Gelato Messina looks more like a nightclub than a purveyor of gelati. Music pumps out of the giant glass doors and no matter what the weather, there is a constant crowd flowing out onto the street – we've even seen a queue on a ten-degree rainy night. Such is the crazy caused by Gelato Messina – the ragingly popular Sydney import where all-natural gelato rules and nothing, not even an anatomically accurate heart, proves too great a challenge for the iced treat architect to build.
Those queues are pretty well justified. Messina's flavours are things of wonder – there's the fruity-sharp contrast of pear, cut through with a red ribbon of sour rhubarb and the creamy, subtlety of coconut and pandan. Everything is made fresh daily and the turnover is high, so you're always getting a scoop that's fresher and fluffier than you might elsewhere.There's a good balance of sugar to sharpness, but you don't engender this kind of insane following without a good measure of the sweet stuff. The tart strawberry number and the roasted hazelnut with white chocolate hits all your nerve receptors, so if you're more a fan of subtlety you might be better off at Gelateria Primavera in the city where sugar takes a back seat.
A wait is almost always inevitable, but our recommendation is to head in early and procure yourself a large take-away container so you're armed in case of heat wave emergencies.
If you want to know more about Gelato Messina, check out Time Out’s interview with chef Donato Toce.