Type of food: Gelato
A visit to Gelato Messina is usually near the top of list of ‘best places to eat’ in Sydney. It featured highly in my guide book, on Urbanspoon and on Trip Advisor. There are a number of Messina shops dotted around the city and the suburbs – from Darlinghurst to Bondi to Parramatta.
As someone who is rather partial to ice creams and sorbets, I stopped by at Gelato Messina (Surry Hills) regularly during my stay in Sydney. This was hardly surprising as my walk home from work involved walking down Crown Street so it would have been hard to not stop by, especially on a warm day. In fact, it became a little addictive! The popularity of the place means that there are often queues, however, I was lucky enough to not have to queue. Perhaps it was the timing – I often went at around 6pm.
There is a large range of flavours to tempt you, from the traditional such as vanilla and chocolate to the more adventurous such as dulce de leche. There is also a weekly specials menu featuring various flavour combinations. I sampled many flavours, each as delicious as the other 🙂 These included apple pie (with little pieces of apple pie), cheesecake, peanut butter and figs in Marsala. The ice cream was beautifully smooth and creamy and full of flavour. As one would expect from an artisan company, it did not have the taste or texture of an ice cream made with vegetable fat.
From the specials menu, I tried the intriguing Nacho Libra: this was a savoury choice of avocado ice cream topped with tomato salsa and corn chips. This was not as strange as it sounds and the creamy avocado ice cream actually worked well!
The cost was reasonable and there was a choice of four sizes: tiny ($3), one scoop ($4), two scoops ($6) and three scoops ($7). You could also buy by the tub.
So was this the best ice cream I have ever tasted? The answer is probably no – I’ve had some wonderful homemade artisan ice creams in the UK and very special gelato in Italy (especially in San Gimignano). However, Messina is certainly up there for me and I can understand the hype!
Gelato Messina is quite rightly one of Sydney’s treasures (and Fitzroy in Melbourne). There was something rather special for me walking home from work along buzzing Crown Street with an ice cream from Messina. I certainly miss seeing their red shop sign canopy!
Gelato Messina (Surry Hills)
389 Crown Street
Sydney. NSW 2010
Tel: + 61 2 9331 1588
Opening hours: Sunday – Thursday 12.00 – 23.00
Friday – Saturday 12.00 – 23.30
Typical cost per person: Up to $10 for a huge gelato