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