181 Enmore Road
Enmore, NSW 2042
Whenever I have dinner in the Newtown-Enmore area, I find it hard to pass up a scoop of Gelato Messina for dessert. But like most people know, Messina is far from the only place nearby to get your sweet frozen fix. And recently I’ve been really into MaPo, which is the newest and fanciest kid on the block, but I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve walked past the stalwarts of Hakiki Turkish Ice Cream, and of course the subject of today’s review, Cow and the Moon.
Family run since its inception over 10 years ago, Cow and the Moon has been a byword for high quality gelato ever since, even taking home first place in the Gelato World Tour in Italian in 2014. The store has all the charm for a home-grown ice-creamery, its rustic décor more reminiscent of something you’d find in a country town than the big smoke.
Although not quite as prolific as Messina (which serves 40 flavours regularly, but has concocted literally over 4000 flavours in the last 20 years), there’s a good variety lined up in the cabinets, and they also do coffee as well as cakes to order. I was a little disappointed to see the gelato piled up in the ‘traditional’ style, rather than hidden away in pozzetti, which allows the gelato to remain at the optimum temperature, and avoids oxidation so that the flavours stay as true as possible.
The gelato here start at $6.5 for a small, but not to worry – that translates to two scoops, whilst the $8.5 medium is 3 scoops, and I can only assume the $10.5 large nets you a whopping 4 scoops. And after plenty of humming and hawing, and quite a bit of tasting, I decided on the Caramelised Fig with Walnuts, and the Lime in Coconut ($6.5, small). Having been rather disappointed by RivaReno, I was pleasantly surprised by how good these were. The Caramelised Fig was deliciously jammy, its sweetness augmented with the crunch of toffee walnuts. The Lime in Coconut was similarly good, the flavour of the lime true to its bitter and slightly floral palette, rather than a generic or artificial citrus flavour. Balanced out with the creamy sweetness of young coconut, this was a deliciously summery treat.
On another day, we tried the Sticky Date Crumble and the Lemon Cheesecake ($6.5, small), both of which proved to be excellent choices. The Sticky Date Crumble was sweet without being cloying, and was folded through with generous chunks of crumble. But it was the Lemon Cheesecake that was the clear winner for me; the combination of tangy lemon curd, mellow cheesecake gelato, and pieces of addictively salty-sweet biscuit base was utterly delicious, and everything you could possibly want in a dessert. The only downside? Not being able to take our time to enjoy this. The way the gelato was piled into the cup may look appealing, but it meant that it started dripping within seconds in the Sydney summer humidity. We ended up having to scarf this down as quick as possible to avoid losing half of it onto the table.
I was planning to make this blog post a hat-trick, but Chris is so distressed by how messy the eating experience was that I took pity on him and decided to call it a day. If I hadn’t recently discovered MaPo, I would have been very impressed with Cow and the Moon. As it stands, it definitely doesn’t match up to MaPo’s uncanny ability of being able to transcribe the flavours in their ingredients, note-perfect, to their gelato. However, it is more than fair competition for Messina. Both places serve up gelato that is rich and smooth, made with quality ingredients, and most importantly of all, makes you want to go get another scoop once you’re done. Just don’t expect both brownie chunks and cookie dough in the same scoop.
Rating: 14/20 – lands among the stars.
This rating reflects my personal experience at the time of visit.