The queue for Gelato Messina spills out the door where employees hand out menus and try to maneuver the mob into something a bit less traffic-blocking. There is hardly room to move once inside the shop as patrons jostle for position at the long display case full of the creamy confections.
Flavors range from the standards – chocolate, vanilla, hazelnut and tiramisu; to the complex – pannacotta with fig jam and ameretti; to the strange – “Just Waiting for a Mate” Wild Turkey & raisin.
The gelato is rich and delicious. I tried the Italian nougat which was like frozen torrone morbido; apple pie, containing sweet baked apples and tasting like an apple pie was mixed in with the gelato (it was); finally, the pannacotta with fig jam and ameretti really couldn’t fail to please.
If the flavors weren’t good enough, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the staff at Messina make everything from scratch, gelato, the apple pie that gets mixed in, the ameretti, jams, ganaches – everything. This commitment to freshness shows in the quality of the product, but not in the prices. A cup or cone costs between AU$3 and $7, depending on the number of scoops.
Still not content to leave their awesomeness at that, Messina’s Laboratorio and Patisserie, a.k.a “Creative Department” occupies the shop next door, offering single portion gelato dessert sculptures such as the “Royale W’ Cheese” – a chocolate crackle gelato burger patty topped with compressed cucumber, white chocolate “cheese”, and a white chocolate and apricot gel fried egg all nestled inside a sponge cake bun.
Have you ever wanted to learn how gelato is made? Messina can help you here too. “Gelato Appreciation Classes” are held about once a month. If you’re interested, book early; the 2013 schedule is already completely booked!
Darlinghurst has become a foodie’s paradise. After dinner at any one of the new and interesting restaurants, be sure to save room for gelato.
Shop 1/241 Victoria St,
Darlinghurst NSW 2010
Additional locations in Surry Hills and the Star casino, Pyrmont