Gelato Messina Dessert Bar | Darlinghurst

Gelato Messina Bar has since closed down. In its space is the Gelato Messina Creative Department – a tour de force of sugary experimentation that is unlike anything else in Sydney. Go have a read, and then make a booking.

When household name Gelato Messina announced its intentions to open up a DIY dessert bar, I may have lost my marbles. This was the same month that saw Cow and the Moon take the title of World’s Best Gelato, so it really was a fantastic month to be a Sydneysider.

Opening up in the now deprecated Messina Creative Department, the dessert bar allows you to choose your own gelato base(s), and spruik it up with any number of toppings you desire (70c per topping). The result is a creation – or failure – to call your own.

Furthermore, they intend to mix up the flavours and available toppings every once in awhile to keep things interesting. Perhaps this is the secret to success – variety is the spice of life, after all. One man can only eat so much, so I recruited the iFat to once again, shoulder my sweet, sweet burdens.

Date Last Visited: 15/2/2014
Recommended Dish(es): DIY if you know what you’re doing, otherwise, the Pavlova-Kona & I Dough Know are pretty good

Gelato Messina Dessert Bar

The process

My first thought was “but what about the cakes!” The Messina Creative Department is where Messina cakes are made. Never fear – the cakes are still ordered via the same process and retrieved from the same place. It’s just that the front-end has been replaced with the Messina dessert bar.

Gelato Messina Dessert Bar

I don’t think I’ve seen a more hip geleteria around!

The decor is classicly American with the old-school Neon look. It’s somewhat old-fashioned by my tastes, yet instills a sense of faux-nostalgia (I haven’t lived that long, after all). Too much American TV, I swear.

Gelato Messina Dessert Bar

For the lazy amongst you…

For those who aren’t so…creative, Messina Dessert Bar provides you with an opt-out. Or should I say, ten opt-outs? You can choose from ten pre-made combinations which presumably will also rotate as things chug along.

While I was tempted to unleash my inner gelato demon, I exercised a modicum of restraint and decided to go for the pre-made flavours. I have a good reason – I want to see what the folks at Messina consider to be combinations good enough to be on a menu. That’s their challenge. All of these are $9.9 – gelato + 3 toppings.

Gelato Messina Dessert Bar

Honey I burnt the kids – burnt vanilla gelato, burnt honey mousse, smoked butter popcorn, smoked chocolate fudge

In true Messina style, all combinations have whacky names that ensures they are not forgotten. The honey I burnt the kids combination is all about burning and smoking.

I liked it, but I didn’t like it a lot. The smoky fudge was a bit too bitter, while the vanilla gelato was literally and figuratively a bit too vanilla – I didn’t taste any of the smokiness I was led to expect.

Overall, it was a nice combo, but it wasn’t as exciting or as delicious as I had hoped it to be. But that’s the beauty of choice – don’t like it? Try another!

Gelato Messina Dessert Bar

Pavlova-kona: raspberry cone, burnt vanilla gelato, raspberry jellies, passionfruit curd, topped w/raspberry meringues

And of course, so I did. The pavlova-kona was my second choice, and it became my favourite of the three I have tried.

I’m not usually for raspberry, but I think I’m slowly beginning to turn. This was great stuff and I think it was due to the psasionfruit curd. It works very well with the burnt vanilla gelato. Yes, it’s the same one as before, but this time it’s a combination that seems to make sense to my palate.

Very enjoyable, and very pretty too!

Gelato Messina Dessert Bar

I dough know – doughnut topped w/burnt vanilla gelato, mandarin gel, mandarine tuile, mango foam & butterscotch sauce drizzle

A name so punny you would think iFat himself were behind it, but he would just say I dough know who did it.

This was a pretty sweet combo, and in more ways than one. Doughnuts work with pretty much anything, especially with vanilla gelato. There’s heaps of crumbly bits which I totally dig, with delicious butterscotch notes to mop everything up.

Trust iFat to pick out the good flavours, eh?

It is quite heavy, so it’s not my preferred pick, but a few guilty bites is all it takes.

Gelato Messina Dessert Bar

Now a legitimate reason to get gelato while you get your gelato

Yeah, Messina Dessert bar is pretty legit – you would have to have beef with their gelato fundamentally to not like it here. The possibilities are endless, though they do come at a price.

Summer, we’re ready for you.

As usual, feel free to leave a comment or three 😀

The Good:

  • A novel concept that puts the power in the customer’s hands
  • Lots of variety
  • The same Messina quality

The Bad:

  • Some default combinations don’t work well
  • It’s quite expensive, even compared to normal Messina

The Ugly:

  • With a grand total of four-six seats, you’re likely going to be walking with your dessert

I have a new scoring system! Read all about it here.

Most important takeaway – three separate scores for food, service and ambiance to give the final score. The new system is not compatible with any score given prior to 11/11/2014.

F7 | S4 | A2

7/10 Caesars

Gelato Messina on Urbanspoon

Gelato Messina Dessert Bar & Cake Shop on Urbanspoon

5 comments on “Gelato Messina Dessert Bar | Darlinghurst”

  1. samanthawxlow Reply

    I know I’ve gained some notoriety as the food blogger who hates ice cream but I’ll make concessions for some mind blowing desserts like the ones in this post!

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