Adriano Zumbo

November 2, 2011 at 9:56 pm (Dessert, Sydney) ()

I’m guessing that the number of people who do not know of Adriano Zumbo is small and quickly dwindling, after he challenged (read: tortured) contestants with the likes of the Croquembouche, V8 cake and the famed macaron tower on MasterChef Australia.  Macarons have definitely become more sought after as a result and Zumbo’s macarons, or “zumberons”, are now more widely accessible with the opening of his new store at Sydney’s re-vamped entertainment complex, The Star.

This new store is a bit more high profile than Zumbo’s Balmain establishments; you’d be hard pressed to miss the giant pink neon sign and Willy Wonka-esque sweet displays.  And fear not, the throngs of sweet-addicts in search of their Zumbo sugar-hit will lead you there if navigating the new complex becomes a bit too much.

I’m a little embarrassed to admit that I was as excited as a kid in a candy store (sorry >.<).  The desserts are individually displayed like artworks within neon cages and there is a whole wall dedicated to “zumberons” stored behind emergency glass (to be broken in the case of an emergency of course, i.e. if the store runs out of the flavor that you want).  The service system was a bit different; you basically wander around the displays and place your order with one of the patrolling service assistants, who then punches it in to his/her PDA, before collecting and paying for your desserts at the counter.  Makes for a much less congested distribution process but I can imagine how things could get hairy during busy times.

We were pretty full from lunch so decided to just sample some “zumberons”.  Macarons from Zumbo’s tend to be a bit dense and the surface not as crunchy as I would like but the flavours are intense and the novelty factor from olive, corn and pancake macarons is more than enough of a drawcard.  Biting into a biscuit and tasting cola, for instance, is just mind-boggling. If you’re into more traditional flavours, then cherry coconut, salted caramel and chocolate are winners every time.

>  Macarons, from left to right: cola, caramelised pumpkin seed, raspberry caramel, lemon verbena, and S chose another raspberry caramel for some reason.

Despite my excitement over this flashy new establishment, I’ll admit that I am still quite a traditionalist at heart and will be heading back to Balmain for my next visit.  There’s just something very endearing about the tiny store on Darling St  (maybe not so much the queues).  And what better way to enjoy your purchases than sitting on the grass in the park with a coffee from Bertoni’s purchased along the way?

> “Quasimodo”- cherry tart topped with pistachio mousse (left), “Passionfruit Sunrise” tart (right)

> Salted chocolate mud cake

> Macarons, clockwise from top left: salted caramel, chocolate, cherry chocolate, kalamata olive.

> “Malt and Teaser” slice

> Chocolate ganache tart

> “Cookies and Cream” with a liquid chocolate centre

> Passionfruit and rhubarb danish

So after all that, the desserts that are must-try, IMO, are the passionfruit tart and salted chocolate mud cake.  Some of the rotating items can be very interesting but these are always sure-win.

On another note, if you’re in Balmain, The Lab is also worth a visit.  It’s a quirky venue with a small selection of sweet and savoury menu items.  Best thing about it is that you can watch the chefs at work while you eat and check out the nifty wall art.


Adriano Zumbo Patisserie on Urbanspoon
Adriano Zumbo Pâtissier on Urbanspoon


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