Sunday, January 30, 2011

Adriano Zumbo Cafe, Rozelle

Can you believe that today is the first time that I've had an Adriano Zumbo Macaron? Or that I've been walking past his Pâtisserie on Darling Street in Balmain for years without even registering that it is there. Or that until Season 2 of Masterchef I didn't even know who he was.  I'm an idiot, I know.

After hearing/reading/seeing so much about Zumbo and his famous dessert creations I vowed to myself that when I was in Balmain today with Niecy Poo I would make a point to seek out his tiny, but very very famous, Pâtisserie.  The trouble with that idea though was that everyone else in Balmain seemed to be thinking the same thing. I could hardly get my foot in the door due to the crush inside, let alone check out what Macarons he had on offer.

As our parking meter in Balmain was quickly running out it was time for Plan B.  We overheard a crazed Zumbo fan saying that the Adriano Zumbo Cafe in Rozelle is open today so we head on over to try our luck there. 

Bingo! The cafe is open for the hungry masses and the queue is pretty small, although a tad chaotic with people milling about in a wide-eyed Zumbo induced stupor.  We only wait for five minutes before we get out turn out the counter.

Quite a few of the Macarons have sold out and I'm devastated to see that the much touted Salted Caramel is nowhere to seen.  Sad face.  As we umm and ahh over what to get one of the staff brings out an emergency tray of the Salted Caramel and I'm happy again.  I'm surprised however to hear the the Macarons are frozen and will take a while to defrost.  I had assumed everything was made fresh on the day, but I guess such a huge demand for these sweet delights means they have to make huge batches in advance in order to satisfy Sydney's crazed Macaron fiends.

In the end we decide to get six Macarons ($2 each) and go for a mix of the conventional and the slightly crazy.  We choose Carrot Cake, Chocolate Berry Mudcake, Marshmallow, Wasabi, Rosemary and Apricot, and (of course) Salted Caramel.  We were tempted to try the crazy sounding Vegemite and Sourdough but I guess we'll have to leave that one til next time.

We actually score a freebie as one of the Macarons (the Chocolate Berry Mudcake) is cracked - better to end up in my tummy than the bin, right?

I would say my favourite Macaron is the Salted Caramel with its lush, slightly salty buttery filling although in all honesty I loved them all.  Each Macaron has a fragile yet crisp shell that crumbles delightfully with each bite, giving way to the beautiful filling within.

I really enjoyed trying the unconventional flavours as they weren't as sweet as the more traditional  (or expected) flavours. I enjoyed the sensation of my brain thinking "I know I am eating a Rosemary flavoured Macaron, but why does it feel like I should be eating Roast Lamb?"

I feel like a bit of a fatty boombah after eating six Macarons today, but it was all in the name of research.  It was fun getting involved with all the hype and trying what one of Sydney's best known, and most adventerous, patissiers has to offer.

If I was walking past Zumbo's again and there was no crowd I would definitely pop in to see what other flavours he has on offer.  I'd also be hoping that a whole tray of broken goodies gets handed my way.

Adriano Zumbo Patisserie on Urbanspoon

The Adriano Zumbo Cafe is at 114 Terry Street, Rozelle. The Patisserie is at 296 Darling Street, Balmain.


  1. oooooohhhh, sounds delicious, i'd really like to try salted caramel too. I have plans to make raymond blancs salted caramel chocolate pudding, still trying to find the right food ring! i was given some of zumbos macaroons for my birthday last year - they were divine.

  2. What incredible colours these Macarons are...& very pretty little plates. Once again I am loving the interior of the cafe. Thanks again for a little taste of the big smoke on a melting hot & slightly un-inspired day in the outback :)

  3. Yay, you finally got to try! I've read in various places that after making macarons, if they are then frozen or sat in the fridge overnight that it helps the flavours and texture develop. Haven't tried it for myself though...

  4. There are such unusual flavours aren't there! I recently tried a few of them and I really like the maple french toast :)

  5. Welcome to the club! LOL

    I must say, don't feel guilty for eating all of them in a day, as they are definitely better fresh.

  6. ooh lucky i would love a box of cracked macarons!

  7. I'm expecting the queues here to get even more crazy with his SBS doco screening soon. I've always had a weakness for his popcorn macarons. So good!

  8. Those macarons are definitely worth waiting for, aren't they? Nice range of flavours you got, though salted caramel is my fave, too.

  9. I really didn't know macaroons were such a gourmet treat... and to this extent, um yummy!

  10. salted caramel is one of my favourite zumbo macarons too! I find the flavours are always so true to what they're supposed to be even if they're crazy sounding!

  11. I can never go past a salted caramel macaron. Love to try some of the other interesting flavours soon I hope..

  12. Hi Muppy - what a great, but fleeting, birthday present. Look forward to your post on the salted caramel pudding - sounds yummy.

    Hi Jane - the plates are my nieces, we devoured the Macarons at her house. Sorry for making you drool - I know how it feels to want something yummy and only having cheeselaw on offer (but that's still pretty good if you ask me).

    Hi mademoiselle délicieuse - the Salted Caramel, which was the frozen one, tasted perfect. Your theory is probably right (but what would I know, I just eat them, not make them).

    Hi Lorraine - next time I'm going to go for all crazy flavours. And I won't be stopping at just six!

    Hi Joey - there is NO WAY I could've not eaten them all in one go. I don't have that sort of willpower.

    Hi Chocolatesuze - I want a box of cracked ones too. I felt so lucky just getting one.

    Hi Helen - I heard about the SBS show which is why I thought I'd better get in cookie.

    Hi OohLookBel - they sure are!

    Hi Anon - neither did I til I started watching Masterchef and reading food blogs. I think as they are so difficult to make it makes them something special. And the fact that Zumbo has SO many flavours to try is amazing in itself.

    Hi Jacq & vintagemacaroon - agree that Salted Caramel are the BEST! I want to try so mamy other crazy flavours next time though as the ones I tried were pretty good.

  13. oh i love the salted caramel! it has been a while since i last visited... must.visit.soon!

  14. The lines are what keep me away. I find it's not as busy during the week so whenever I get a day off work and am in the area I'll try to stop by.

  15. Vegemite & sourdough is awesome. As crazy as it may seem to have it in macaron form, it doesn't taste crazy at all.

  16. I have never been to one of his shops either or tried his sweets. I was in Rozelle one time and thought I would go there, but I thought it was in a totally different area, so never found it. Oh well I am sure there will be a next time!

  17. I love macarons because they're so fragile... I've ended up with free macarons in the past too :) That being said, I once sampled some macarons and desserts from Adriano's shop and honestly didn't find them THAT good. They're good, of course, but not "the best" IMO.

  18. Hi Gastronomous - visit before the SBS show comes out as I figure the crowds then will be even more insane!

    Hi Angie - I'm not good with places where I have to queue. I guess blogging about food has made me a bit more tolerant of it though. We queued for AGES at El Jannah's the first time I went and it wasn't too bad.

    Hi Simon - thanks for the tip of the Vegemite macaron. I'll give it a while next time for sure.

    Hi Susan - I only knew where his Rozelle show was as a fluke...I'd spotted it a few days before as we were driving home from Balmain.

    Hi Gaby - I think his adventurous flavours are what is exciting. And I guess he can be so adventurous as he's so good at making them. I've only tried Macarons a few times before...I think Cleony's at the Bloggers Picnic give Zumbo a run for his money though - her's were great.


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