Roald Dahl characters. Porn-star name generators. Long nights. These were a few tactics used to name Kenny Lover, an ice-cream and hot chip shop by Mike Baker and Dan Mason (Henry Sugar), alongside Tom Peasnell (Dexter, Peaches, Takeaway Pizza and CHEEK) and creative Maria Angelico.
The former auto mechanic's shop, just down from Thornbury Picture House, is a '70s trip with bright orange vinyl and suede banquettes, shag pile carpet on the ceiling and bubblegum floor tiles.
Baker became infatuated with ice-cream after training in Michelin-starred Spanish restaurants and he uses cold stabilisation to maintain flavour integrity.
Flavours range from classic chocolate (using Brunswick's Ratio Cocoa Roasters), to native Australian (Davidson plum and ginger) and inventive (kalamata olive and white chocolate).
If you're curious but can't commit to a whole scoop, split the baby cup into two halves.
Add "Kenny crunch" salted and candied pumpkin seeds or "Kenny sprinkles" coloured and candied rice bubbles for $1, and hot chips for dipping for $6.
"There's so much gelato in Melbourne. We wanted our own thing and there's nothing less Italian to me than ice-cream and hot chips," Baker says.
Also on the menu are seasonal spiders made with Henry Sugar bottle fermented sodas.
There are loose plans to add a liquor licence and open late down the track.
Open Tue-Sun 1-10pm.
796 High Street, Thornbury, kennylover.com.au