N2 Extreme Gelato – Liquid Nitrogen FUN!

panda 5 rating

I heard that N2 Extreme Gelato had arrived in Melbourne and couldn’t wait to check it out! N2 Extreme Gelato – a science based ice creamery was started up ex-accountant Min Chai in Sydney. The basic idea was to use liquid nitrogen to produce smooth, creamy gelato/sorbet of intriguing flavours.

This funky ice-cream lab is located on the bustling Brunswick street and as you walk in you see the massive blackboard menu on the left hand side, with information about what the place is about on the wall to the right. Once you decide which flavour you want and order, you can then view the magic right before your eyes.  Each tub is made fresh!

There is a benchtop which is set out lab style that houses rows of Kitchenaids and a large vat of liquid nitrogen. The staff have the whole scientist look going complete with goggles and laboratory gear. They then proceed to create gelato heaven and it is quite a spectacle to watch. People are lined up with their camera phones taking pictures and videos. You watch as the liquid nitrogen creates a cloudy haven.

The ingredients are fresh and real fruit is used and the full cream milk and fresh cream are sourced from local dairies. The major feature of course is the use of liquid nitrogen – the main reason being that liquid nitrogen freezes so fast that the ice crystal formation is minimised. This results in a much smoother consistency compared to if you produced it the conventional way. It also means that the gelato can be made to order and served at the perfect temperature of -6C. Freshness guaranteed. =)

There are many different wacky and enticing flavours to choose from with flavours changing every Thursday. Some flavours include SPAM & Mustard – yep you read that right it is SPAM infused gelato with Mustard, Black Salted Caramel, Butter Popcorn, Sour Cream Chocolate, Me So Happy (Miso Caramel & Peanuts with Milk Gelato), Creme Brulee and Mango Sorbet.

I decided to get the Crème Brulee flavour and N got the Mango Sorbet. Once you walk past the viewing area there is a sitting / chilling area out the back which is complete with Astro Turf Crate benches together with graffiti walls. The space is open and light filled and is a great place to eat gelato! The music playing is just as great.

The Crème Brulee gelato comes complete with a blow-torched layer of caramel on top – WOW! The result of this gelato was absolutely delicious – it didnt seem like a gelato at all but a real creme brulee dessert served at a restaurant. The gelato resembled silky smooth custard and the layer on top was crunchy, sugary and all around delicious. The result was that you don’t want to stop eating it. N’s Mango Sorbet was just as delicious – the mango flavour was intense, sweet and all round great! The serving size is quite generous as well and all for just $6.

N2 Extreme Gelato allows you to not only taste some of the best gelato going around but in intriguing flavours all whilst providing a bit of entertainment in the form of liquid nitrogen fun! Whats not to love in  a place that combines a bit of science and delciousness?

Rating : 5 Pandas
Price: $
Menu – The flavours vary from week to week – but include SPAM Mustard, Black Salted Caramel, Butter Popcorn, Sour Cream Chocolate, Me So Happy (Miso Caramel & Peanuts with Milk Gelato), Creme Brulee and Mango Sorbet
Fullness: 100%
Atmosphere / Ambience: Casual, Funky, and Fun
Standout Flavour: Creme Brulee, Buttered Popcorn
Service: Friendly =)
Details and Location:
http://n2extremegelato.com.au/
329 Brunswick St, Fitzroy

Opening Hours:
Monday to Sunday: 1pm – 11pm

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Grigons & Orr – Cornerstore Fun

panda-3-5-rating2
Grigons & Orr
Baked Eggs Ricotta Pancakes with Blueberries and Strawberries

Grigons & Orr is not your typical style of cafe – it just doesn’t serve great food but provides you with an experience. It’s reminiscent of the corner store you used to visit as a kid and a country milk bar / old school style supermarket all rolled into one.  Grigons & Orr corner store is the brilliant idea of Kellie Grigons and Margo Orr.

The feel of the cornerstore cafe is retro chic and to add to the full effect of the cornerstore, there are shelves (which are made out of shipping crates) of Nutella, various shampoos and toilet papar, flour, even Spam! and things you would normally find in a cornerstore that are behind the counter. On the other wall is crates that surround the fridges which house the milk and drinks. Its little touches like this that all add to the experience. To add to the effect are laminex tables with soft old school chairs which are very comfortable. The counter is stacked with cupcakes, scones and other baked goodies as well as old school style lollies.

There are many great little touches to this place – from the box of crocheted blankets that the people sitting at pavement tables can use to wrap themselves up in them if they get cold, to the ancient magazines that you can read whilst you wait for a table – but my favourite is the bottled water which comes with strawberries. ( They also have lemon, mint, cucumber, fresh herbs in the mix as well). I have never seen strawberries infused in a water bottle and it added a pleasant flavour to the water (I am not usually a fan of the flavoured bottled water that you can buy, but this home made one is pretty damn good!).

I started off by ordering a Chai Latte and in keeping with the old style theme was a cute coffee cup with a decorative spoons. The coffee (which I had later) is quite good as well – very creamy and fragrant.  Now onto the food – where can I start with the food! The menu is massive and there are so so so many things to select from that you will need a good ten minutes to decide what you want. The menu ranges from scrambled eggs to baked eggs to corn fritters to french toast with a twist and ricotta pancakes. There is also a milkshake menu as well as a “Cake-shake” which is the option to choose a cake off the counter to be mixed into a milkshake – all just for $9.50! This  would remind anyone of their childhoods, where you would pick different things and decide to mix them together. I know I used to mix different types of sodas together to see what kind of mix I could get.

I ordered the Shakshouka – Israeli eggs baked in spicy Napoli sauce served with yoghurt & buttery toast and G ordered the Ricotta Pancakes with Barbados Cream and Berry Compote. The eggs were delicious but I have to admit not one of my favourite baked egg dishes. The eggs were cooked to perfection and were just the right amount of runniness, but the Napoli sauce was a bit too overwhelming, however the addition of the yoghurt helped to cut this flavour down. The pancakes were piled high and the dish was huge! The serving sizes here at Grigons & Orr are certainly generous! The pancakes were beautifully made and weren’t doughy at all and the Barbados cream was to die for!

There are many interesting dishes on the menu such as Elvis! and SPAM! and something that I want to come back and try is the Warm Chilli Cous Cous dish. This place is a fantastic place to visit not just for good food but if you want a trip down memory lane and for a nostalgic experience.

Rating : 3.5 Pandas
Price: $$
Menu – Can be found at http://www.grigonsorr.com.au/menu.htm
Fullness: 100%
Atmosphere / Ambience: Retro Chic and has a funky vibe!
Standout Dish: Ricotta Pancakes with Barbados Cream and Berry Compote
Service: Friendly and Happy
Online Booking: No
Restaurant Details and Location:
http://www.grigonsorr.com.au/index.htm
445 Queensberry St, North Melbourne
Tel No: 0487 608 489 / 9663 5192

Opening Hours:
Closed Mondays
Tuesday to Sunday: 7am to 5pm

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