Pidapipo, Melbourne

Author: Wendy Hargreaves

Carlton landmark King & Godfree is set for a major facelift in 2015, expanding up and out to create an Italian food and drink mecca inspired by Eataly, the mega-enoteca that has taken Italy and the US by storm.

The Valmorbida family's plans for the 130-year-old wine and food store include adding a restaurant, café and takeaway food depot. Adjoining shops and first floor offices will be absorbed into this massive project in coming months, creating a collection of linked, but distinct shops and dining areas.

The first taste of this grand plan is Pidapipo, a permanent incarnation of the pop-up gelateria that Lisa Valmorbida, an alumna of Carpigiani Gelato University, ran from a space in Faraday Street for six months earlier this year.

The new Lygon Street gelateria's design, by Melbourne interior architect Rabindra Naidoo, channels 1950s and '60s Italy with steel, brass, terrazzo and leather detailing.

On the gelati front, 20 flavours are made from scratch every day and stored in pozzeti tubs set in marble benches. Old-school flavours will rule the day, with a few out-there combinations - burnt butter, rosemary and chestnut, musk and crema, rhubarb and vincotto among them - to round out the mix.

Valmorbida sources Jersey milk from Warrnambool, cheese from St Kilda's La Formaggeria and honey from a pair of beehives on the shop's roof. Australia's first Valrhona chocolate tap will fill cones pre-gelato scoop and there'll be brioche rolls filled with gelato, chocolate and whipped cream on order as well.

"With Christmas almost here, we'll have flavours like eggnog and plum pudding," says Valmorbida. "We'll also have a Christmas-inspired banoffee pie flavour with fresh banana gelato and spices like cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg, along with crumbled pastry shell and caramel sauce."

Add DJs creating a party mood every Friday night and you have an impressive start to the next chapter in the King & Godfree story.

Pidapipo, 299 Lygon St, Carlton, Vic, (03) 9347 4596. Opens Friday, December 12.

Looking for more Melbourne dining options? Check out our list of the best restaurants in Melbourne.







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