Three Gelato Messina Chefs Have Given Their Side Hustle The Hard Launch
Move over, sourdough, there’s a new star in Darlinghurst and it’s sporting a golden crust and a mischievous glint. Shadow Baking, the brainchild of three gelato geniuses from the cult-adored Gelato Messina, has finally landed its own brick-and-mortar bakery, and Sydney’s sweet tooth is doing a sugar-coated victory dance.
Forget predictable pastries – Shadow Baking is a playground for edible whimsy. Picture buttery brioche blushing with pandan custard and coconut crumble, or a chorizo and nduja scroll that’s basically a party in your mouth. Twice-baked croissants ooze with Messinatella, the chocolate-hazelnut spread that’s legend in its own right, while Vegemite and avocado scrolls, spiced with fermented chilli jam, prove that bogan brilliance can tango with French finesse.
This isn’t just another bakery, it’s a love letter to nostalgia, reimagined with the playful, seasonal flair that makes Messina a Sydney institution. Think wobbly danishes that evoke childhood canteen memories, elevated with Messina’s own magic. And don’t even get us started on the blueberry cheesecake tarts, they’re like a bite-sized summer vacation.
But Shadow Baking isn’t just about sugary thrills. Tomato, zucchini and ricotta danishes simmer in the oven, sending savoury aromas wafting through the air, while a small open kitchen lets you peek behind the curtain of pastry alchemy. And if you manage to snag the coveted outdoor seating for two, prepare for a front-row seat to the edible symphony unfolding before you.
The space itself is a DIY ode to charm. The trio have crafted a space that’s rough around the edges but bursting with personality. Think exposed brick, mismatched furniture, and a glass-topped counter that’s a veritable pastry parade, each treat vying for your attention (and Instagram story).
The secret to Shadow Baking’s success? It’s a sprinkle of Messina magic, a dash of Aussie ingenuity, and a whole lot of playful experimentation. So, Darlinghurst, prepare for lines out the door and a sugar rush that’ll have you humming Messina’s praises (and maybe a few carols, it’s that kind of place). Shadow Baking is here to stay, and let’s be honest, our taste buds couldn’t be happier. Now, if you’ll excuse us, we have a date with a pavlova tart and a pear danish that’s calling our name.