Cliché-free ice-cream

Antipodean Gelato in Frankfurt combines Australian coolness with first-class Italian dessert.
by Anna Moldenhauer | 7/3/2020

“Gelato” reads a round plaque over the entrance – in black handwriting. At first sight, there are no other indications what the small store in Frankfurt’s Nordend has to offer. Instead, you enter a white area with tender peach tones that creates a clear sense of cleanliness. The eye is attracted inside by the gleaming details in brass and then wanders across a counter-top in appropriately colored marble and perforated metal panels via the mirrored ceiling louvers into the depth of the room. What lies hidden beneath the mysterious round lids inserted into the counter-top can be read on the wall menu, with its sliding letters. Gelato, ranging from “Salt Coconut” to “Tongan Vanilla” hand-made using recipes by Taila Semerano, an Italian gelato world champion who has her own ice-cream parlor in Apulia. However, the inspiration for the concept behind Antipodean Gelato evidently originated on the other side of the world, in Australia. Rachel Dodoo-Mehl, the founder of Antipodean Gelato, grew up there and arrived in Frankfurt in 2012 with her husband Christian Mehl. “In Australia the hospitality business is slightly different – there good food can be expensive, and the focus is more on the details,” Mehl comments. Their translated their yearning for creative, high-grade ice-cream into their very own concept: “What we wanted simply didn’t exist in Frankfurt do we decided we’d therefore do it ourselves,” Mehl comments.

For the design on almost 45 square metres, a creative studio was won over that has already proved their sure feel for stylishness in their projects in Frankfurt: The architects of Aberja. "We developed the entire concept, the design and the kitchen planning, and the project agency Tatcraft took over the execution of the ceiling and the counter," reports Aberja’s Juliane Maier. The result is a true gem where not just the interior design is compelling: The home-made gelato is churned out exclusively using fresh ingredients and what is on offer therefore depends first and foremost on what season it is for fruit and vegetables. Added to which, a good half of the flavors are vegan. The coconut ice-cream is therefore not made of a mixture of cow’s milk and coconut milk, but solely using organic coconut milk. The ice-cream is only made in small amounts and is therefore always fresh: What a difference to the customary method, and one you can taste. Another secret is the cooling temperature, which is slightly less than for normal ice-cream. “As a result, the gelato only lasts for a few days, but it has a stronger flavor,” explains Christian Mehl. And he’s quite happy to be watched at work, as through the large pane of glass towards the back guests can watch the ice-cream being made in the store’s rear section. The Antipodean Gelato concept, with its emphasis on crafts skills and quality rather than on profit is quite a challenge: “We would not doubt post greater sales with a classical ice-cream parlor set-up,” he says. But the connoisseurs among Frankfurt ice-cream lovers will no doubt more than appreciate the decision in favor of high-quality produce in a decidedly elegant atmosphere.

Antipodean Gelato
Bornheimer Landstraße 18
60316 Frankfurt am Main