The ultimate ice cream and gelato review

Some people say ice cream is a guilty pleasure. Well, to us (or at least two of us), it is a way of life. On a shopping spree in need of a break? Ice cream time. Walking past a shop boasting an interesting new and wacky flavour in the window? Ice cream time. Scrolling through Instagram to find that it has suddenly become inundated with a fresh, new ice cream joint that everyone seems to be raving about? Yep, we were there the next day. It didn’t even matter if we were full to the brim with a hearty dinner. It was always time for ice cream. So alas, welcome to itscaketime’s comprehensive review of many, many ice cream and gelato places everywhere (which would hopefully get updated as we expand into new territories!)

Chanoma Cafe, Regent Place (Sydney CBD)

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Matcha Soft Serve ($2.90)

Chanoma has always been our to-go place in Sydney for matcha goodies, with the matcha soft serve being a quick and easy fix for any cravings we might be having. Before Chanoma, we would always go to Mizuya for their $1 cones, but Chanoma stole our hearts with its stronger, more bittersweet matcha taste. They say true ice cream melts very quickly…and let’s just say, if you don’t eat this fast enough you might have to start licking it off your hands. We revisited after a long time Jan 2015 after C was having the biggest craving for it (because she wasn’t able to try Via Tokyo in Hong Kong *cuecollectivecry). It was as creamy as before, but for some reason the matcha taste was not nearly as strong. Hm… Cannot make a judgement until trying it again another day!

Aqua S, Regent Place (Sydney CBD)

Sea Salt & Lemon Tea (left) // Sea Salt & Biscotti (right)
Sea Salt & Lemon Tea (left) // Sea Salt & Biscotti (right)

This brand spanking new joint is located directly opposite Chanoma! I think we visited it like on the 3rd or 4th day after opening (before a lot of people found out about it) – so when we went there was absolutely no line. Could you imagine that? Because if you went today, you would see a line going out the door, almost reaching Chanoma territory, and a wait of almost 10 numbers at 8pm on a Wednesday night. We were recommended the Sea Salt & Biscotti combination by the staff member, with the idea that the saltiness of the sea salt and the sweetness of the biscotti would balance out nicely – and it’s good that one of us trusted her, because the combo was perfect imo. The sea salt was definitely an interesting new flavour, which we thought was a pretty good venture. Yay for innovation! The Sea Salt & Lemon Tea combo was a little too tangy and we did not feel that the two flavours worked with one another… There was also the option of adding toppings – caramel popcorn, fairy floss and toasted marshmallows. Flavours apparently change every 2 weeks, so it will be interesting to see what they come up with! 🙂

La Mama del Gelato Anita, Central Park (Chippendale)

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Ferrero Rocher // Peanut butter and white chocolate // Pistachio

The Ferrero Rocher flavour is the best here. The other two flavours paled in comparison. It was like eating hazelnut icecream infused with a dollop of Nutella. This really hit the spot, and in my opinion (C), tasted better than Messina or N2. Try it, but really, next time I would get triple servings of the Ferrero because it was that good.

Full review here.

Azoto, World Square (China Town)

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Nippon Green (left) // Caramel Duet (right)

It’s the new kid in town in the nitrogen ice cream scene! Sadly, we all had expectations of how nitrogen ice cream should taste thanks to the mother of all, N2 Gelato. This was really a disappointment to be honest. While the green tea one was actually really good, with a matcha flavour with subtle, but evident bitterness, it was nothing extraordinary. It was topped with a large green tea mochi, which was nice I suppose. The caramel one was definitely average. It came with a serving of caramel popcorn and a caramel syringe – and while this sounds like an overload, it was wasn’t that bad. Compared to N2, these were not as dense and had a texture that was more like other gelato places. With the same price tag as N2’s basic flavours, Azoto really did not seem worth it.

Gelato Messina, The Star (Pyrmont)2014-12-14 14.21.45-1

To be completely honest, we have failed to remember what flavours are pictured above … but that doesn’t matter because reviews all the same (we hope..even though vaguer). THIS WILL NOT HAPPEN AGAIN – another trip to Messina, anyone?! For me (C), Messina has really been a hit or a miss. I’ve had really bleh flavours, and then flavours that are like wow that one was really good. From experience, its the flavours on the chalkboard that might be the miss flavours, so please do ask to TRY them first. The standard flavours however are generally great, with C’s favourites being: Blood Orange, Salted Caramel and White Chocolate and Apple Pie. Figuring out which combo to get is always a problem, and upon searching up the website just then, it seems like Messina has a fair few suggestions as to what might go well each other!

