The wait is finally over Melbourne Gelato Messina has finally arrived! For those overseas, you may not have heard of Gelato Messina just yet but they are one of the best selling artisan gelato outlets in Sydney. Nearly everyone I know that goes to Sydney will visit Gelato Messina and have of their favourite flavours. I have been lucky to visit Sydney a couple of times and every time I will make sure I visit at least once!
I have heard rumours about Gelato Messina opening in Melbourne soon, but I didn’t expect it to be this year. But they were working very hard in the background and finally opened their doors to public on Thursday night. Libby and I was lucky enough to be invited to their launch party on Tuesday to try their gelato degustation and all the gelato that I could possible consume
They chose the ever growing Smith St to be their new home in Melbourne. I was quite surprised at how spacious the store was, as their stores in Sydney are quite small and don’t offer any seating. But in this store, it had some nice U-shape couching and tables. Turns out this was actually the largest Gelato Messina store and they hope it will become a flagship.
I started the night with a glass of Brown Brothers Prosecco and studied the menu. It was a 7 course degustation and to my surprise had both savoury and sweet elements ~
The first course was the GM & T with a Gin & Tonic jelly followed by a Rose and Juniper Cremeux and round sphere shaped cucumber sorbet. I really liked that the G&T jelly wasn’t too strong and didn’t over power any of the other flavours. The cucumber sorbet was also refreshing and definitely a great way to whet our appetite.
Please don’t be alarmed my Dearest Readers, this may sound like a strange combination but it actually worked really well! It’s a foie gras gelato filling wrapped in cherry sorbet, I’ve had a foie gras mousse in a dessert before so kind of expected a similar flavour. The richness and bold flavour from the foie gras was actually accentuated by the tartness of the cherry sorbet. I’d actually love to buy a small tub home if they sold it ~
Next was another savoury dish named ‘Pork Cracking’ with pork floss on the bottom of the bowl, topped with an apple and black pepper sorbet and a malt pop rock feuilletine (biscuit) on the side. Another interesting dish and definitely something Mr Bao would’ve loved to try. But the winner of this dish was definitely the malt pop rock feuillentine it was so crunchy and I loved the tingling feeling on my tongue. I can forgot the pork floss and have more of this feuillentine!
Time for some vegetables to make it a balanced meal This is the ‘What’s Up Doc’ dish which carrot gelato, candied heirloom baby carrots, pickled baby carrots, mandarin jelly, orange blossom creme chantilly and finished off with a little thyme honey comb. We were instructed to try having a little bit of everything, so I tried my best to put everything on my spoon and popped it into my mouth. And that’s when all the flavours came through, first it was the carrot, then the faint flavour of mandarin and lastly the thyme honeycomb.
The 5th course was the East Meets Chock which was a palate cleanser, a lychee sorbet with white balsamic gel, which reminded me very much of strawberries and balsamic vinegar. I think it worked kind of the same way and was definitely very refreshing.
Moving forward was the deconstructed banana split. I knew from reading the description I was going to LOVE it! It had banana gelato, salted caramel chantilly, freez dried rapsberry crunch and most importantly PEANUT BUTTER POWDER! All I could think of was Sarah! She would’ve LOVED this dessert so much! Everything just melded with each other so well, I really can’t pinpoint which component was my favourite, would love to get the recipe and get Mr Bao to try and replicate it at home for me!
Last course Donuts a l’Orange which is Gelato Messina’s take on the Duck l’Orange but turned it into a dessert. Donut was lovely and not greasy while the blood orange and fennel cut through some of the sweetness. The duck fat caramel it tasted like regular caramel to begin with then slowly the duck fat flavour will slowly emerge and was actually quite pleasant.
That concludes the unique and facinating gelato degustation with both savoury and sweet elements. We were also given a copy of Messina’s new book and also a little tub of gelato to take home with us. I was so grateful because Mr Bao was sick and sulking at home so at least I got to share some gelato with them.
I really appreciate the time and effort they spend in making it. Nick (owner) emphasized that all gelato will be churned in store and will not be flown from Sydney. The store in Melbourne also had to be larger because it had to accommodate a kitchen to make the elements used to make the gelato such as the apple crumble, chocolate brownie or yoghurt. They also stock a large range of flavours, at any given day there will be 40 flavours on display and 5 ‘special’ flavours which is changed every week making it’s quite hard to get bored of the flavours. But no matter what I try their pistachio and salted caramel are still my favourite! I’m glad we no longer need to jump on a plane to Sydney to get Gelato Messina