Fancy something a little out of the ordinary to beat the heat? The brains at Gelato Messina have cooked up their own version of a hot dog – made nearly entirely from gelato – as part of their pop-up at the Sydney Festival Village in Hyde Park.
The $9 "Yeeeah Dawg" uses a sweet finger bun to contain a chocolate gelato "sausage", topped with raspberry "ketchup", passionfruit "mustard", coconut "onions" and butter-cream "mayonnaise". It all adds up to a very convincing, if not slightly perturbing replica of the savoury, fast-food staple. Fans braved patchy weather for a first taste on Wednesday.
The Yeeeah Dawgs are available alongside other fairground-themed treats at the Il Carnivale Di Gelato Messina pop-up at the village; there's also the "Messinaweiner" (a gelato version of the deep-fried Pluto Pup), gelato "lollipops" and gelato "toffee apples".
"When we were approached to do a stall at the Sydney Festival, we wanted to do something a bit special," says Declan Lee, a Gelato Messina co-owner. "We're next to the Spiegeltent, so we were inspired by that and [carnival] food.
"We just talked about ideas until we came up with this."
But if gelato hot dogs are not your thing, the real deal is available at Woofy's food cart, also set up inside the Sydney Festival Village (until January 26) alongside Jafe Jaffles and The Food Society pop-up.
Festival Village is not the only venue offering one-off food temptations this month. As part of its Summer Playground program, the Opera House is collaborating with Bondi's The Corner House to create cafe-style brunches, Mediterranean barbecue with salads, oysters and cocktails at its temporary "Garden Bar" – located outside the Opera House's western boulevard (until January 27).
Garden Bar patrons can work up an appetite with a morning yoga class run by Yogabeyond (details and bookings: www.yogabeyond.com).
The Opera House has not forgotten families, with several of its food venues offering special kids' menus over January. Opera Bar has a children's tasting pate for $10.50 including polenta chips and fruit kebabs, while Opera Kitchen's $14 kids' plate includes a lean Angus beef burger and raw caramel slice.