Food, Restaurant Reviews

RivaReno Gelato, Darlinghurst

I LOVE gelato and was very excited to attend a taste testing with Mel and Tara at the newly opened RivaReno gelato at 280 Crown St, Darlinghurst. This Australian branch of the established Italian gelato chain is the first to be opened outside its homeland.

All of the ingredients (except the eggs, fruit and nuts) are sourced and imported from Italy, including the milk which is raw alpine milk from the high Cuneese valleys.

RivaReno offers an array of traditional Italian flavours along with American-inspired tastes (think chocolate and peanut butter), Indian (mango yoghurt) and a range of fruity sorbets and granitas.

The gelato is not displayed in the typical ice-cream counter where customers can see the products. It is stored in the traditional Italian cylindrical containers known as “pozzetti”, which are deep inside the counter so as not to be exposed to the air for better conservation.

Now enough waffling on, let’s try some gelato! We start off with the sorbets which are dairy-free and contain more than 55% fruit. My favourite sorbet was Lampone (Raspberry), with just the right amount of sweet and tartness and oh so creamy in texture. The granitas were also delicious, with my favourite being the Pina Colada, a refreshing treat made with fresh coconut milk and pineapple.

Looking inside the pozzetti you can see just how velvety and smooth the texture of the gelato is. This is my second favourite flavour on the RivaReno menu and it is Fior di panna (Vanilla). This creamy and silky smooth gelato has a hint of bourbon vanilla and really showcases the high quality milk and cream used.

Another highlight was the Cioccolato Extra-Fondente (Extra-Dark Chocolate). Bitter Manjari cocoa is added to RivaReno’s Dark Chocolate recipe to produce a rich and decadent flavour.

As a Nutella freak, the first thing that caught my eye when I entered the store (and elicited a lot of squealing) was this giant container of gianduja – basically a chocolate hazelnut sauce. It possibly tastes even better than Nutella (big call, I know).

Their cones contain less sugar so that customers can actually taste the genuine flavours of the gelato rather than being “distracted” by the sweetness of the cones.

And what was my favourite flavour of all? Alice! Which also happens to be RivaReno’s most popular flavour. It features mascarpone combined with a splash of Masala and then topped with melted giandiuia. Heavenly.

We ofcourse had to indulge in a big scoop of Alice!

So how does it compare to it’s competitor down the road, Gelato Messina? To be honest it’s like comparing apples with oranges. Whilst Gelato Messina (who I love) is known for unique and outrageous flavour combinations (think peanut gelato with potato chips, honey and rosewater or rambutan and coconut) RivaReno sticks to it’s traditional Italian roots and does it very, very well.

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  • Reply Christine @ Cooking Crusade March 5, 2013 at 12:48 pm

    Wow, this place looks seriously amazing. I have to come visit soon! So cool that they source almost all their ingredients from Italy as well!

    • Reply Swah March 5, 2013 at 2:14 pm

      It was seriously so delicious Christine, you must visit soon! And the dairy-free sorbets and granitas would be perfect for you :)

  • Reply vegeTARAian March 5, 2013 at 1:26 pm

    YES! Your pics are fab and they makes\ me want to go back. That Alice with chocolate sauce was fab!!

    • Reply Swah March 5, 2013 at 2:16 pm

      I think I will definitely be returning soon, one scoop of Alice with EXTRA sauce haha

  • Reply Vivian - vxdollface March 5, 2013 at 2:25 pm

    ooh I must pop in soon! I ate so much gelato when I was in Italy and they had the largest range of flavours, Rivareno looks pretty good

    • Reply Swah March 5, 2013 at 2:48 pm

      The last time I went to Italy was in the middle of Winter but that didn’t stop me from constantly gorging on amazing gelato haha :)

  • Reply Zo @ Two Spoons March 6, 2013 at 12:54 pm

    Oh wow, this sounds freakin amazing. The pic of the scoop really does give you a great idea of how creamy it is too, nice. Am usually pretty keen on Messina when in that area of town but this is closer to where we live…win! Thanks!

    • Reply Swah March 6, 2013 at 2:33 pm

      Definitely give it a go and see how you think it compares to Messina. Crown St is now gelato-lovers heaven!!

  • Reply Alana March 13, 2013 at 9:40 am

    I’m going to put it out there and say I rate RivaReno over Messina; anybody can to ~kooky~, not everybody can do genuinely authentic. God bless that gianduja drizz.

    • Reply Swah March 13, 2013 at 10:30 am

      Very good point Alana! And gianduja drizz… haha I hope this catches on ;)

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