We were frequent attenders at La Macelleria’s Teneriffe store, and were excited to hear that they had opened another store in West End. The new shop is on the ground floor of the Light+Co apartments on Montague Road, between a couple of other eateries. Similar to the Teneriffe store, it is mostly set up as a takeaway, but does have some seating in the form of a few tables and chairs in a covered area in front of the shop.
The interior of the store has a clean design that harks back to the butchery it originally took its name from. (La Macelleria means “the butchery”.) The polished concrete floors and gleaming white tiled walls give it a pared back look. The other key colours used are red and black, appearing elsewhere in the ceiling, menu, and infographic signs.
The service counter takes up prime position, drawing your attention, as it should, as soon as you walk into the store. Instead of the mounds of coloured gelati you see at other geletarias and ice creameries though, this just has a mirror-sheen flat metal counter, with round lids rising from the surface. In contrast to the oft stated wisdom of “you eat with your eyes”, here, you have to rely on the flavour descriptions, and order based on that, rather than how colourful the gelati is. The reasoning behind this is that the pozzetti, those submerged and hidden containers, keep the gelati at a consistent, optimum temperature, until it is scooped and served to you.
The menu sits on the wall behind the service counter, with clipboards to which different flavours can be attached to, depending on what they have made. Although it is divided into headings of Classic, Special, and Sorbet, many of the flavours under the Special section are actually quite regularly available. Just to make things a little more confusing, they have actual temporary specials that change every week or so. While they usually carry classical, quite straight down the line flavours like Bacio, Stracciatella, and Caffe, their temporary specials are usually more experimental, like Honey Poached Quince, or Almond and Pistachio with Orange Zest. It has quite a different approach to flavours compared to other places like Gelato Messina, staying more measured and more traditional. Still, they do what they do well.
We have found their gelati to be consistently smooth, creamy, and with good strength of flavour. Their quality control is excellent. In particular, we would rate their pistacchio as up there with the best around, though it may initially take you a few moments to adjust to it not having the artificial green colour that is so widely applied to pistacchio gelati and ice cream.
Earlier this year, they had an all-you-can-eat gelato event, which certainly drew the crowds. It was a great opportunity to try a variety of their flavours, and at $10 for all the gelati you could fit in through the day, it was a deal that could not be passed up. We certainly made a number of repeat visits, and to their credit, the gelati remained smooth and delicious, despite the volumes they had to churn out.
On the list of flavours we would recommend having there (in alphabetical order):
Baccio – very rich and chocolatey. Only mildly sweet. Best paired with a lighter flavour.
Caffe – coffee lovers will enjoy this. No bitterness in it.
Mandorlino – almond paste with hazelnut paste and amaretto, with caramelised almonds. Sweeter than the Nocciola (hazelnut), and with lovely almond bits.
Pistacchio – great strength of pistachio flavour, and not too sweet.
And there have certainly been other great Specials that we wish they would bring back..but you will just have to see what is available at the time.
Similar to the Teneriffe store, they also offer gelato cakes and gelato sticks and mini cones here that are likely to appeal more to kids. They also run the gelato workshop on Mondays, where you can learn about how their gelato is made, and get some to take away.
La Macelleria’s new outlet maintains the quality at the first store. Matteo and Matteo (the owners behind the enterprise) are on to a winning formula, and certainly deliver a good dessert. We have no qualms going back for this tasty treat.
Price point: $5 for a small cup or cone with up to 2 flavours. $6.50 for a medium cup or cone with up to 3 flavours. $8 for a large cup or cone with up to 3 flavours. $10 for a maxi cup or cone with up to 4 flavours.
Value: Aright, considering the quality of what you get.
Address: Shop 5/321 Montague Road, West End
Phone: 0432 733 811
Website: La Macelleria