Australian gelato giant and Hong Kong’s favourite bao purveyor kick summer off on a cold, creamy note

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    [HONG KONG, 20th JUNE 2022] Cult favourites Messina and Little Bao are bringing Hong Kong the sweet, nostalgic scoop it deserves with two limited-edition flavours available only for three weeks this summer.

    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 Messina Hong Kong’s very first 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, Black Sheep Restaurants’ Group Pastry Chef Karys Logue and Little Bao’s celebrated Chef-founder May Chow have designed two custom, 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, Messina x Little Bao introduces 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.

    Starting 30 June, both of Messina x Little Bao’s flavours will be available as limited-edition Hong Kong specials alongside Messina’s 35 classic flavours at the Pottinger Street shop ($60 one scoop; $75 two scoops; $90 three scoops available in cone or cup). 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 ($48), sandwiched between the classic crispy mini bao with a soy caramel drizzle and extra chili crunch, or the Lil’ Bean Waffle ($98), 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.

    Visit gelatomessina.com.hk or follow @gelatomessinahk or little-bao.com and @littlebaohk for more information on this collaboration.



    The name Messina was inspired by Nick and Danny’s Sicilian heritage, and the birthplace of their parents—Messina in Sicily, Italy. Together with Head Chef Donato Toce, the team has spent years experimenting with countless recipes and raw ingredients, in order to come up with our core range of 35 classic flavours. With the newest location opening in Hong Kong, Messina fans will find the full 40-flavour cabinet at every location, featuring 35 core flavours and 5 rotating specials.


    In Hong Kong, gelato fans can look forward to locally-inspired flavour specials such as Egg Tart, Hong Kong Milk Tea and Tofu Fa. Freshly churned daily from the creamiest Jersey milk, our superior scoop is all about celebrating authentic, artisanal Italian-style gelato the way it is meant to be.


    gelatomessina.com.hk |Messina | @gelatomessinahk

    37-43 Pottinger Street Central, Hong Kong  info@gelatomessina.com.hk



    Black Sheep Restaurants is one of those special movements that comes along once in a lifetime. It starts with an ideal, an ambitious dream that flies dangerously close to cult-like status. Founded in 2012 by Syed Asim Hussain and Christopher Mark, it is far more than just culinary prowess or accolades, it is a band of like-minded people, devotedly fixated on the dream to redefine what it means to be forerunners, paving the way for the new generation of hospitality.

    Since the humble and scrappy beginnings of a single restaurant, the disruptive hospitality team has become synonymous with trailblazing, story-driven ideas, curating distinct dining experiences about a particular time, place, culture or cuisine. Now, with over 30 restaurants to date, critical acclaim has followed the movement, from receiving the world’s first and only MICHELIN-Star for a Punjabi restaurant with New Punjab Club, One Star for critically acclaimed BELON and successive nominations for Restaurateurs of the year.

    Black Sheep Restaurants expanded its experience with the development of its own proprietary food delivery service, GO, but what truly sets Black Sheep Restaurants apart and stokes the fire of perpetual progression is the innate ability to harness the intangible, to go up against the giants, to defy the odds and to do the exceptional.

    In 2020, Black Sheep Restaurants developed a COVID-19 Playbook, mapping out best-in-class practices for navigating their business in the wake of a global pandemic. The valuable resource was picked up globally by businesses and governments, and translated into five languages.


    Established in 2013 by Asia’s Best Female Chef, May Chow, Little Bao serves a selection of internationally-influenced baos and comfort plates in Causeway Bay and SOHO. Marked by its iconic neon logo (a happy ‘baby bao’ face), Little Bao has been a popular hipster haven for Hong Kong’s foodies since its inception. Expect high-quality dishes crafted with a diverse array of internationally and intentionally sourced ingredients that induce a sense of warmth and comfort. Echoing the belief of the acclaimed chef-owner, Little Bao is all about sharing and togetherness, bringing foodies together with its casual and playful dining experience.

    little-bao.com | @littlebaohk

    Little Bao Soho, 1-3 Shin Hing St, Central, Hong Kong

    Little Bao Diner, 9 Kingston St, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong