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FOOD & DRINK

Gelato Messina

With forty plus clever and classic kinds of ice cream and sorbet made on site daily, this sliver of Victoria Street makes ice cream as a meal seem like a grown-up choice.
By Bethany Small
October 30, 2011
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Gelato Messina

With forty plus clever and classic kinds of ice cream and sorbet made on site daily, this sliver of Victoria Street makes ice cream as a meal seem like a grown-up choice.
By Bethany Small
October 30, 2011
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The things you learn from taking someone for ice cream who did International Studies in their undergrad, not Art History! My friend, who always insists on coming here when we're in transit between the Darlinghurst and Paddington galleries, has taught me that 'Messina' is actually evocative of a place in Italy and, you know, East Sydney's history as a pretty Italo-excellent culinary location. In other words, it's not just a name that sounds like a Duke from a Shakespeare play. (You guessed it: Orsino. Having him played by Channing Tatum is, I'm 90% sure, more of a concern than getting the name wrong.)

Either way, Gelato Messina is old school: it's been around since 2002 and they aim to make ice cream the way it was done a hundred years ago. More than forty flavours are made daily on the premises and come at you via paper cup or waffle cone ($3.90 a single scoop or $4.90 for a double). Coffees and milkshakes are of a craftsmanship that tastes as artisanal as the main event, and there is a display of their very beautiful ice-cream cakes before you even reach the main cabinet. Look out for the Wild Strawberry Sorbet Centre with Vanilla Semi-Freddo and Strawberry Gelato, on a base of Marsala and Strawberry Syrup-Soaked Sponge, finished with Piped Meringue and Wild Strawberries 'Juliette' ($38 and serves ten).

And oh, the cabinet. Intensely-coloured sorbets in flavours like Cucumber as well as the more common Raspberry or Blood Orange; deep-coloured chocolates and caramels that seem to be made of  velvet; swirls of cinnamon, fruit, nuts and biscuit that bear witness to the fact that these recipes get their flavour by actually putting in the things that they take their name from.

Messina is a little bit of a hole in the wall and a very popular one at that, but it is worth fighting your way through for a look at (and a taste of) the wonders within.

Check out Concrete Playground's list of the best ice cream joints at Sydney

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