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Fluffy Torpedo

Posted in Melbourne

There are a number of ice creameries and gelatarias in Fitzroy, but Fluffy Torpedo stands out with some very unique offerings.

The entrance from Smith Street is pretty understated. We followed map directions to get there. The sign in the walkway has unfortunately been graffitied over (what is wrong with people?), but was a multicoloured array of plastic balls in clear acrylic – still a cryptic clue that you had to know to know.

fluffy torpedo outside
Peering through the window from outside the store..

Inside, there were elements of low-key whimsy. Things that were just casually there, but when you paid attention, realised that quite a bit of effort would have gone into it.

For instance, the floor, which just looked like a decorative print, but is actually lots of lengths of rainbow-coloured sour-strap lollies cast in resin.

fluffy torpedo inside
The rainbow striped floor, and more of the interior.

There were also other trinkets – lollies cast in resin in other forms, like what looked like a sandwich press (didn’t take a photo, unfortunately), and a small cube.

fluffy torpedo painting
Lots of dots..

Bench seats ran along the far wall, to provide a place for customers who wanted to linger with their ice cream. The seats are actually made from pine wood recycled from what was left behind by the previous tenants of the space. Upbeat music played over the speakers, some funk, some older pop. It did progressively get louder through the time we were there though, to the point where it was difficult to hear conversations you were trying to have.

fluffy torpedo mirror
A mirror, perched on the bench, with what they’re about written on it. And you can just catch the reflection of the lolly-in-resin press..

The menu was a very different form from typical as well, numerous rectangular cloth flags with the flavours embroidered on them hung up on the wall behind the service counter. A couple of the flags indicated their local provenance – the embroidery was done by Eltham Studios, and the butter used in their ice creams is from Saint David Dairy in Fitzroy.

fluffy torpedo menu
The menu of many options.

After noticing what the menu is made of, you will then certainly be taken with the menu options themselves. Again, this is very different from options you might get elsewhere, and “standard” flavours are few and far between.

There are some that still tend on the safer side, for those who want to have something different but aren’t prepared to go quite wild, like Chocolate Mud Cake with Milk Chocolate, or Peppermint and Chocolate Slice. Then there are the more whimsical flavours that have gained Fluffy Torpedo a bit more attention, like Mountain Dew Oreo, or Olive Oil, Rosemary, Lemon Icing, and Chocolate Drops. Some flavours are gluten-free, and a smaller range are vegan (which would also be the dairy-free ones), indicated by letters embroidered on the flags.

fluffy torpedo light
Ice cream prices..and a crafted light?

The risk of choice overload is real. Given that this likely happens to a lot of customers, staff are happy to let you test flavours before committing to your scoops. They have stainless steel tasting sticks cut into a range of patterns that you then drop into a chute to be washed and reused (forgot to get a picture of them, unfortunately). One of the embroidered flags helpfully tells patrons “Fear not which choice you make, free will is an illusion”.

fluffy torpedo menu closer
Parts of the menu a bit closer.

We tested the Coconut Cream and Mango flavour (gluten-free and vegan). This had a smooth texture, and strongly reminded us of a Weis Mango and Ice Cream bar in the mango flavour profile and sweetness. It was a lovely flavour, and really the only reason why we didn’t pick it for a whole scoop was that we wanted something less familiar and more unusual.

We also tested the Toasted Star Anise, Cardamom, Cinnamon, Candied Almonds, Pork Fat, and Roasted Chilli flavour (we couldn’t not). This was mildly sweet, with the spice components not quite as strong as we anticipated. The Paan and Thandai Kulfi at Beku Gelato have much more present spice components. The pork fat was more a mixed in texture component than imparting flavour. The mix definitely had a chilli punch to it.

For our scoops, we eventually chose:

Tawny Port, Prunes, Butter. This was stated to contain alcohol (the port). The port and prunes were complimentary, fruity flavours. It was pleasantly sweet, without being cloying.

fluffy torpedo ice cream
The Tawny Port, Prunes, and Butter flavour on the left.

Malteasers, Pretzels, Popcorn, Choco Ice Magic. We asked which their most popular flavour was, and were told that this was it. The intent behind it was to deliver a combination of movie theatre snacks. We couldn’t really pick up the popcorn that was supposed to be the flavour base of the ice cream. The crushed pretzels, Malteasers, and chocolate ice magic pieces were the textural additive parts that were what they said they would be, but in the end we sort of wished we had gone with a more daring combination.

fluffy torpedo ice cream
A very slightly different angle.. The Malteasers, Pretzels, Popcorn and Ice Magic flavour more visible on the right. You can see the bits..

Speculoos (Biscoff). This is a vegan flavour. It had a nicely smooth, creamy texture. The sweet cinnamon biscuit flavour was prominent. Though not a particularly adventurous flavour, this was pleasant, and just right for dessert.

fluffy torpedo ice cream
The Speculoos flavour as the top scoop.

Miso, Cinnamon, White Chocolate. This had sweetness offset by the saltiness from the miso, like a salted caramel combination. The flavour variation was certainly an interesting one across the palate. It was rich, with the sweetness of the white chocolate veering towards just a little too much by the time we got to the end of the scoop though. Others with a sweeter tooth might appreciate it more, however.

fluffy torpedo ice cream
A bit eaten, but with a different backdrop. The Miso, Cinnamon, and White Chocolate scoop below.

We also noticed many copies of The Life Can Save stacked in various sections of the store. The book and the foundation behind it aim to encourage giving to high impact charities that have proven to be cost-effective in delivering benefits to the intended groups and actually improve quality of life.

fluffy torpedo
Books, a stack of ice cream cones, and other trinkets.

Fluffy Torpedo is definitely a destination for something different. You will find flavours there that you won’t come across anywhere else. Some will challenge you, some may not turn out to be your cup of tea, but you will, no doubt, find something you really do like. Their ethos is also to be applauded. So visit, and experience something special.

Food: 3/4
Setting: 1.5/2
Service: 1.5/2
Total: 6/8

Price point: Single scoop $7, Double scoop $9.

Value: Definitely get a double.

Address: 5/159 Smith St, Fitzroy VIC 3065
Phone: 03 7012 6165
Website: Fluffy Torpedo

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