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Hareruya Pantry

Posted in Melbourne

Melbourne does love a tucked-away hole-in-the-wall eatery or drinkery, and Hareruya Pantry in Carlton fits the bill. There’s only a see-through sign with “Hareruya Pantry” and kanji lettering written in white on it against the brick wall by the entrance, so you really have to be walking by on the street to recognise it. Or the line of people queueing outside might clue you in.

hareruya pantry sign
The sign at the entrance.

The line moves relatively quickly though, and it helps that they have written up the menu on the refridgerator near the entrance, so waiting patrons can think about what they want to get while in line, rather than holding up the queue trying to decide when they finally get to the counter.

hareruya pantry menu
The menu, written on the side of the refridgerator so waiting patrons can see.

Their Japanese gelato flavours are the main draw, with the option of having them wrapped in a mochi skin (to make a daifuku), or turned into an ice cream sandwich between rice wafers (monaka – even though it’s not red beans).

It is a pleasant location by Lincoln Square, where you might have to find a bench to eat your treats at, as there is no seating at Hareruya Pantry itself – it is takeaway only. The interior decor is pretty sparse as well. Unlike most other Japanese eateries where some kind of either zen or cute aesthetic is aimed for, in this case they seem to have gone with something perhaps a little more clean grunge.

hareruya pantry door
A secret door to somewhere..

It is certainly bare bones, with off-white walls and light wood paneling just behind the service counter on which the menu is written – again white ink against clear backing. The service counter has pozzetti which keep the gelato at the right temperature (see our post on La Macellaria on the importance of the pozzetti rather than displaying all your wares). \

hareruya pantry pozzetti
The pozzetti at the counter.

The refridgerator near the entrance has chilled drinks with Japanese flavours, for instance mikan or plum soda, and Ramune. Another refridgerator further in has chocolates and bento boxes (though the pickings were slim when we visited late on a weekend afternoon).

hareruya pantry chocolates
Some chocolates available in the fridge.
hareruya pantry bentos
Not much in the way of bentos left though.

The main thing though, is their gelato. They intermittently have new flavours to add variety. When we were there, the new ones were Annin tofu and passionfruit, and Uji kintoki. You also have the option of adding extra toppings, such as kinako or kuromitsu. We opted for more typical flavours though, and just as gelato scoops. Having seen others go past with daifuku, it looked like although they were cutely bundled, you ended up getting less gelato so it would fit in the wrap.

hareruya pantry toppings
The extra toppings options.

We couldn’t go past the Strong Matcha. We were certainly pleased with the deep green as the scoop emerged from the pozzetti. It was smooth, with good strength of flavour, a subtle sweetness, and no bitterness. It reminded us of cult favourite Suzukien in Japan.

hareruya pantry matcha
The Strong Matcha gelato in the fore. Just that green.

The Houjichocolate was a clever name amalgation (hojicha and chocolate). The flavours were also a clever combination, the earthy and deep floral notes of the hojicha melding well with chocolate. It was well balanced, so you could taste both, initially the chocolate then distinct hojicha in the finish.

hareruya pantry hojichocolate
The Houjichocolate and Red Fruits gelati.

We also had the Red Fruits, with elderflower and yuzu. This was a brighter flavour than the others, but not sour. There was definitely yuzu in it, present above the berry notes. It would make a good summer refresher.

hareruya pantry red fruits
Not actually the same picture, though similar. Red Fruits maybe a little more visible?

The hype is real, Hareruya Pantry should definitely be a gelato destination. If you like matcha, you have to have their strong matcha gelato. While the store isn’t particularly photogenic, you’re really there for the flavour, so just get your gelato and go.

hareruya pantry gelati
Get your gelati and get outside..

Food: 4/4
Setting: 1/2
Service: 1/2
Total: 6/8

Price point: $5.80 for a single scoop, $7.80 for a double. $16.50 for 500mls (we were tempted).

Value: On par or better than other gelati places.

Address: 15-17 Lincoln Square S, Carlton
Phone: TBA
Website: Hareruya Pantry

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