The Gelato Messina Experience

August 14th, 2012

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Gelato Messina, haven of all things frozen and delicious, is a dangerously short walk from Poepke’s front door. We’re certain that even if blindfolded we could beat a path to their counter to enjoy a scoop of Sicilian Trifle, Poached Figs in Marsala or perennial favourite, Yoghurt and Caramel. So naturally we were thrilled when the Messina team opened the Creative Department Laboratorio and Patisserie next door to the original store, a place where, in the words of part-owner Declan, ‘we push the boundaries and experiment with ingredients that we pair with gelato’.

Declan tells us that Messina loves people that find joy in what they make and that they love to make people smile. We believe it is actually impossible to come face to face with their endearing treats and remain po-faced. It is worth popping in just to see the Royale w Cheese: a cheeseburger-shaped monoporzione featuring chocolate crackle gelato, a financier bun and a slice of compressed cucumber.

While it is one thing to admire the cakes, it is another thing entirely to sit with a spoon and completely lose yourself. Rosie selflessly volunteered to take the plunge…

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Of all the delectable cakes on display it is the Mini Me that is winking at me, that little mushroom-shaped monoporzione with its speckled red cap and its… is that candy grass it’s resting on? I work my spoon to cut through the dense top of the mushroom, and the first bite is mind-blowing. Creamy dark chocolate gelato; dense, smooth and a tiny bit bitter. It’s cold and creamy and thick. Each dive of the spoon reveals a new layer. A short ‘stem’ of firm vanilla gelato, almost invisible at first, separated from the rich chocolate gelato by a cleverly concealed crunchy peanut butter cookie… oozing dulce de leche? Where did you come from?

Surprising, soft and salty, this Mini Me is coating my mouth and blissing me out. It reminds me of my childhood, of the sweet and illicit comfort of ‘special treat’ food. This reminiscence is underlined, highlighted and italicised by the popping candy and feuilletine hard grass base of the dessert. I can actually hear the popping rocks sparkling against my jaw. I forgot what this felt like! I finish that bad boy (only just) but I leave feeling as full of surprise as gelato- and that is a wonderful thing.

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The Creative Department
– Laboratorio and Patisserie
243 Victoria St,
Darlinghurst NSW 2010

Opening times
Monday to Saturday: 12pm to 10pm
Sunday: 12pm to 7pm

P: 02 8354 1223

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