Saturday, December 3, 2016

Gelato Messina, Richmond by Bilby Blue

Gelato Messina aims to set the benchmark for gelato in Australia – a bold statement, considering some of the amazing artisan gelato we have been sampling over the past year. While we had previously visited its Pyrmont store in Sydney, a trip to one of its Melbourne outlets was long overdue.

Gelato Messina, Richmond, gianduia, Nonno Carlo
Gianduia and Nonno Carlo gelato

So early one Sunday afternoon – Benny and I avoided the crowds by arriving just after Gelato Messina opened for the day – we found ourselves being swamped for flavour choice. With no other customers (really!), we were able to chat with our friendly server and find out more about the Gelato Messina experience.

All the gelato is churned on the premises each day – it is pre-mixed and delivered from “the factory” in liquid form. And the staff have to taste test all the flavours each morning. It’s a rough job, but someone has to do it.

Gelato Messina, Richmond
There are always 40 flavours available, covering both dairy and non-dairy options. That includes 35 flavours from the regular menu, plus five specials. Those specials are available for just one week before being replaced with something new – an amazing achievement to keep coming up with something new each week. But if you prefer to play it safe, you can still opt for the traditional flavours – vanilla, chocolate, pistachio, lemon.

All of the flavours are made from natural ingredients, and no colourings or preservatives are used.
Tastings were offered. Servings are in cups or cones – one, two or three scoops. Tubs – 0.5, 1 or 1.5 litres – are also available. There is also a stunning range of gelato cakes that can be ordered.

Our friendly server suggested we try the chocolate and mint. Now I usually avoid mint – although I like fresh mint, there is something about the “mint” flavour used for various sweet things that just doesn’t appeal. However Gelato Messina’s chocolate and mint was a revelation – choc chips combined with fresh mint gelato. Awesome.

Benny was intrigued by one of the weekly specials – The Chicken Cave on Tapleys Hill Road. In what was clearly some type of insider reference, we suspect this was named after a fast food place in Adelaide. And the flavour? Fried chip. Somehow Gelato Messina had extracted essence of chip and put it into a gelato. According to Benny, it tasted just like chips. Did he want to order it? Nup. After our tastings, we each ordered two flavours in a waffle cone.

I chose gianduia (chocolate and hazelnut) paired with one of the weekly specials, Nonno Carlo (see first pic). The gianduia was gorgeous – smooth and chocolatey, with beautiful fresh hazelnuts – and was an excellent match for Nonno Carlo. This was strawberry sorbet – one of the regular flavours – swirled with vanilla cream and flecked with marsala soaked brioche. This was a stunning combination – essentially a sophisticated version of strawberries and cream.

Gelato Messina, Richmond, salted coconut and mango salsa, macadamia crunch
Benny was truly impressed that there were no less than five different coconut options (noting that coconut is one of his favourites) – with pandan, lychee, roasted almonds, choc chips (Bounty) and his eventual choice, salted coconut and mango salsa. He paired this with macadamia crunch (caramelised white chocolate and macadamia gelato with macadamia nuts). He was very happy.

Gelato Messina, Richmond


We loved it
We loved it.


Gelato Messina is rightly a star of the gelato world, with continual innovation redefining the boundaries of what is possible with frozen treats. And if you schedule your visit for a quiet time it is far easier to tailor the perfect gelato combination – without feeling guilty about sampling the flavours.

Find it at

Gelato Messina
164 Swan Street
Richmond Vic 3121
Telephone: (03) 9428 6288

Gelato Messina Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

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