N2 Extreme Gelato has brought its hard hats and industrial supplies of liquid nitrogen to Newtown, with a new outlet on King Street. Inside, you’ll find a replica of a construction site – which is pretty apt as these guys are in the business of building great flavour-stacked ice-cream.
As the ‘Do Not Across’ tape suggests, a little self control is needed when you turn up here. After all, ever since the original N2 Extreme Gelato opened two years ago in Chinatown, it’s attracted unending crowds.
The concept is the same – here’s how I described it in my original post:
Unlike the usual vision of some poor staff member deep-cabinet-diving to wriggle a scoop out of a ginormous rock of gelato (and you praying they’ll be spared from end-of-shift RSI after all that wrist-heavy excavation) – at this new establishment, employees wear white labcoats, empty mixtures from conical flasks into eye-catching KitchenAids and, as the churning happens, they blast enough liquid nitrogen to flash-freeze the creamy blend into gelato. It’s highly watchable, draws out all working camera phones from within a notable radius and results in enough atmospheric billows of cold smoke to make you feel like you’re at your school prom (minus the awkward dancing).
It means the flavours are snappy, ultra-fresh and deeply creamy.
The Newtown crew might have ditched the lab coats (it’s pretty humid in the King Street outlet, so I can understand the wardrobe switch), but every element of this gelato parlour is a photo-op-in-the-marking. Waiting for your order is still measured in a tempo of liquid nitrogen blasts and slow-blooming clouds of smoke. And the menu is just as attention-seeking.
N2 Extreme Gelato’s selection gets rebooted every Thursday (although the Mango Sorbet is allowed permanent residency), so currently the Newtown range has the boozy and couch-potato-perfect combo of Beer and Prawn Crackers ($6), with local brewery Young Henrys supplying the lager; Pash Me Pavlova ($6), which is a summery kiss-off between strawberry gelato, passionfruit puree and meringue; the T2-inspired Flutterby Iced Tea ($6), and wow, they even have the chutzpah to name one flavour, 2 Girls 1 Cup ($6). I suspect it’s nowhere near as gross as the viral Internet sensation of the same name reportedly is (N2’s version has sour cream choc gelato and corn pieces, if you’re wondering).
Also, “fear of needles” seems to be a non-existent phobia here, with people enthusiastically ordering the Ferrero Reveal ($8), a Nutella gelato with crushed hazelnut bites, a choc-top paved with Rice Bubble pebbles, with a syringe plunged right in – and loaded with ganache for when you need to administer even more chocolate to your system.
My current fave is the neighbourhood-flattering New Kid in Newtown ($8), which has a choc-top that seals in a brilliant scoop of yuzu and coconut sorbet (that’s speckled with bitter cocoa nibs throughout). It’s crowned with a showpiece of freeze-dried mandarin and a booster shot of kaffir lime & coconut cream. It’s so damn good. (And it’s vegan-friendly, too, if you’re after a dairy-free option.)
Like its Chinatown predecessor, Newtown’s N2 Extreme Gelato is incredibly popular, so after picking up our order, we made some escape plans instead of sticking around (upside: we did leave a little more room for other people to squeeze in)! It also does get a little stuffy in there, too, so that’s another reason not to loiter too long. But I suspect (like a lot of people), I’ll be dropping in quite a lot and making myself a pretty permanent fixture there this summer.