelato. We made it before the crowds and even before they were ready to serve, so I joined a small group waiting on the astro turf while the N2 folks set up, and Madeleine raced up and down a graffiti-lined corridor squealing with delight, keeping all of us entertained.
We ordered the crème brûlée flavour from the ever-changing menu because, duh!, so I had the added fun of watching them blowtorch a crispy toffee topping over my ice cream.
The peppermint tea (served in a beaker, naturally) is there because Madeleine and I do rather appreciate a palate cleanser.
We sat on more astro turf in the cafe area out the back to eat, overlooking a windy laneway full of muddy puddles that were apparently (and annoyingly) calling Madeleine's name. After she had finished our gelato, of course, which she all-but inhaled.
So there you have it. Weird science. Food theatre. Tasty, creamy gelato in strange and wonderful flavours. Graffiti. Astro turf. Adorable babies. That, friends, is the N2 Extreme Gelato Melbourne experience. See you there (but make sure you arrive early).