Gelateria Gondola, Chatswood

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Coffee & Marscapone // Melon sorbet // Italian Biscotti & Liquor ($10)

We highly recommend you add this gelateria to your lists of best gelato in Sydney. Definately an underrated little shop run by the owners and on par with your Messinas or Cow and the Moons!

Cow & the Moon, Enmore 2014-11-30 20.54.07 2014-11-30 20.56.28   This place has earned its fame after being named in the news as the best gelato in the world. Yes, apparently even surpassing the gelaterias in Italy itself. The winning flavour is the affogato, which was indeed very good. Other recommendations from us would be the banana salted caramel flavour, as well as the interesting apple and wasabi! Again, they say good gelato melts as soon as you get it. The above picture was taken just seconds after it reached our hot little hands. I wonder if that’s how we are going to judge how good gelato is from now on … HAHA.

N2 Extreme Gelato, Chinatown

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Ferrero Reveal (N2 Black – $8) – One of N2’s most popular flavours that keeps coming back on the menu. There’s chocolate cream gelato, topped with chocolate sauce and rice bubbles, garnished with a fancy wafer and surgically improved with a syringe of more chocolately goodness.

N2 always has lines. Don’t even think that because you’re going at an odd time, that there will be no lines. You are simply kidding yourself. The flavours are always interesting – and there is truth when I say interesting – because you can have normal flavours like the Ferrero Reveal or Creme Brulee, but then you can have the strangest things like Pork Floss or Kewpie Mayo (not that we’ve been brave enough to try it). However, we did try this one flavour – I think it was Chocolate Passionfruit. YEAH… no words. STAY AWAY. The aftertaste was so bad, it reminded us of stomach acid … just to put it nicely. It was actually not fit for human consumption and given we paid $6 for it, we actually went to the counter and asked for a replacement. They were nice about it and agreed that it did taste bad after trying it for themselves. The awful thing was then traded for a Strawberries and Cream and then all was well 🙂

Cho Cho San, Potts Point 

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Green Tea Soft Serve Cones!

The soft serve that carries a price tag. Call this a little gourmet, a little premium, a little pretentious… but no matter what you label a $6 cone, this was damn delicious. I thought it was one of the best soft serves I’ve ever had. The texture was faultlessly smooth, velvety and creamy, melting in your mouth until all you could taste is the lingering subtle matcha flavour that leaves you wanting more … just another lick … just another bite, until it’s all gone 😦  Chanoma contender? If they were both the same price, this would blow Chanoma out of the water … but they’re not, so I guess this is a once-in-a-lifetime treat!

McDonalds (in Asia!)

A true foodie turns down no opportunity – even Maccas soft serves get a review! 🙂 and what more, in Asian countries … you get much more variation than the standard vanilla cone.

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Matcha Soft Serve (5 HKD) – Hong Kong!

This reminded me of the Mizuya cone. It was not bad and I wouldn’t mind purchasing it again … if I had the opportunity. The flavour was not as strong as it could’ve potentially been though – but who am I kidding? This is McDonalds after all.

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Red bean Soft Serve (5.5 yuan) – China!

This was so strange at first. I licked it and didn’t know what to think. I licked it again and decided it was a weird flavour, with a weird after taste … but by the end of the cone I decided that I didn’t mind the weirdness of it and that I did enjoy it. So I went back for seconds … and eventually thirds (on separate occasions of course!). It was still strange, and I think I might prefer the vanilla flavour more, but interesting nonetheless. The green cone is all a decoy. No matcha was involved in this at all, to my disappointment!

Chanoma Cafe on UrbanspoonAqua S on UrbanspoonLa Mama del Gelato Anita on UrbanspoonGelato Messina on UrbanspoonAzoto on UrbanspoonGelateria Gondola on UrbanspoonCow & The Moon Artisan Gelato on UrbanspoonN2 Extreme Gelato on UrbanspoonClick to add a blog post for Cho Cho San on Zomato

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