Melbourne's newly minted hawker-style market is just about to rotate its eateries-in-residence. From May 2, Gelato Messina will make its CBD debut alongside bun aficionados Wonderbao for three months. This savoury-sweet combo will replace the Koi and Monkey's Corner pop-up from the first round of tenancies.
This partnership is not the duo's first, having also teamed up in Sydney back in 2016. For HWKR, patrons can expect a special collab dessert called duck a l'orange — a decadent duck fat and caramel-filled bao doughnut, served with orange gelato.
Plus, Messina will do away with the simple scoop model for this pop-up and serve a plated menu of five of its gelato cake creations in single-serve miniature form. This includes the magic mushroom, cocoa nib and coconut and cherry cakes, along with the macaron gelato sandwiches and hazelnut and coffee tarts.
On the Wonderbao side of things, the eatery's famed steamed buns will of course be front-and-centre in a menu exclusive to HWKR. It focuses on three DIY bao kits, including crackling pork belly, crispy roast duck with XO sauce and spicy green chicken curry. Cured salmon with pickled goji berries and seared beef salads are also up for grabs, alongside craft brews.
The collab kitchen will join street-food stall Chanteen by Diana Chan (Masterchef) and Rice Paper Scissors' Asian fusion pop-up, Khao — whose original tenancies have been extended — alongside permanent tenant Manymore Cafe and Bar, which is run by local not-for-profit group the MAI Foundation.