For our very first collaboration in Hong Kong, we teamed up with Little Bao to bring Hong Kong the sweet, nostalgic scoop it deserves with two limited-edition flavours.

Known for its expectation-pushing collaborations with brands all over Australia, Messina prides itself on bringing innovative ideas and the nonsensical to life in smile-inducing gelato form. Little Bao has been raising the bar on food in the city since its inception, slinging Hong Kong’s favourite bao since 2013. With their shared alignment of core values, the two come together for a culinary crossover. The result is a product inspired by the local food scene while remaining true to the shared backbone of using only top-quality ingredients. 

In the name of gelato and making people happy, our very own sweet-baking, joy-bringer Group Pastry Chef Karys Logue and Little Bao’s celebrated Chef-founder May Chow have designed two limited-edition flavours for this summer’s collaboration.

First up is the distinctly Hong Kong Lil’ Bean gelato, infused with fermented black bean or dou si (豆豉). To achieve their robust and full flavour, the beans are rehydrated in warm water before blending. Lil’ Bean is accompanied by a dou si shortbread, made by mixing fermented beans with sugar and butter, while hazelnut flour is used to add a nuttiness to the cookie. 

Second, we introduce Se’same But Different, a toasted white sesame gelato topped with a crunchy chilli crispThe gelato begins with a sesame paste, prepared in-house by toasting and grinding the sesame seeds. The chilli crisp is made by tossing feuilletine with chilli-infused butter, sugar, honey and freshly chopped chilli. After being baked to a perfect crisp, it is coated in a mix of chilli oil and cocoa butter. A generous drizzle of gooey soy sauce caramel, made using local favourite Kowloon Soy Company’s premium soy sauce, adds a salty-sweet twist.

Both of Messina x Little Bao’s flavours are now available as limited-edition Hong Kong specials alongside Messina’s 35 classic flavours at the Pottinger Street shop. If you need weekend plans and one scoop of gelato is not enough, team Little Bao is serving up both flavours in their SoHo and Causeway Bay shops with a twist, kicking off with a launch event on Sunday 3 July at Little Bao SoHo. Try the Se’Same But Different Gelato Bao, sandwiched between the classic crispy mini bao with a soy caramel drizzle and extra chilli crunch, or the Lil’ Bean Waffle, a double scoop delight on a charcoal Belgian waffle with fresh cream, banana, and mini cookies for garnish.

“We wanted to create something very local, very authentically Hong Kong,” comments Logue on the creative process, “May was really enthusiastic about taking different elements of sweet and savoury cuisine, combining them together and trying every possible combination,” even going as far as experimenting with hot sauce and pork skin. “At Little Bao we love twisting things, finding new ways to showcase ingredients we all know and love. Using rich Kowloon Soy Sauce and fermented black bean is just another way we like to infuse a unique, creative spirit into our food,” Chow adds.

Get the scoop of joy you deserve and visit gelatomessina.com.hk or follow @gelatomessinahk or little-bao.com and @littlebaohk for more information on this collaboration.

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