Sydney Festival | Jokes it’s Mainly Messina

I’ve really got to get out of the habit of posting about limited time only events such as festivals as they near their end. Kinda a cop out once you read the post, decide to go, only to realise that the festival is over. I made that mistake for the Night Noodle Markets, and I’m making it again for Sydney Festival!

Then again, please forgive me readers, as I have just come back from Europe, and I’m still trying to get used to 25C+ weather (as opposed to 3C weather). A harrowing journey, I know.

Still, I feel like giving another retro perspective of the Sydney Festival, at least the part that’s held in Hyde Park.

Err, who am I kidding – this is all about Gelato Messina. Please, why else are you here?

Sydney Festival: last day 26/1/14 (Australia Day)
Address: Hyde Park (for Messina)
Recommended Dish(es): Messinaweiner

Not to actually belittle the rest of Sydney Festival – it’s actually massive, and there’s loads of stuff to do. There’s something for everyone. Naturally, as I only had one free day that I could go, I just had to get some of Messina’s whacky creations before the festival ends, taking all of that sweet goodness with it.

Of course, even though I could feast on Messina’s gelato hot dog, I had to get myself some “proper” food first.

Woolfys Hot Dogs stand sydney festival

Woolfys Hot Dogs stand

So I chose to get real hot dogs instead…oh the facepalm.

Then again, I saw this on several instagram feeds, and I haven’t had a hot dog in more than three months, so might as well give festival food a go. I haven’t heard of Woofy’s before, and at $8 for a “gourmet” dog, you could do worse at a festival.

Woolfys hot dogs sydney festival

Saucing up!

I’m not sure if you can read the menu, but they have 3 items – two hot dogs; one German style – w/sauerkraut, and the other a nacho dog, which is the one The Lady and I got.

The nacho dog - grass fed angus beef sausage w/smashed avo, sour cream, cheese & chilli tortilla crunch sydney festival

The nacho dog – grass fed angus beef sausage w/smashed avo, sour cream, cheese & chilli tortilla crunch

They sure don’t skimp on the sauce I tell you. The nacho dog tastes quite good, though because of all that sauce the dog was breaking apart dangerously at several points, and you really had to eat it carefully to prevent it from becoming quite the saucy mess. The tortilla crunch was noteworthy – adding texture that hot dogs ordinarily wouldn’t have. Overall, satisfying, but not in a huge hurry to return.

Gelato Messina Carnivale sydney festival

It’s carnival time

At 4:30pm, the gates to the Rekorderlig Bar open, granting everyone access to booze, but more importantly, Messina Carnivale! It’s a special stall set up by no-introductions-necessary Gelato Messina, putting their own dessert spins on the carnival sweet goods. It most definitely looks the part.

Gelato Messina Carnivale sydney festival

Like a kid in a candy shop

Everything on the menu is $9, while the candy shop menu is $7. We didn’t get anything from that particular menu, but expect things like ice cream fairy floss, toffee apples, amongst other things. Actually, here’s the menu.

So, what did we spend our caloric load on?

Pluto Pup, Gelato Messina

AKA “The Dagwood Dog aka The Pluto Pup” – maple syrup gelato coated in pancake batter, deep fried & crispy, dipped in plum sauce

This is the favourite of the day, for sure. What made this pluto pup so good was that despite knowing what it’s made out of, it didn’t actually taste all that fatty. Quite refreshing, surprisingly. Especially so, considering how the pancake batter is fairly thick (versus other fried ice creams), but incredibly moreish. It’s soft, but doesn’t give way to the ice cream so easily.

As for the gelato itself, I was surprised that maple syrup gelato would be white. How about that. It tasted like fine gelato would. I didn’t really get much out of it as the delicious plum sauce pretty much drowned it out. Overall, a decadent experience, best shared.

So Wrong, It's Right gelato

“So Wrong, It’s Right” – caramel cheesecake gelato, duck fat caramel, crushed potato chips & bacon marshmallows

Now the “So Wrong, It’s Right” sundae…this is a bit of a mixed bag, I must say. On paper, it seemed quite extraordinary, if nothing else for the uniqueness of the ingredients that went into producing it. The result however, was odd. I do think the potato chips actually work with the dish, but the rest of it…the gelato was salted in a way that made it taste a bit off, while the caramel itself is a lot saltier than I would have liked it to be. The bacon marshmallows…amusing, but not really anything special as befitting the name.

Would not get again, but no big faults on Messina – they’re always experimenting, so this doesn’t come off as surprising. Rather, it comes off as Messina.

gelato messina carnivale sydney festival

Spot the 2000 calories :p

Banana Split gelato, gelato messina

“The banana split” – peanut butter gelato, caramelised banana, whipped cream, chocolate sauce & a cherry on top

When friends joined, I had the chance to partake in the tasting of “The Banana Split” sundae, which incorporated a motherload of peanut butter gelato. I preferred this one to the one I ordered, though it was a minor improvement at best. It was just…too much?

Maybe I’m getting weaned off particularly heavy desserts after going easy on sugar over the last year or so. Generally speaking, I feel that the sundae sizes at Messina Carnivale are suitable for 4 people, no less (or two people who just really, really dig sugar). It’s a LOT of ice cream.

Gelato Messina, Ice cream sandwich

“Yeeeah Dawgs! A twisted hot dog” – milk chocolate gelato hot dog, served in a warm finger bun w/essential condiments passionfruit ‘mustard’, raspberry ‘ketchup’ & buttercream ‘may’, w/coconut ‘onions’

Though I didn’t get to try the Messina Dog, I’ve heard some interesting feedback about it – mainly centered around “it’s okay”. It tastes like what you would expect – gelato wrapped in a sweet bread and sweet sauces.

If you’re a fan of Messina, then you’ve already had these desserts, I’m sure. I for one, hope they continue doing things like this. Innovation is king!

Sydney festival

Happy Australia day everyone!

Who can forget – a belated Happy Australia Day to all!

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

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