MELBOURNE | Kariton Sorbites is something that I’ve already written about, when it launched as a lockdown project in August 2020. You can read about how it all started over here. Why am I writing about it again? Because in January this year, the online gelato business opened its first bricks and mortar location.
Located in Footscray, Kariton Sorbites builds upon its online offering, which has been paused for the time being. Fine dining chefs John Rivera and Minh Duong are still putting their spin on gelato, and the inspiration is still drawn from Filipino deserts, cocktails, and produce, and the ice-cream carts that roam the streets of the Philippines. The expanded space, however, means that they’re now exploring beyond the Philippines, to the wider South-East Asian region for inspiration.
The space is designed to evoke childhood memories of getting ice-cream from street carts in the Philippines. It’s a fun, bright space that nods to traditional Filipino features like jeepneys (galvanised metal), rustic plasterwork and tinted coloured glass, and stained timber. Behind the counter, the space is open, allowing customers to see through to the production occurring at the back.
There’s 12 flavours on the the menu, including the popular buko pandan (coconut and pandan gelato with pandan jelly, candied coconut, a crispy toasted pinipig (rice flake), and ube halaya (ube (purple yam / taro) gelato with ube jam, preserved blackberry. Included in the 12 are two rotating flavours and two soft serve creations.
If it’s on the menu when you order, you have to try Kariton’s take on the Filipino dessert taho. It features silken tofu and fresh soy milk soft serve, covered with generous lashings of Boba Bar’s signature oolong tea arnibal (brown sugar syrup), bouncy tapioca pearls and chewy bubbly boba. A mind blowing flavour sensation.
You can order one, two or three scoops either in a cup, cone or Bread Top milk bun. You can also order one litre tubs to go, and ready-to-eat cakes and creations like calamansi icy-poles, and pandan gelato and jelly lamingtons.
For now, the Footscray store is the only place that you can find John and Minh’s delectable creations, but they do have plans to expand both within and outside of Melbourne. They key is finding locations where they can really fit in and become a part of the community, not just another gelato shop. Watch this space.
50 Leeds Street
Sun, Wed – Thu: 2:00pm to 9:00pm
Fri: 2:00pm to 10:00pm
Sat: 12:00pm to 10:00pm