Friday, February 8, 2013

RivaReno Gelato

RivaReno Gelato, Darlinghurst

RivaReno Gelato is the latest gourmet import to hit our shores. Established in Bologna in 2004, RivaReno has had a rapid climb to the top of the Italian gelato establishment. Touted as a 'must visit' culinary stop in Milan, it's now Sydney's turn for the authentic Italian gelato experience. Walk into their Darlinghurst store and you'll notice that this doesn't appear like a regular gelato store. You won't see a glass freezer with mounds of brightly coloured gelato on display. Instead, the gelato is kept in a pozzetti counter. Those of you that have visited San Crispino in Rome will know what I'm talking about. There are a series of stainless steel lids that cover the gelato to ensure that it is maintained at it's optimum temperature. It may not offer visual excitement like a traditional storefront, but this is no traditional gelato.
The Pozzetti Counter

Overwhelmed by the variety of flavours and lacking the patience to read each description, I start off with a 'few' tastings. First up is the curiously named 'New York - New York' (Organic Canadian Maple Syrup and caramelised pecans). I'm immediately struck by how smooth the gelato is compared with most that I've tried. It's rich and dense, with a silky smooth mouth feel. The creamy texture is maintained as it melts and is not the least bit icy. The pozzetti counter has clearly done it's job in keeping those ice crystals as small as possible.

Next is 'Contessa'(Sicilian Almonds, Piedmont hazelnuts and crushed armaretti and caramelised almonds). Again I can taste all the flavours in here. It's not sickly sweet. There is restraint and sophistication in the flavouring of this gelato. The different textures of the crushed armaretti and caramelised almonds add another dimension.

'Nicciola Piemonte' was like eating fresh roasted hazelnuts but better.

'Cioccolato extra fondente' is made with extra dark chocolate that straddles the realms of bitter and sweet. The delicious complexity of the chocolate lingers on my taste buds but interferes with the remainder of my taste tests:
'Fiore de Panna' (white cream gelato with Madagascan vanilla) and 'Pistcchio Bronte' (Intense Pistachio from Bronte, Sicily). Mental note: I will need to try these again. Feeling guilty at the growing bunch of used plastic spoons in my hand, I end up choosing a scoop of New York - New York and the Extra dark chocolate.

It is clear the guys at RivaReno are Gelato purists. I like that. There are no compromises in the production and storage of their product. No artificial colours or flavours and made every few hours for maximum freshness/taste. Ingredients are imported from Italy. There are even two types of ice cream machines (imported from Italy of course). One horizontal and the other vertical (which I'm told is better at preserving and distributing nuts and other solid flavourings). Training was undertaken in Italy so it would be exactly the same as the gelato served in Milan. They have even imported a RivaReno staff member from Italy - now that proves they're serious! 

Here's the best part. There is a Grand Opening this Saturday, 9th March February 2013 where they will be giving away free, yes that's free gelato from 3pm till midnight. 

RivaReno Gelato
280 Crown Street, Darlinghurst


  1. oh HEAVEN! I am most taken with the New York New York! Great discovery MSG!

  2. Yay, you're back! Long time between posts and what a good one! : )

  3. Ooh, March or Feb? Both are the 9th!

  4. It sounds great! I recall getting a few press releases about it but none of them mentioned the free gelato. How silly of them!

  5. ah ha, their Facebook pages says it's the 9th of February for the freebies!

  6. Oh I wish I could be there for the gelato giveaway YUM!!
    LOL at the growing pile of spoons in your hand... I wonder how many is an acceptable number ;) my kids push the limites :)

  7. Sorry - it was the 9th of February. Thanks for the correction and apologies if anyone missed it thinking it would be in March.. .