The concept behind famed Italian chain RivaReno may be simple in theory, but it’s not so easy in practice: to create the perfect gelato. And this is the exact reason why you won’t see any when you walk in.
The gelato is stored in pozzetti, sealed cylinders that help to maintain freshness, control the temperature and therefore the consistency. It’s a few degrees higher that usual, to keep it creamier and highlight the flavours better, and evidently it works – the gelato has a texture so velvety that it’s immediately discernible from any ice cream and makes it a strong contender in Sydney’s gelato stakes.
So why sealed storage? “Would you just pour a glass of milk and then just stick it in the fridge?” questions Kieran Toselini, owner of RivaReno, who had to go through rigorous training before the Sydney store could come to be. “An interesting thing someone taught me a while ago is: the best thing to do with a new fridge is to put a glass of milk in it because it absorbs that chemical smell…”
So while it might seem contrived, there’s very little gimmick here. Quality is the focus. For instance, the chocolate used is Valrohna’s 65 per cent dark chocolate. The milk, pistachios, hazelnuts – even the lemons – are of the highest grade and imported from Italy. More importantly, there’s more of these ingredients. All the flavour is in higher proportions rather than sugars or additives.
Our picks? The hazelnut is obscenely close to being Nutella, but without the cloying sweetness. But then again the Alice (marscapone and marsala drilled in gianduja sauce) and New York New York (organic maple syrup and caramelised pecans) aren’t too shabby either. The simplest flavours though are where you start to question your previous gelateria experiences, with the lemon sorbet being a surprising winner. Granitas are another specialty, packed with fruit and ultra-refreshing.
Everything is made in batches to last the day, but if they run out it’ll be made again, cutting down on wastage and keeping everything as fresh as possible. Just like the perfect gelato should be.
280 Crown Street, Darlinghurst