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FOOD & DRINK

An In-Depth Look at Giapo's New Discombobulating Menu

The craziest inventions yet from Auckland's Einstein of ice cream.
By Stephen Heard
August 30, 2017
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An In-Depth Look at Giapo's New Discombobulating Menu

The craziest inventions yet from Auckland's Einstein of ice cream.
By Stephen Heard
August 30, 2017
  shares

There's savoury and sweet, and then there's the 'discombobulating' menu at Giapo.

Since moving into their new and improved premises at 12 Gore Street, hare brain ideas have been rapidly flowing at the experimental ice cream restaurant. As well as inventions like the popular giant squid, the larger space has allowed New Zealand's own 'Einstein of ice cream', Gianpaolo Grazioli, to throw the rulebook completely out the window and develop the most unlikely of unlikely food pairings.

Inspired by comfort foods from around the world, the discombobulating menu does the unthinkable and places ice cream in the ring with Italy's arancini, Japan's gyoza and Canada's poutine, among other things. While they sound absolutely bonkers on paper, there is method to Grazioli's madness — the fusion of hot, cold, salty and sweet somehow manages to work in harmony. Here, we take a look at five items on Giapo's craziest menu yet.

POUTINE

The Canadian drinking snack, which originated in Quebec, has been completely reimagined as a main course-dessert hybrid. On a bed of double-fried Gisborne Agria chips you'll find dots of poutine ice cream — literal 'curds' of ice cream made with savoury and earthy KauPiro cheese from Whangarei. Ice cream flavours include honey-infused vanilla, oolong matcha and hazelnut. The process comes full circle with a slathering of caramel sauce as the 'gravy'.

ARANCINI BALLS

The concept of fried rice balls stuffed with ice cream is the most bizarre yet most surprising item on the discombobulating menu. One bite through the crispy outer shell of Giapo's arancini will open you up to saffron-infused rice that surrounds a cloud of Italian meringue, crunchy amaretti biscuit and the centre filling of silky ice cream. The marriage of hot and cold and salt and sweet is a revelation.

PAROA PARAI (MAORI FRIED BREAD)

Maori fried bread is a treat by itself, but how about when you stuff it with ice cream? To perfect the recipe of traditional paroa parai, Giapo worked alongside Samoan-Maori chef Monique Fiso, who has showcased her culturally-inspired dishes at New York's Musket Room and Hiakai pop-ups. After being fried, the soft and slightly chewy bread is cut open and filled with ice cream — becoming, quite possibly, the best ice cream sandwich in the world.

PANI PURI

The popular Indian street snack can be filled and topped with any of the inventive flavour options on the menu at Giapo. Think: Afghan cookie, hokey pokey, manuka-smoked peanut butter and the signature Giapo Buono — a combination of caramel, meringue, praline and amaretti that comes with gold dust and is finished with a blow torch. The crispy shells are intended to be devoured in one bite, though you'll likely need two. An unholy explosion of flavour.

GYOZA

Japanese gyoza dumplings have also been given a once over. Instead of minced meat, cabbage, chives and sesame oil, inside these delightful crispy pockets you'll find burned butter, shiitake mushroom and rosemary ice cream. Like the arancini, the dumplings are fried with the ice cream inside — in this case pan-fried. To avoid them melting, Giapo has developed a recipe so the ice cream can withstand 120 degrees.

Find Giapo and the discombobulating menu at 12 Gore Street, CBD.

Published on August 30, 2017 by Stephen Heard

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