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Mapo Is Newtown's New Simple, Sustainable and Super-Tasty Gelateria

Head to King Street for a scoop of Pepe Saya-spiked salted caramel, vegan Sicilian pistachio and organic fior di latte.
By Marissa Ciampi
April 17, 2019
By Marissa Ciampi
April 17, 2019

Newtown's King Street has a new gelateria in its ranks. Mapo opened last month and is scooping quality gelato with a focus on sustainable ingredients. Italian-born owner Matteo Pochintesta is a rare architect-turned-gelato maker who trained under the owner of Milan's gelateria Ciacco — and recently returned to Sydney to put his skills to the test.

Sure, there are plenty of gelato shops along King Street, but Pochintesta is bringing a purist's sensibility to the local ice cream game. That means he's not turning out complicated flavour creations. Instead, Pochintesta is focusing on using the highest quality ingredients and all seasonal fruit.

Signature flavours include the pistachio, made with certified premium Sicilian nuts, and the single-origin chocolate gianduja. Both are vegan, but do not include milk replacements, like most vegan ice creams do. Instead, Pochintesta keeps them creamy by mixing the solid ingredients with water — which, surprisingly, really does work.

Kitti Gould

Other traditional Italian flavours include the fior di latte and the stracciatella (chocolate chip), both made with Barambah organic milk. For fruit flavours, expect in-season Australian varieties only — at the moment, there's organic nectarine, red plum, watermelon, and pineapple and mint.

Flavours will remain limited to 12–14 at a time, with plenty of specials on offer. At the moment, those include blueberry and buffalo ricotta, matcha green tea and the incredibly creamy sea salt caramel — made with Pepe Saya butter, no less.

For the cooler months ahead, liquorice, pear and cinnamon, and mascarpone and coffee are all on the docket. And, for the upcoming Easter holidays, Mapo has teamed up with Sonoma to create a decadent hot cross bun gelato. Plus, the shop will serve ice cream buns every weekend through Easter — stuffing those Sonoma HCBs with any gelato flavour you like.

Kitti Gould

The shop is also looking to keep things as sustainable as possible, using all compostable packaging. Another noticeable difference is that the gelato is kept in shiny stainless steel vats instead of in your typical display case. Mapo does not use any stabilisers, and instead keeps their gelato fresh the old school way — by keeping it covered.

Don't worry, you're still invited to give any flavour a taste before making your final decision. As the choices are quite straightforward, it's suggested you mix two — and, with the 'one scoop with two flavours' option only costing fifty cents extra, there's really no excuse not to.

Mapo is now open at 123 King Street, Newtown. Opening hours are Sunday through Thursday from noon–10pm, and Friday through Saturday from noon–10.30pm.

Images: Kitti Gould.

Published on April 17, 2019 by Marissa Ciampi
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