Gelato Messina in Fitzroy is a Melbourne institution. After hearing many rave reviews, one chilly, windy, wintry afternoon I stepped into Messina to taste test their offerings. After all anyday is a good day for gelato.
The first thing I noticed about Messina was that it was quite small inside but welcoming and inviting. The second thing I noted was how busy they were. There did not appear to be any empty tables. Laughter and giggles accompanied by animated conversations impregnated the air and even spilled outside the store.
The third and most important observation I made was the wide range of gelati offerings. The diversity of colour and names of the gelati ostentatiously presented behind clean glass borders immediately spiked my interest. People were huddled up infront of the gelati doing sampling and making purchases. Taking cue from some of the other customers, I skillfully weaved my way through the throng and proceeded towards the smiling staffs and request to try the salted caramel and white chocolate flavour. The friendly staff immediately acquiesced and I was presented with a bit of ice-cream at the end of a stick. The gelato was a stunning combination of sweet and salty flavours. The sweet flavour of the white chocolate was expertly balanced with the saltiness of the caramel.
After this initiation, I jumped onto the bandwagon of sampling as many flavours as I could. The lychee martinee and the Steve Jobs gelati stood out for their unqiue taste. The lychee martinee was tad sour and the Steve Jobs was very sweet. I was spoilt for choice from the likes of tiramisu, chocolate fondent, gianduia, poached figs in marsala and so forth. I suddenly felt the urge to buy almost all the flavours. But common sense prevailed and I opted for the most sensible option. I bought three scoops for the price of $7, this was simply a bargain. I noted that one scoop was available for $4 and two scoops were available for $6.
As I happily licked my gelati selection of Steve Jobs, salted caramel and white chocolate and lychee martinée, I tried to take in my surroundings. One end of the store was the kitchen which was separated from the sitting area with a glass barrier. I watched with awe as the chefs went about preparing the ingredients for making divine ice cream. I found out Messina also sells coffee with an expresso priced at $2. Customers could buy tubs of gelato priced at $28. Birthday cakes in gorgeous shapes and colours were also available. You can choose from delightful options of black forest, bombe Alaska, Dr Evil's magic mushroom and so on. Prices for the cakes start from $28 for small ones.
I felt like a kid in a lolly shop in the refuge of Gelato Messina. The store has a good vibe and the gelati offerings are colourful, sumptuous and diverse. The sheer variety and the affordable prices will woo even the worst critic. If you are in the neck of the woods of Messina, give it a try. You will not be disappointed.