It’s been a sweltering but beautiful summery month, with temps refusing to dip below 28°C. Times like these, my best friends the ice-maker, ice-blocks/creams, and mool-naeng-myun (Korean cold buckwheat noodles) help me to keep cool at home when I don’t want to face the heat and go out (all my friends are food, *facepalm). I will happily skip out in SPF 50+ sunscreen though, when the day includes a trip to one of my favourite gelato joints.
The photos above are from the Messina branch at The Star/Pyrmont, and of the five stores around Sydney it’s the place to pick when wanting peace and quiet with your gelato in an air-conned environment. The photos below are of the Darlinghurst branch (taken last Winter), right next to the “Creative Department” – the “laboratorio and patisserie” headquarters of the gelato magicians. AKA – “Messina-gallery-of-gelato-all-so-beautiful-it-hurts-place”. Large gelato creations are enshrined in glass boxes suspended in a row along one wall, gilded with gold, and it’s an injustice to merely call them “ice-cream cakes”. Same goes for the individual beauties presented as you would haute couture jewelry in the middle of the shop.
I’ve been a fan of Messina for years, and I’m glad they’ve received much deserved recognition from the greater public thanks to MasterChef Australia. But. But.. Aside from bigger crowds (which affects seating, service, waiting times), the general atmosphere has seemed to change. Messina has been in memory a warm and inviting place despite the cool products, and filled with friendly locals.. their patisserie creations always whimsical and textured, as if inspired by a children’s story, flights of fancy transfigured and enjoyed through gelato. Now, servers are impatient (“don’t you dare ask for a taste test,” say their eyes and pursed lips), a “get in and get out” affair, creations catering for adults with tongue-in-cheek names, etc. Still, great gelato, just not the Messina I knew and loved. I once, too, believed it to be the best gelato in Sydney, but blasphemy was uttered from my lips when I realised it to be matched, even surpassed, by others. Do try it though, and go for the daily mixed and mashed specials!
Contact Gelato Messina:
- Shop 1/241 Victoria St, Darlinghurst, NSW
- 02) 8354 1223