“Japanese-inspired, born in Melbourne” is the slogan of the new Kōri coral ice cream. He arrived in Hawthorn in August and he’s already hitting the sweet spot. “We definitely underestimated how busy we were going to be,” says ex-Coda chef Joane Yeoh, who owns the business with Bernard Chu, co-founder of South Yarra Luxbite bakery. “We try to maintain consistency and quality [but] we don’t want people queuing for a long time. Here you’ll find 24 flavors of ice cream, including eight vegan options. Some of the most popular include matcha (and pistachio matcha) and strawberry shortcake. Or you can venture into tastier territory with flavors like miso, black sesame, saké dassai, and sweet potato kuromitsu (a Japanese sugar syrup similar to molasses). Yeoh’s number one, however, is fuji apple sorbet.
Kariton Sorbetes, CBD (and Footscray)
Just eight months after parking the proverbial kariton (Filipino street ice cream cart) and opening a brick and mortar store in Footscray, Kariton Sorbetes has expanded with a new ice cream shop on Russell Street in the CBD. It’s a futuristic flagship for former Lume and Sunda chef John Rivera and former pastry chef Maha Minh Duong, who launched Kariton as a take-out service in 2020 – aiming to become “Asia’s Messina”. . Here, find all the popular flavors — like ube (purple yam), mango float, and champorado (rice pudding) — in balls, pots, or fluffy rolls. Plus, taho soft-serve (silky tofu-flavoured ice cream topped with soy milk panna cotta, boba pearls, and oolong tea syrup) and Chinatown-exclusive rotating slushies (like the Sarsi Spida-slushie à sarsaparilla with tonka bean milk froth). The Filipino-inspired menu is projected onto the sky-blue curved ceiling.
Pantry Hareruya, Carlton
“It sounds like hallelujah, but in Japanese it means ‘sunny shop’,” says Kantaro Okada of Hareruya Pantry, his aptly named, sunny restaurant – a new addition to Carlton. Behind a red brick facade (and a rolling door), it overlooks the Lincoln Square Playground, which is exactly where Okada (which is also behind the Leonie upstairs, and the Le Bajo and 279 cafes ) imagined its customers perched with bento boxes, pastries and ice cream. When it comes to ice cream, there are around eight flavors available to take away in a cup or jar, wrapped in daifuku-style mochi, or sandwiched with monaka-style rice cakes. The offer is centered on Japanese flavors; you might find matcha, calpis (a non-carbonated soft drink) and yuzu, as well as avocado yogurt, made by Chef Ayano Suzuki.
Additional reporting by Emily Holgate, Chynna Santos and James Williams.