Good times with Christine Manfield

Author: Maggie Scardifeld
Photography: Caroline McCredie

It's time to get Insta-ready, people. Chef Nathan Sasi has opened a soft-servery, Good Times Artisan Ice-Cream, on Macleay Street in Sydney's Potts Point and dessert diva Christine Manfield has consulted on the first menu. On opening night, every item was sold out by 9.15pm.

"I love collaborating with gen-next," says Manfield, who's been working with the former Nomad chef on the menu since last December. "I did a couple of pop-ups when Nathan was at Nomad and we've always stayed mates. He asked me to be involved because we're on the same page, and Potts Point is my hood."

The artisan ice-creamery has transformed a former noodle bar with a big neon ice-cream cone outside, bright pastels and playful signage reading "No lick-out laws here" and "Lick me till ice-cream". It's about the good times, all right.

The menu will evolve, but for the opening the duo have gone with a loosley Mardi Gras theme. All up, there are six soft-serve cones and four ice-cream sandwiches, each with elaborate toppings or "hair-styles", as Manfield calls them.

In a tribute to David Bowie, The Ziggy Stardust sees strawberry ice-cream pressed with crunchy, dehydrated blackberry and gold-dusted white chocolate stars, while the Absolutely Fabulous-inspired Sweetie Darling teams chocolate and strawberry soft-serve with toasted marshmallows and chocolate pretzels. As for the ice-cream sandwiches, the, ahem, Lickalotapuss is a favourite of Manfield's, with vanilla ice-cream, tropical fruit sorbets and ice-creams and liquorice sandwiched between vanilla shortbread. Then there's the Start Me Up, complete with an espresso-chocolate ball hidden in the centre.

"With most soft-serves you buy a base and all you do is add your milk," she says. "Nathan is making everything from scratch on-site daily. It's more than just ice-cream. The ice-cream is just the starting point." Everything comes in at a neat (if exxy) $10, and there are also vegan and gluten-free options.

Although Sasi counts New York's Big Gay Ice-cream as one of his main inspirations, his love affair with soft-serve started young. "I remember playing touch footy on the road with my mates and mid-game we would hear the Mr Whippy music coming up the street," he says. "The biggest part of deciding to do this was to build on that childhood dream."

Sasi's new CBD restaurant, Mercado, is slated to open just after Easter. "It's coming, I promise," he says. "We're waiting on the build to be complete, but then we'll be straight into it." Good times.

Good Times Artisan Ice-Cream, 87b Macleay St, Potts Point, NSW

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