5 January 2024

Feel the churn at Spilt Milk Bar

| Lucy Ridge
Omer wears a green shirt and stands in front of list of gelato flavours.

Omer Siddiq is the owner of Spilt Milk Bar Dickson. Photo: Lucy Ridge.

Omer Siddiq comes from a foodie family: his parents own Taj Agra Indian restaurants, and Omer owns Pattysmiths burgers in Canberra. He would often take the Dickson Pattysmiths team for ice cream at Spilt Milk Bar after work. And then he decided to buy the place.

“It wasn’t really a business decision, I just really love ice cream,” Omer told Region.

One day I gave the owners a call and said ‘Hey, can I buy your ice cream store?’”

“I drove out to Orange the next day and we sorted out a deal.”

Exterior of Spilt Milk.

The Dickson shop is a favourite after-work spot for locals. Photo: Lucy Ridge.

Spilt Milk Bar was started by Orange locals Sarah Quigley and Andrew Hamilton, and they also have a location in Tamworth. Sarah provided all the Spilt Milk Bar recipes for Omer when he bought the business so the quality has stayed the same.

Omer kindly invited me into the store for a morning of gelato churning: a dream scenario for any ice cream lover!

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Head gelato maker Anuj Sapkota was already busily at work setting up for the day. The shop opens at midday but he’s in there early to get the freezers stocked. He tells me that on a busy weekend they might go through 50 or 60 tubs of ice cream: around 400 litres all up!

Man in Spilt Milk t-shirt collects freshly churned gelato in a metal tub.

Anuj Sapkota is head gelato maker at Spilt Milk Bar. Photo: Lucy Ridge

Unlike other gelato stores that simply churn a pre-made mix, Spilt Milk does pretty much everything from scratch. Zesting and juicing lemons, grinding pistachios, making their own caramel, and they source raw milk from Dubbo’s Big Little Dairy Co and pasteurise it in-house!

Omer explains that this maintains the flavour, and improves the quality of their gelato.

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To best appreciate the high quality of their base, Omer gives me a taste of the signature Spilt Milk flavour. This is gelato at its purest: milk, cream and sugar. Delicious.

Food writer Lucy Ridge has a go in the kitchen. Photo: Region.

The flavours at Spilt Milk are seasonal, so at the moment there’s a delicious Mango Tango gelato on offer and this morning we are churning Strawberries and Cream.

The fresh strawberries are blitzed into the milk: I have a go on the blitzer (but Anuj is sure to finish the job). The gelato must be mixed properly otherwise you risk having things split during the churning process. When churned, the strawberry gelato comes out a pale, pastel pink. Omer tells me that the colour of gelato is a good indication of its quality.

“Sometimes you see very bright colours, which usually means it’s artificial. And when the gelato is all heaped up, then that’s a sign they’ve used a lot of stabilisers.”

A white hand holds a two scoop ice cream.

Freshly churned gelato and seasonal ingredients are on the menu at Spilt Milk Bar. Photo: Spilt Milk Bar Dickson.

The few ingredients that the team doesn’t make from scratch themselves come from local business KC’s Bakery Workshop. Omer said KC was a regular customer and they got to chatting. She now supplies the store with honeycomb and brownies. It fits with the business’s ethos of supporting local.

“I’ve been so fortunate to have the local community support me and my businesses, so of course I want to support other locals wherever I can,” Omer said.

Spilt Milk Bar Dickson is located at 70/2 Cape Street, Dickson. They are open seven days a week from midday. Follow Spilt Milk Bar Dickson on Instagram.

Original Article published by Lucy Ridge on Riotact.

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