Continuing on from our very satisfying brunch at Kazbah on Darling, we drove further up Darling Street to Adriano Zumbo’s patisserie. It had been a few weeks since his appearance on Masterchef Season 2 with the fear-inspiring macaron tower, but obviously the Zumbo craze was yet to die down since we could spot the patisserie a mile away from the seemingly permanent queue of customers outside.
We joined the queue and I saw a lot of people who were walking past slow down as they got to Zumbo’s patisserie and wonder what all the fuss was about. I also spotted these t-shirts as we approached the store-front – I heart zumbo oh yes I do (but not enough to buy the t-shirt, I’d rather buy more cakes haha)
When we finally got into the store itself it was madness, I could barely even see what cakes were left. It was already 2pm so a lot of the more popular cakes had been snapped up and given the current macaron hype I wasn’t surprised to find out that there was only one macaron flavour left: Vegemite.
I’m not too keen on Vegemite so I submitted to the fact that I was not going to get any macarons today. But I wasn’t going to leave empty handed, I quickly snapped up the last I’ll Get Back To You Barry cake from the Winter 2010 collection and one of the beautiful passionfruit tarts. As soon as I tasted I’ll Get Back To You Barry I was so glad I got the very last one for the day! It was hard to distinguish between all the different components but together it became an exquisite and decadent chocolate cake. The cake was mousse-like in texture and it very much reminded me of those little Yogo compartmentalised snacks I used to have as a kid where you mix the chocolate covered rice crispies into the chocolate Yogo (anyone remember those?)
The passionfruit tart is a permanent fixture at the patisserie and I couldn’t help myself from getting it. I mean, look at how pretty it is? Not only is it pretty to look at but it’s delicious as well, with a short, crumbly pastry and a silky smooth creme that is packed with passionfruit flavour!
Our last stop on Darling Street was Belle Fleur at Queen Chu’s request (coincidentally it was also featured on Masterchef). It’s a small chocolate shop and as soon as you open the door you’re overwhelmed with the aroma of chocolate from the displays they have around the shop. They had a wide selection of chocolates and it was difficult to choose because there were so many that looked and sounded good.
Belle Fleur chocolates are sold by weight and if you spend a certain amount (and ask nicely) they will package them up all pretty in a gift box. We were pressed for time so I just chose some chocolates which I thought sounded/looked interesting but after looking at the pamphlet that comes with the chocolates more carefully at home there were other ones which I think I would have preferred. But I guess that just gives me an excuse to go back and gorge on more chocolates hehehe
I really enjoyed the duet with the whole macadamias enrobed in chocolate and a bit of crunchy praline at the bottom. The ravioli was interesting as the filling was crushed sesame that sort of tasted like those sesame snaps but not as sweet. The delice cafe was probably my least favourite, with the coffee liqueur flavour being a bit too strong and bitter for my liking. I also liked the chilli and at first I couldn’t taste the chilli at all but then it just comes at you and it was quite hot! (but that could be my chilli-sensitive tastebuds talking)
The Shell had a hazelnut ganache filling and the whole thing was beautifully smooth, it was one of my favourites. Both of the truffles were also divine with chocolate flakes on the outside and a chocolate cream on the inside. The difference between the two was that the Peruvian truffle used 64% dark Peruvian chocolate whereas the Venezuelan truffle used 43% milk Venezuelan chocolate. The Sesame I found a bit strange mainly due to the tahini ganache which I didn’t think went that well with the chocolate. Oh, but there are so many other flavours I want to try that I’ll definitely be returning to pick up more chocolates, or even just go into the shop to smell that intoxicating chocolate aroma again!
Adriano Zumbo Patisserie
296 Darling Street
Balmain NSW 2040
Ph: +61 2 9810 7318
Open Monday to Saturday, 8am – 6pm; Sunday, 8am – 4pm
Belle Fleur Fine Chocolates
658 Darling Street
Rozelle NSW 2039
Ph: +61 2 9810 7388
Monday to Saturday, 9am – 6pm
Saturday, 9am – 4.30pm
Sunday, 10am – 4pm