N2 Extreme Gelato, Fitzroy

Liquid nitrogen gelato for dessert on a hot evening in Melbourne – what an excellent idea! Alas, not an original one – we could barely open the door to N2, let alone squeeze inside, due to the crowd inside the store. This place is usually very popular, but on a 40C day, you’ll need supreme patience to go with that desperate craving for something cold.

Jac took one look and decided she’d go for a walk up the street while I joined the queue.

The place has a youthful vibe about it. I’m in my late-30s and felt conspicuously like an old woman standing in this throng, watching the young N2 crew pump out the orders. But one good thing: I wasn’t the only one holding up my phone and camera to take pictures.

The queue is long, but everyone is cheerful The queue is long, but everyone is cheerful

N2 make full fat, indulgent gelato using fresh fruit, herbs and other more unusual ingredients, with a passion for South East Asian flavours. You may think the whole liquid nitrogen thing is just hype, and yes, the smoky effect does look spectacular, but using liquid nitrogen means gelato can be made to order, served at the optimum temperature of -6C. The process takes a little longer than just scooping from ready-made tubs, but watching the N2 guys pouring the liquid nitrogen into the mixers and seeing the mist rise is all part of the experience as you wait.

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The menu changes regularly. The best way to find out what the day’s flavours is to follow these guys on Twitter or check their Tumblr-powered website. Recently, the Chinese New Year menu featured flavours like Pineapple Tart, Fortune Cookies and Cream, and Crumbly Peanut. For Australia Day, the menu included Strawberry and Champagne Sorbet, Beer Gelato and Pash Me Pavlova. Incidentally, the N2 Sydney store had the ‘Straya Day’ menu, with special flavours including Koalafication (cucumber and eucalyptus sorbet), Wattleseed Creme Brulee and Happy Little Vegemite (yes, featuring Vegemite). If you’re in Sydney or Melbourne, make sure you know which city’s menu you’re drooling over – they are not the same.

n2-menuThe menu changes regularly. illustrated on the blackboard in-store. This was the menu on the night we visited N2.

I chose the Pandan Creme Brûlée (AU$8) with pandan gelato sprinkled with sugar and brûléed with a blowtorch. I had to chip through the amber crust with my spoon to get to the gelato underneath. The brûlée probably hastened the melting of the top part of the gelato, especially on such a warm evening, not helped in the least by my need to photograph it. If you get a brûléed gelato, eat fast. I shared this with Jac, and boy, it was good – sweet like pandan kaya with crunchy burnt sugar shards.

Under the brûlée crust is pandan gelato Under the brûlée crust is pandan gelato

Any place with LEGO people in their front window has to be awesome! Any place with LEGO people in their front window has to be awesome!

Malaysians are clearly going great guns in Melbourne – behind Orient East, LuxBite and N2 Gelato are very talented, creative and visionary Malaysians.

N2 Extreme Gelato
329 Brunswick Street
Fitzroy, VIC 3065
Open 1pm to 11pm daily, 365 days a year
Also in NSW at 43/1 Dixon Street, Sydney.

N2 Extreme Gelato on Urbanspoon

Next time I visit Melbourne, I’d like to explore Fitzroy more. This was just a brief visit during a brief trip.

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About this series


In December 2013, my partner Jac and I went on holiday – Melbourne (3 nights), then 3 nights in Launceston (Jac, to stay with a friend) and King Island (me, for a photographic safari with a couple of friends), and finally, Hobart, where we spent Christmas (6 nights). This trip was not sponsored in any way.

The complete set of Melbourne posts
Not bad for three nights’ ‘work’, eh? Hope you’ve enjoyed the series.

For a preview of some of the stories to come, see Holiday sneak peek. There are still more Melbourne posts on the way.

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  • Oh my Cynthia, we have had weeks of 40+ degree heat and I could certainly do with some of this cold liquid nitrogen gelato! This place looks amazing. I love Fitzroy before I have even been there…I can almost feel the atmosphere through your photos.

    • Jane, it’s definitely worth a visit if you ever get the chance. Next time I want to cross the street and grab a hot dog at Phat Brats first… we just ran out of time and meals to eat everything!

  • It’s a wonderful concept, and I have to admit that I love going to the one here in Sydney!

    Fitzroy and Brunswick are amazing areas to explore on foot next time you’re in Melbourne, I recommend it!

  • Dea

    pandan gelato brulee. what is this magic?

    • Dea,
      Haha, yes – it was magical. I hear it’s a flavour they bring back from time to time due to popular demand.

  • love the legos!