I am so disappointed.
It has taken me weeks and weeks to bother writing this because all my will to talk about this crap was gone.
I had been (note the past tense) so excited about the two new Sydney imports Melbs was getting, being Zumbo and Gelato Messina. I went to both of them shortly after they opened. Neither was worth the trip.
I will admit that Gelato Messina’s products were perfectly nice. But not cross-to-the-other-side-of-town nice. And certainly not worth all this fuss. I don’t know what passes for gelati in Sydney, but you can get good-quality gelati in Melbourne just about anywhere.
And all the crazy flavours that they’re known for, which I fully intended to try? Nowhere to be seen.
Just people looking bored.
To add insult to injury, I was given a copy of the Gelato Messina cookbook recently and, as someone who had made their own ice cream for years, thank god I didn’t pay money for it.
For starters, the ingredient lists all include “stabiliser” and “dextrose”. Because so many home cooks have those in the cupboard (sarcasm). And despite these overly processed softening agents, they still include a disclaimer that if you don’t eat the ice cream right away, the texture will be “compromised”. So… why add those stupid bullshit ingredients????
That’s a rhetorical question.
I briefly considered tracking down stabiliser and dextrose just so that I could try their stupid recipes and do a blog post complaining about them but remembered I actually have a life.
Also, the introduction just pissed me off. Not only does it include completely incorrect “scientific” information about the chemistry of ice cream (for instance, apparently you don’t want ice in ice cream. Actually, you do. How the fuck else would you freeze something that is mostly water?); but it included this really dumb paragraph:
“When Messina opened its doors in 2002 in Darlinghurst, gelato in Australia didn’t have a great reputation. It was perceived as an icy, hard, watery type of ice cream, and it wasn’t very popular.”
Um, no. This is not true for all of Australia. Melbourne’s history of Italian immigration meant that you could get good-quality gelati at heaps of places. No dodgy reputation needed, thanks. Gelati places did boom around Melbourne at the beginning of the noughties, it’s true, with 7Apples then Fritz and then Trampoline setting up, but to say it was perceived was watery ice cream before then is just incorrect for Melbourne. And, given this interview, they knew that. Annoying.
And as for sodding Zumbo: wow. Just, wow.
Shit service, bugger-all seating, nothing special about their product.
Best I can say is that their store looks fancy.
Mmm, inadequate AND uncomfy!
Sure, the cakes look nice, but you can get attractively-presented cakes HEAPS of places. With better flavour and better service. Also? I assumed those little “az” circles would be printed chocolate or something.
Nope! It’s CARDBOARD. Because cardboard is SO TASTY ON A CAKE.
YUMMY! PLEASE SIR CAN I HAVE SOME MORE?
Also, just so you know, “zonuts” are disgusting. Tastes like a croissant was deep-fried with oil that wasn’t hot enough, then injected with not quite enough pastry cream and allowed to get slightly stale and soggy.
I don’t want this to be a Sydney v. Melbourne thing, I really don’t. I find that sort of thing too dull for words. But as nicely as they did up their shopfronts, these particular Sydney institutions just fail to live up to their hype in a city that already has a really entrenched history of demanding good food.
They both score a “fail” in the book of Lisa.