Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Adriano Zumbo, Sydney

If you’re not a local you’ll have difficulty locating the famed Adriano Zumbo patisserie. It might be on the main drag of Balmain on the outskirts of Sydney but unless you have really sharp eyes it’s quite easy to overlook. If not for the garish signage of the chemist next door (tawdry it may be but it did grab our attention) we would have missed it altogether.

The size of the shop is in stark contrast to the man’s fame. In essence it’s a long hallway fitted with a basic display cabinet. The featureless wall, I assume, has been left in its original state. In short no pretence. I think it’s a fantastic idea. Customers’ line up for Zumbo’s treats and nothing but. The lighting looks great though.

By the way, Adriano Zumbo also has a café in the same neighbourhood situated a few streets away from the shop. To make the most of the visit (thanks for indulging me Lyndon & Carla) we thought we might as well have the full café experience. It was a big disappointment. We never got to sit down to try the lovely looking baked goods together with some beverages. It lacked the café vibe I was looking for. The place wasn’t inviting and neither were the staff. We rushed back to the shop instead.

Adriano Zumbo is full of contradiction. The plainness of the premises highlights the complexities of his creations. Here are some examples:

CHARLIE'S HOMEMADE GINGER FEAR: Ginger beer gel, ginger pudding soaked in coconut syrup, chocolate ginger foam eggs, ginger crunch, ginger chantilly & passionfruit bavarois

CLOUDY THYME: Liquorice pate brisee, olive oil creme citron, butterscotch caramel, oven roasted apples, mint meringue ball & thyme italian meringue

WHAT A GREAT PEAR OF...: Almond creme, pear vanilla creme patisserie, pate a choux sable, pear gel, almond crunch & almond struesel

But I went to this renowned patisserie for one thing and one thing alone…the macarons. All the disappointments have disappeared on the first bite. The only other time I had macarons was the night before at Tetsuya’s (not the restaurant’s forte to be honest). I was really looking forward to this.

On the day of our visit they had four flavours on offer: Mango Black Sticky Rice, Oatmeal Ylang Ylang, Pandan Coconut, and the surprisingly plain coffee (I’m not so sure of the name but it tasted like coffee). My tastebuds are familiar with all the flavours but not in macaron form. Very Southeast Asian I thought! In fact, very Filipino! Who would have thought combining Ylang Ylang and oatmeal would work? It just demonstrates the genius of its maker.

A second trip is definitely on the horizon. Next time with the whole family in tow. For this initial one I would like to express my gratitude to my Sydney based friends Lyndon & Carla. Thank you very much for taking me on our own version of “The Amazing Race.”


cusinera said...

Those macarons looks so yummy! I really need to go to that brissy place that you recommended soon=)

The Beancounter said...

I'm yet to visit it as well cusinera... definitely will do... watch out for future post...