The Athens of the inner west has been granted a sweet taste of the Hellenic Republic, with new kid on the block Pagoto Gelato & Waffle House serving up a range of Greek-style ice-creams on Marrickville's Victoria Road. With the likes of Gelato Messina and N2 opening Sydney's minds and mouths to more adventurous ice-cream flavours in recent years, business partners Katerina Magoulias and Chris Felemegas opened Pagoto to fulfil cravings from Marrickville's largely Greek community for traditional flavours inspired by the motherland.
All the ice-creams are made on-site, with the flavours thought up by Katerina herself using traditional ingredients and sweets. Try a fragrant and bright pink Greek delight; Greek yoghurt with honey, walnuts and cinnamon (a typical after-dinner sweet in Greece); and a range of traditional honey and walnut pastries, including baklava, kataifi and diples. The pastries are made by a local Greek supplier and are mixed into a creamy walnut and almond base with crispy pastry bits scattered on top for added crunch. There's also more everyday favourites, including chocolate, pistachio and a burnt caramel slice flavour made to Katerina's own recipe.
The watermelon and feta combo is a surprising stand-out — a creamy and salty-sweet, pink offering inspired by the traditional Greek salad. "Everyone is confused by it, but then they try it — and they love it. It's different", she says. But the mastiha is fast becoming a favourite with locals, a truly traditional Greek flavour that's found in ice-cream stalls across Greece that's made with the strong flavour of mastic, a resin from the Mediterranean mastic tree that is kind of similar, but not really, to aniseed. You just gotta try it.
If you're craving something a little more hearty, just the smell of the made-to-order waffles will tempt and satisfy, with a variety of ice-cream combinations available. Take a seat at the bar among the brightly painted walls adorned with the colourful characters dreamed up by street artist Grizzle and cool off at yet another sweet addition to the inner west.
Image: Leigh Grffiths