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Monday, March 07, 2016

Gelato Franco, Marrickville

Dark chocolate gelato and passionfruit, watermelon and strawberry sorbetti at Gelato Franco, Marrickville

The happy spill of families on the footpath at 9.30pm says it all. Gelato Franco has been welcomed by locals with open arms, finally scoring its own Italian gelateria for these balmy summer evenings. It's good news for Bar Italia gelato fans. Just like Mark Megahey of Ciccone & Sons, gelato maker Franco Riservato left Bar Italia to open his own gelato shop. Gelato Franco is the result.

Gelati and sorbetti menu at Gelato Franco, Marrickville
Gelati and sorbetti menu

Franco has the same level of old-fashioned commitment as Ciccone & Sons, using jersey milk in the gelato and making each flavour from scratch. That means scooping out fresh passionfruit, hulling fresh strawberries by hand, deseeding mangoes and carving up giant watermelons - all of it documented on Instagram and usually involving the help of Franco's parents.

Tapestries and prints including a dog with an ice cream cone at Gelato Franco, Marrickville
Dog with an ice cream cone!

The converted shopfront is a burst of new energy on the Town Hall end of Marrickville Road. Gelato Franco sits on what was the left-hand side of Van Long Vietnamese supermarket (which has shrunk to half its former size). There's a handful of tables inside, each decked with fresh flowers in a glass of water. Bi-fold windows open up the shop to passersby. The family-run team of staff are friendly and attentive, ferrying glasses and jugs of tap water to tables unasked.

Scooping gelato from the cabinet at Gelato Franco, Marrickville
Scooping gelato from the cabinet

The cabinet is usually two-thirds gelato and one-third sorbet. Staff are happy to provide tastings to help you decide.

Pistachio gelato, tiramisu gelato and lemon sorbetto at Gelato Franco, Marrickville
Triple scoop: pistachio, tiramisu and lemon $8.50

I've visited several times over the five months they've been open. Day times are usually quiet although you'd best avoid the post 3pm school kid rush. The post-dinner dessert period is always busy - expect a gaggle of happy kids both big and small.

Pistachio gelato isn't as intense as others which use a lot of pistachio paste, but there's a terrific textural crunch from the inclusion of crushed pistachio nuts.

Tiramisu has a good espresso hit, layered with hunks of chocolate sponge soaked in marsala wine and espresso. And you're guaranteed to wink at least twice with the first lick of the zesty lemon sorbet - it's got some acidic punch!

Pistachio gelato, watermelon sorbetto and blood plum with prosecco sorbetto at Gelato Franco, Marrickville
Triple scoop: pistachio, watermelon and blood plum with prosecco $8.50

The servings are generous too. They're not shy in giving you value for money, piling cups and cones high with as much as possible.

We pounced one day on the daily special of blood plum with prosecco, fizzy on the tongue with a noticeable alcoholic hit.

Watermelon sorbetto at Gelato Franco, Marrickville
Watermelon sorbetto

The watermelon sorbet is my new favourite, all the fun of sugary sweet watermelon without the hassle of pips.

Pannacotta gelato, pistachio gelato and lemon sorbetto at Gelato Franco, Marrickville
 Triple scoop: pannacotta, hazelnut and lemon $8.50

Another day we revel in the richness of hazelnut gelato, chock full of hazelnut rubble. The pannacotta is smooth and creamy, ribboned with a runny caramel sauce. The gelati is light in texture yet still has that reassuring density of good gelato, churned softly and slowly in a vintage Cattabriga Effe 6 machine.

Lemon sorbetto and pannacotta gelato at Gelato Franco, Marrickville
Perfect layering

Dark chocolate gelato and passionfruit, watermelon and strawberry sorbetti at Gelato Franco, Marrickville
 Dark chocolate and passionfruit double cone $6.50
Watermelon and strawberry double cone $6.50

They do cones too. The dark chocolate gelato isn't as bitter as you'd expect and the passionfruit gelato is the right shade of tartness, with a generous amount of passionfruit seeds throughout.

Watermelon and strawberry sorbetti at Gelato Franco, Marrickville
Watermelon [top] and strawberry close-up

I went for the watermelon sorbet again the other night, combining it with the sweetly fragranced strawberry sorbet, so packed with fruit you could see the strawberry seeds in it. Delizioso!

Coffee with Mezzapica cakes at Gelato Franco, Marrickville
Coffee and Mezzapica cakes for $6

Scooping tiramisu gelato at Gelato Franco, Marrickville
Scooping tiramisu gelato

Bentwood chair seating at Gelato Franco, Marrickville
Bentwood chairs

Watermelon gelato at Gelato Franco, Marrickville


Gelato Franco Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Gelato Franco
281 Marrickville Road, Marrickville, Sydney
Open Tuesday to Sunday 12pm-10pm


Related Grab Your Fork posts:
Ciccone & Sons, Redfern
Good Times Artisan Ice Cream, Potts Point
Hakiki Turkish Ice Cream, Newtown

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posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 3/07/2016 07:45:00 pm


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