296 Darling Street, Balmain
+61 2 9810 7318
Can you believe that I attended his cooking class over a year ago, but it wasn’t until last Saturday that I made my very first visit to Adriano Zumbo’s pâtissierie!
The tiny little shop is full of the most exquisite cakes you can find in Sydney.
Apart from the delicious flaky pastries of the savoury tarts and soft cannelle scrolls there are trays of macarons of all flavours and some of the most delectable desserts outside of gaie Paris!
The best part is you can select a cake or two (or seven) then head a few doors over to the Adriano Zumbo Café Chocolat (308 Darling St, Balmain, inside Balmain Mall) where they will kindly plate them up while you sip on coffee and prepare yourself for a sugar coma.
I rounded up three friends (Bicky, Shamu and Nat) and like an avalanche we gathered another gal (Sarah) on our way there. Five very eager women sat down to seven very delicious desserts.
Here are the results.
Wheely Wildy Wendy
Roasted peach; tonka bean crème legere; almond dacquoise disks; almond crumble.
I really enjoyed the overall flavour composition of this cake. Fresh, sweet peach gave a light, freshness to a very rich cream and the almond dacquoise were perfectly crisp and crumbly. I think much of the sweetness derives from the white chocolate edging, but I would prefer to see the peach chunks increased to balance out the sweetness in the crème legere. 6.5/10
Pate sable; lime jelly; yoghurt creme fraîche; lime curd; italian meringue.
I’m not a huge fan of lemon meringue pie so this was never going to make me swoon, but as far as the genre goes I was mightily impressed. Pillows of soft meringue had the perfect texture and the thin layer of lime curd was luscious and intense in flavour. Very satisfying. 7/10
Chocolate biscuit macaron; blackcurrant chocolate cremeaux; chocolate plates with sea salt; dark chocolate chantilly.
The dark chocolate was beautifully strong and bitter and the sweetness of the blackcurrant emerged amongst it. What was shocking to the senses was the intensely salty layer of mousse that cut through the richness of the cake. I liked it, and do like salt in my desserts, but I would prefer the salt level to be cut down slightly as it almost overpowered the other flavours. 7/10
Tarte aux Fruites de la Passion
Passionfruit curd; sable base.
Simple yet delicious. I am a huge fan of passionfruit curd, the tangy sweetness suckers me in every time. In this instance the portion was generous although the tart base was almost impenetrable and made breaking it with a fork a potentially explosive occasion. 7.5/10
Olive oil mousse; rhubarb ripple; passionfruit crème; biscuit macaron; fresh berries.
This is not a dessert for the faint-hearted, as the olive oil flavours are clear and present and extremely intense. I adored it. Somehow I was repulsed and attracted at the same time, eventually being won over by the smooth, bitter-sweet mousse. The biscuit macaron provided substance, the fresh berries excellent contrast and the passionfruit and rhubarb added the necessary tart sweetness. 8/10
La Vie En Rose
Rose crème brûlée; raspberry sorbet balls; fresh lychees; petit rose macarons; coconut strawberry tapioca shake.
There are many reasons to like this dessert and the ingenious addition of a shake it one. The strawberries used in the shake are sweet and intensely fresh in flavour, while the tapioca pearls are gentle and very unlike the chewy balls that come from industrial drink shops. The rose crème brûlée is gentle, light and aerated and doesn’t take on the heaviness of many set custards. Sweet lychee flesh and raspberry sorbet help to add fresh flavours but the small macarons seem effected by the cold and moisture and, while tasting good, quickly became stale in texture. 8.5/10
Where's The Cheese?
Blue cheese mousse; fig, raisin & pear creameaux; pear & vanilla bavaroise; walnut biscuit.
This was my favourite of the day. The blue cheese mousse was very gentle yet signicifantly flavoursome and the delicious morsels of dried figs, raisins and fresh pear provided a sweet interlude to the rich bavaroise. The caramelised walnut shards were visually elegant and matched the overall flavour composition perfectly. This dessert rated the highest from all the taste testers. 9/10