Multiple locations, including: 1 Macquarie Place, Sydney 389 Crown St., Sydney 164 Swan St., Melbourne
Gelato Messina is undeniably one of the most famous gelaterias in Australia, and for many gelato connoisseurs, the gelato here is the final word. When my good friend told me that Messina offers a Lamington ice cream special, I scoured the streets of both Melbourne and Sydney in search of this magical flavor. When I finally scored a scoop of this very Australiana Lamington Gelato, I felt like I had won the Australian lottery. Messina uses raw ingredients to produce gelato from scratch, the way it was made a century ago in Sicily. This time and devotion to tradition creates flavors and textures that are rich and full-bodied. In addition to mainstay flavors such as pistachio, vanilla, and hazelnut, Messina is also known for an array of insanely amazing flavor compositions. Here you’ll find pandan coconut with Key lime cheesecake pieces; Bananas Foster; salted caramel with white chocolate chip; and, of course, a Lamington gelato.
BEST BITE: Lamington Gelato made with milk chocolate and coconut gelato, fully loaded with housemade Lamingtons.
285-287 Coventry St., Melbourne
Tucked in an alleyway and housed in a chicly restored industrial warehouse, Chez Dré is a hidden gem in Melbourne. Pastry chef and co-owner Andrea “Dre” Reiss worked her way up the ranks through Michelin-starred restaurants in London and Paris before returning to Melbourne to open her namesake boulangerie and patisserie. Dre’s Michelin-pedigree is apparent in her elegantly refined Passion Fruit Lamington. You’ve never experienced a Lamington quite like this—it simply tastes like luxury. A perfect Sydney afternoon? Cozying up to one of her exquisite Lamingtons with a cup of tea in this sophisticated and charming space with its marble-top tables, bright kaleidoscope-patterned concrete flooring, and reclaimed timber touches. In addition to the stylish Passion Fruit Lamington, Chez Dré also serves impeccable croissants, Danish, and cakes as well as French-inspired savory dishes. A must-visit when in Sydney.
BEST BITE: Passion Fruit Lamington. This bite is the haute couture of Lamingtons, and by far the fanciest one that I had the pleasure of consuming. Gorgeous, sweet, buttery, and light—this delicate vanilla cake is pristinely covered in flaky coconut and topped with a perfectly tart, aromatic, feathery, whipped passion fruit mousse. C’est magnifique.
203 Carlisle St., Melbourne
Melbourne’s Balaclava district is known as the “bagel belt” for its vast number of Jewish delis and bakeries. Within that tight-knit neighborhood, where cafes line every street, you’ll find a wealth of old-school mom-and-pop grocers, and you’ll also find Las Chicas, which shines as an institution. Las Chicas focuses on fresh, local, and sustainable produce that can be found in a wide array of tasty menu items such as breakfast “brekkie” bowls, crispy prawn rolls, smoked salmon bagels, coffee, juices, milkshakes, and smoothies. What really caught my eye was their sinful Salted Caramel Lamington. I had not yet encountered salted caramel in a Lamington, and I was blown away.
BEST BITE: Salted Caramel Lamington, an indulgent and toothsome cake with a sticky-sweet salted caramel filling, completely covered in toasted coconut. The gooey texture and flavors of the salted caramel provide an interesting contrast to the other elements (cake and coconut), making this Lamington really stand out from the rest.