Monday, March 18, 2013

N2 Extreme Gelato, Chinatown

With the abundance of gelato vendors and ice-creameries, as well as the sudden fro-yo boom in Sydney, we're spoilt for choice when it comes to frozen sweets. My favourite place though, hands down, no contest is N2 Extreme Gelato. And yes, I have tried Messina, Rivareno, Cow & the Moon, and any other place you can throw at me.

You may go purely for the science-lab chic concept and spooky nitrogen SFX novelty, but the gelato is legit, real legit. If you haven't heard about it by now, N2 is an ice-cream parlour with a difference - all gelato is made to order, mixtures of fresh ingredients are churned with liquid nitrogen until frozen. The set-up is laboratory-like, with stainless stell counter tops and perspex shields, the ice-cream mixtures stored single-serve in dozens of conical flasks. The staff are dressed in kitschy lab coats and nerd glasses, surrounded by a constantly streaming mists of nitrogen vapour.

Lab counter, N2 Extreme Gelato

Liquid nitrogen churning, N2 Extreme Gelato

The idea is that since liquid nitrogen freezes things ten times faster than a conventional ice-cream maker, using it to make gelato reduces the formation of large ice particles and results in a smoother texture. Although the wait is a little longer than the old scoop and scoot, the wonderful fresh flavours and beautiful consistency is completely worth the extra couple of minutes. The gelato is served straight from the mixer, and made with real ingredients such as fresh fruit, cookies, chocolate... the list goes on. Best thing is, they're open every day until 11PM which makes for the perfect late-night snack or a cheap and sneaky post-dinner dessert. All scoops are $6, and the richness renders a single serving more than enough for one person.

Ice-cream cone, N2 Extreme Gelato

The weekly rotating menu showcases new flavour concoctions and occasionally an old favourite. The combinations include popular classics such as peppermint choc chip as well as unique and exotic inventions with cheeky names such as the Mardi Gras special, Golden Showers (lime sorbet with mixed pepper, salted rim, tequila spray).

Some of my most memorable flavours incude: creme brulée (my personal favourite flavour, with a torched sugar crust), refreshing avocado & mint, smooth and decadent sour cream chocolategrey soybet (soy milk sorbet infused with earl grey tea), buttered popcornRosemary's Baby (rosemary & honey gelato), cigar-smoked Hainanese coffee, and the savoury salt & pepper calamari (milk gelato with Szechuan pepper and sea salt, topped with dehydrated calamari).

Conical flasks, N2 Extreme Gelato

43/1 Dixon St , Sydney 2000

N2 Extreme Gelato on Urbanspoon


  1. great photos, esp capturing all that smoke. I love how creative they are with their flavours.

  2. cigar-smoked Hainanese coffee - intrigued

  3. This place looks awesome...definitely would choose the creme brulee flavour!!

  4. "old scoop and scoot" patent worthy

  5. That ice-cream is MEGA :) def not stingy on the scoops. Im dying to go to N2!

  6. I've heard about this place! Been trying to find the time to go for a while, your photos just make me want to go even more!

    I love your blog and your recipes and have nominated you for a Liebster Award - please check it out!

  7. nice shots! mm the cigar smoked hainanese coffee is one of my favs too :)

  8. I've only been once but I'm hooked. The flavours are interesting but best of all their stuff is refreshing, not like a mouthful of double-cream.

  9. i love this place, brings out the inner nerdness in me! my fav is still the earl grey caramel!

  10. Ohhhh the look of that ice-cream is just tooooo much to handle :)
    I just found your blog via Joseph on Colour Me Dang... So glad! Thanks for such incredibly delicious pictures!

    ♥ Morgan @
    MusicFashionArt made by me x

  11. Interesting! Must try. I must say I am a total Messina devotee. Do they have specials like Messina?

    1. Yes! They have a menu that changes weekly so there's no fixed flavours list but the classics do make a regular appearance on the rotation :)

  12. The gelato here is so creamy and they give you heaps! My favourite so far has been White Rabbit :)

  13. Mmm looks delicious! And very creative x

  14. Chinatown is still so busy