Sydney Dining Out: Adriano Zumbo Patisserie, Balmain

by April@MyFoodTrail on April 2, 2010

in Dining Out, Patisserie, Sydney

Adriano Zumbo Patisserie
296 Darling Street, Balmain NSW
(02) 9810 7318

Adriano Zumbo - Display 1

The beautiful cakes on display

I never got around to finishing my Sydney posts from my visit in February, but better late than never! After seeing Adriano Zumbo’s beautiful creations on Masterchef, reading about all the cakes at his patisserie on Bel’s blog and hearing about his famed macarons on Twitter, the patisserie was definitely on my Sydney food itinerary. And who better to go with than with Bel after our lunch at Ripples.

Adriano Zumbo - Display 2

More cakes on display

I was surprised at how small the patisserie is. It was one narrow shop with takeaway only. (There is a separate cafe but the patisserie cakes are not available to order from there) The standing room in the shop was only two people wide. It got pretty cramped inside, especially since I was wondering back and forth trying to decide what to get! There were too many cakes to choose from – I wanted to get them all!

Adriano Zumbo - Display 3

Too many choices!

All the cakes are magnificent works of art and have pretty cool names, such as ‘La Premiere of Tom & Jerry’ and ‘Is anybody working?’ The range of cakes changes each season so you have a limited time to enjoy your favourite.

Adriano Zumbo - Display 4

Cakes galore!

There is also a selection of macarons, with 9 flavours available on the day we went. Mr BT bought one of each flavour for his girlfriend but we only got 3 for us to share – lychee, pineapple coconut and black sesame. They were all very, very sweet and after eating them, I realised then that I don’t really like macarons *gasp*! They are basically just sugar and way too sweet, even for a sweet tooth like me!

Adriano Zumbo - Display Macarons

Macaron flavours ($2 each), clockwise from back left: mint & lemon verbena, black sesame, chocolate, avocado, lychee, fig burnt honey & red wine, strawberry & balsamic, pineapple & coconut, rose

The lovely Bel bought me the V8 cake which was 8 layers of different textured vanilla. The cake was only new then so I didn’t get a proper description but I could identify the cream layer on top, a jelly layer, a custard layer and also a biscuit base. The crunchy, nutty base gave it a nice crunch at the end, but it had a funny flavour none of us could identify. I thought it was okay but neither hubby nor Mr BT liked it.

Adriano Zumbo - V8 cake

V8 – 8 layers of vanilla

On top of the 3 macarons and the V8 cake from Bel, we also bought another 3 cakes to try. I was drawn to the beautiful colour of the passionfruit tart and it had a fresh passionfruit flavour and a nice pastry crust. The chocolate cake was very rich and decadent, my favourite of the lot. The ‘Google’ cake (sorry, didn’t get the description of what was inside) was a bit of a let down as it had a fake banana taste I’m not fond of.

Adriano Zumbo - Passionfruit tart, chocolate cake, banana raspberry

Clockwise from back: Not too s-h-a-b-b-y $7.90; Google it, Real Life $7.90; Tarte aux fruits de la passion $5.50

Overall: I am in awe of how intricate all the cakes are and the time it would take to not only come up with the different combinations, but also the time to put everything together and decorate each individual cake. They are almost too pretty to eat, but I found the taste of the cakes I had didn’t live up to the wow factor of the appearance. Perhaps my expectations were too high! The patisserie is still worth the visit and the cakes are worth trying.

Would I return? Yes, I wouldn’t mind trying other cakes.

Over & Out, April xx

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

essjayeats April 2, 2010 at 11:22 pm

Oh dear! No macaron love! Guess they can all be mine then! MooHaHa 🙂


Simon Leong April 3, 2010 at 10:41 am

so many choices. i hope to try their macarons one day to compare to Baroque Bistro 🙂


Esz April 3, 2010 at 2:42 pm

This place is on top of my list of must visits when/if I go to Sydney. They look fabulous and I can't wait to try them – even if they don't live up to the hype 😉


Yen@Foodforfour April 3, 2010 at 8:03 pm

I visited Andro Zumbo for the first time last weekend. Like you I find the macaroons very sweet. We came there at closing time and there wasn't much left, but still it was very hard to decided what to get because they all look so good.


Agnes April 4, 2010 at 11:31 am

I wish I had time while in Sydney to visit this place! The cakes are really beautiful. It's a shame that the tastes didn't quite live up to your expectations.


mademoiselle délicieuse April 5, 2010 at 9:24 am

I love the passionfruit tart! I think his cakes sometimes can disappoint because they often contain an unorthodox ingredient – something unusual to spice things up a bit. I found that when I bought a gateau opera slice for the husband and it had a layer of liquorice within!


April @ My Food Trail April 6, 2010 at 8:42 pm

Hi essjayeats: I know, I've lost the love! They're too sweet for me! 🙂

Hi Simon: You live in Sydney so you have no excuse not to try them! And lucky you to get all those macarons from Baroque!

Hi Esz: You definitely have to go there to see all the beautiful creations!

Hi Yen: The other cakes weren't too sweet, it's just the macarons that were too sugary.

Hi Agnes: There's always next time!

Hi mademoiselle délicieuse: Wow, licorice in an Opera, that is unorthodox! That's probably why I didn't like it as much.


Megan April 6, 2010 at 10:32 pm

Oh wow! Sorry I didn't get to read all the text. I was too busy staring at the cake, wish it would materialize in front of me. They are so beautiful, so inspiring…Thanks for sharing. =D


Emma @CakeMistress April 7, 2010 at 2:29 pm

Phwoar, so much delicious cake. Thanks for posting these. I've enjoyed vicariously experiencing Zumbo's creations through your pics and descriptions.


Conor @ HoldtheBeef April 7, 2010 at 8:12 pm

Didn't realise it was a wee little shop. I'm sure I'd give everyone the umps wandering back and forth for hours trying to choose what to get.


OohLookBel April 10, 2010 at 1:24 am

I feel the same way about Zumbo's cakes – lovely to look at, but it's like cake roulette when it comes to the taste! Hope you get the chance to try some more in the near future.


Maria@TheGourmetChallenge April 14, 2010 at 7:49 am

Every time I see any of Zumbo's creations I truely impressed. I'm quite surprised that they didnt live up to your expectations. I would love one day to try his stuff, but I guessing half of melbourne feels the same way….lucky sydney-siders!


April @ My Food Trail April 15, 2010 at 9:06 pm

Hi Megan: Thanks! I often wish things I see on food blogs would materialise in front of me too!

Hi Emma: No worries! They are really such beautiful cakes!

Hi Conor: Much like what I did! It was a hard choice knowing I couldn't order everything!

Hi Bel: LOL, cake roulette!! I hope so too!

Hi Maria: You definitely have to try it and see the lovely creations in person!


dining table August 25, 2010 at 6:24 pm

Wow! Sweets! I am so in love in sweets. That place is a sweets paradise. I must visit that place. I want to try all those sweets.


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