A kind thank you to Alex Taylor of Maria Farmer Public Relations for inviting me to a tasting of the recently opened RivaReno gelaterie. The humble gelato found its origins in Rome so if it's anyone who knows their gelato, it's the Italians. For a while now, RivaReno, the brain child of an Italian lawyer and BBC journalist has been the pride and joy of the Italians and was called the best gelato of Italy in 2008 by the Golosarian Association.
That was until Australian branch owner Kieran Tosilini coaxed the owners after searching far and wide through Italy for a gelato system that met his fancy. The outfit is a very clean and modern with stainless steel, pristine whites and glass, albeit plain one with nothing particularly striking.
It sad to see that the requisite fluorescent mountains of gelato studded with toppings aren't present with the reason being Italian gelateria in the past would always keep their gelato inside covered frozen containers and that they're trying to respect tradition. While that's a decent reason, it becomes a lot more reasonable when they go further to explain that it's easier to maintain the right temperature with the lids closed. That way the gelato is kept a little softer which makes it easier to taste the flavours that's unlikely to induce an uncomfortable brain freeze.
It takes a little American inspiration with New York, New York and Sweet Alabama gelatos and that's from one of the owner's wife being American. Special mention goes to that New York, New York; the balance of pure Canadian maple syrup and buttery pecans makes a deeply satisfying gelato.
|Pink Grapefruit granita|
|Ciocolato extra Fondente gelato|
|Bacio and Cioccolato extra fondente gelato in a cup|
With Gelato Messina only a couple of blocks away and n2 being the current craze, RivaReno faces stiff gelato competition. It's a proven concept that's been around for years and if my visit was indicative of the future direction of Sydney's branch, it can certainly hold a 'cone' to any one of them.
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