Bondi Beach boasts an A-list of gelato operators, with Pompei's, Gelato Messina and Anita Gelato in residence. Now there's a new frozen kid on the block: Newtown's Mapo is crashing the beach party.
Matteo Pochintesta, owner of the self-described "artisan and sustainable" gelateria, estimates there are already six or seven gelato outlets at Bondi, which must make it a contender for the title of Australia's gelato capital.
Mapo has opened on Campbell Parade, and Pochintesta has already noticed differences between the clientele at his Newtown and Bondi stores.
In the inner-west, he sells more dairy-free gelato, while in Bondi, customers prefer the milk-based licks. And while vegan pistachio and sea salt caramel gelati fly out the door in Newtown, the biggest hits by the beach so far are bacio (chocolate and hazelnut) and salted coconut.
Even the preferred days for gelato differ. "Saturday is the busiest day in Newtown. Here [in Bondi] it's Sunday," he says.
An architect, Pochintesta set his profession aside a few years ago to train under a gelato master in Italy with an eye firmly on opening in Australia. In just a few years Mapo's produce-driven Italian ice has put itself at the pointy end of the conversation about Australia's best.
Last year, he turned Good Food's head by swirling Vegemite alternative Oomite – made with slow-fermented miso – through sourdough gelato, which he recommends pairing with an Oomite caramel topping.
"Coming from the Alps, it was always my dream to have a place near the sea," says Pochintesta.
Open Sun-Thu noon-10pm, Fri-Sat noon-10.30pm.
64-66 Campbell Parade, Bondi Beach, maponewtown.com