The Australian macaron aficionado
As a pastry chef trained in Paris, I was a little sceptical of Adriano’s audacity in renaming the macaron, the “Zumbaron.” The Sydney-based chef seems to have been successful in making it his own, as you can even buy Zumbaron mixes in Australian supermarkets. His matching pair of stores in walking distance in Balmain are suitably hip and modern, clean interiors full of bright desserts, and even a faux graffiti tag outside which includes, of course, a macaron design.
When I tasted them though, I was converted: as good as any in Paris, with unusual flavour combinations that really worked. Passionfruit and basil was a favourite, bright and subtle, as was Apple Pie. Salted Caramel on Toast was rich and luxurious with a pleasantly gritty texture (the “toast”?) while Buttered Popcorn was the only missed opportunity, as it tasted overwhelmingly of pure butter. His desserts too were whimsical: imaginative shapes but backed with real, clear flavours: the passionfruit-curd tart was just right, simply decorated with a perfectly crumbly shortcrust base. Next time, I would like to try the Malt Teaser, a shiny orb of chocolate. Though Adriano Zumbo can be found several locations in Sydney (and Melbourne), visit the Terry St boutique for a peek into the kitchens, at the chefs and the trays and trays of macaron halves. By 3pm, a lot of the cakes were sold out, so arrive early! Or take one of his classes and make them at home.
Adriano Zumbo: 296 Darling Street, Balmain or 114 Terry St, Rozelle, Sydney (click link for other locations)