Category Archives: Reviews

Adriano Zumbo Patisserie, Balmain and Belle Fleur Fine Chocolates, Rozelle

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.

(left) Tarte aux fruits de la passion and “I’ll Get Back To You Barry” cake; (right) “I’ll Get Back To You Barry”: Chocolate yogo creme brulee, soft chocolate gel, chocolate cereal crunchy, chocolate sable breton, chocolate caramel mousse, chocolate plaquette – $8.00

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?)

Tarte aux fruits de la passion: pâte sablée, passionfruit crème – $7.00

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

(clockwise from top left): Duet, Ravioli, Chilli, Delice Cafe

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)

(clockwise from top left): Shell, Peruvian truffle, Sesame, Venezuelan truffle

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

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Adriano Zumbo Café Chocolat on Urbanspoon

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

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Kazbah on Darling, Balmain

Ok, so I admit that following Adriano Zumbo’s appearance on Masterchef Australia, I got caught up in the whole Zumbo/macaron hype as well and decided that since my last visit to Zumbo was before his Masterchef days, another visit was in order (I may or may not have been one of those Asian foodbloggers standing in line taking photos at Zumbo, but more about that in another post). I rounded up a car-full of friends and we headed to Balmain/Rozelle for the day to check out some foodie destinations along Darling Street.

Our first stop was lunch at Kazbah on Darling and luckily we scored a parking spot just outside the restaurant. It was very busy for a weekday lunchtime with three large groups inside the restaurant but we were still able to get a table. The decor inside the restaurant was beautiful with intricately-patterned plates on the walls and brightly coloured light fixtures.

While we perused the menu, the waiter poured us water from a curiously unique water jug. The ring where you hold the jug from was so delicate and thin that it looked like it would snap off easily but I found it was actually quite sturdy. I also discovered that you can purchase these water jugs from Kazbah and B picked one up for his sister that day.

Breakfast Tagine: Roast pumpkin, spinach, roast capsicum, roast tomato, caramelised onion, feta, eggs, Turkish toast and Lebanese bread – $18.50 per person (1 serve pictured)

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Coast, Darling Harbour

Sir D never likes to visit the same restaurant twice. Every time I ask him after a meal if he would return, he says, “I’d rather go someplace new” (unless it’s somewhere really amazing like Quay). So in the spirit of trying someplace new, we wander around Darling Harbour looking for a place to have a nice dinner before catching a movie at the IMAX and we stumble across Coast on the top level of Cockle Bay Wharf.

It’s still early on a Friday night so the restaurant is quite empty. It’s nice and spacious with views of Darling Harbour and the Harbouside Shopping centre on the other side. We’re seated at a table with a good view of the open kitchen and above us is a big light fixture which reminds me of ocean waves.

We order two mains and a side and while we wait we’re given some complimentary bread and olive oil to munch on. The bread is actually really good, so when the waiter asks if we would like some more bread, we happily say yes.

Bultarra Saltbush Lamb rump, kipfler potatoes, capers and dill – $37

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ATFT Photography Workshop @ MUMU Grill, Crows Nest

It’s been almost a year now since I’ve started using a DSLR for my photography and although it’s been a steep learning curve, I still have a long long way to go to get my photos looking as good as I’d like. I can only dream that one day my photography will be as awesome as Billy’s from A Table for Two but in the mean time there is much to learn. And who better to learn from than Billy himself at his ATFT food photography workshops held at MUMU Grill.

Olive selection and Cherry tomato and feta salad

18 month Jamon Serrano and Catalan bread

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Red Spoon Thai Restaurant, Castle Hill

You may have noticed that given the large number of Thai restaurants in Sydney, I have yet to review any of them on my blog. This is because I don’t really like Thai food – granted, I’m not all that familiar with Thai food and my knowledge about it is very limited, but I do know that there are certain flavours used in Thai cooking which don’t appeal to me. Namely coriander and kaffir lime. Bleh! (It also doesn’t help that I can’t take a lot of chilli)

As a result I don’t really choose to go to Thai restaurants, but on this night we were dining with family friends and the parentals had chosen to go to Red Spoon in Castle Hill. I always think that if I keep trying foods then maybe one day I will grow to like them, so I went along with this attitude hoping that my tastebuds will have magically grown to like these Thai flavours.

Well, I can’t confirm that this happened, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that I enjoyed most of the food that we ordered. Maybe because I tried to steer away from the dishes that I knew would be very strong on the coriander or kaffir lime leaf taste, but nevertheless it made me think that I should go out and try more Thai food before being so quick to strike off a cuisine completely.

Curry puff (4 pcs) – $6.90

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