Friday, 30 September 2011

:: Providore Review: Adriano Zumbo ::

Adriano Zumbo Master Patissier
:: Megann’s  Kitchen ::

:: an incredible zumbo pastry & a visual delight ::

I recently went on a Sydney trip to visit an Adriano Zumbo patisserie - the master patissier that most Australian contempory pastry chefs aspire to. He thinks outside the square without changing it into a circle, so all of his food is different whilst still being honest & delectable. Sheer brilliance. There is a reason why this man has shot to fame & chosen to be featured on Masterchef Australia numerous times. Adriano Zumbo wants his treats to be affordable & for all people to try them. Zumbo could easily charge at least 50% on top of his prices & people would continue to pay them without blinking an eye lid, yet he doesn’t. This, to me, makes him the true Willy Wonka (old school style please) of the pastry world & a great man. Zumbo pushes the boundaries of sweets & pastry, like putting pop rocks into his cakes for a smashing sensation. Amazing!

:: a modest, yet inviting store ::

When I first walked into his busy Balmain store and was greeted by a modest, say tiny, shopfront but was wowed by the regular flow of customers coming into the store summoned by their sweet tooth. There is no place to sit, so make sure you have a plan in mind or visit one of his other venue’s with (limited) Cafe dining options.
There were so many visually brilliant treats, I didn’t know where to start! I had to consider that I was travelling with the goodies, so there were a few I reluctantly left behind the store glass.
The staff are under the pump but offer service with a smile. They offer great advice to their customers, new & regulars alike, & are extremely helpful.
I wish I could have sampled the whole store, but given my travel restrictions, I could only try a few & I am happy to report a them back to you guys.

:: a zumbo macaron tower ::
:: a macaron tasting plate ::

Adriano Zumbo is famous for his macarons (remember the origional macaron tower on Masterchef- OMG!) & I simply couldn’t leave without a take home box. Well, at $2.30 per macaron I had quite a few! He had flavours such as “Caramelised Palm Sugar” “Chocolate” “Strawberries & Cream” & “Pandan Leaf”. My favourites from the ones that I tried are equally the Chocolate & Palm Sugar. The chocolate could not have been more incredible with an incredible fudgy ganache filling after bursting through a crunchy, meringue layer. The palm sugar had a hint of caramel sweetness which would be delightful with a latte or tea. Mmmmm, perfect.

Macaron Flavours
Japanese Mayo Caramelised
Palm Sugar
Strawberries and Cream, Black sesame, liquorice & lime
Kaffir lime and ginger
Lychee bubble tea
Charred coconut and black rice pudding
Chestnut and mint
Toasted white chocolate

:: layering up the dragon ::
:: the taste sensation- enter the dragon ::
:: inside the dragon ::

Enter the Dragon
The winner of my limited taste selection would have to be “Enter The Dragon” at $9.00 which is a select combination of toasted white chocolate mousse, coriander creameaux, peanut caramel mou, dried chilli sable & almond sponge.
“Oh my gosh, you have to try this!” I said to my husband. He hurried and got his half that I generously cut for him (though I got the bigger half!) “Oh my...” I exclaimed again, giving a little squeal of delight. “Don’t over sell it” he warned. “I’m not” I said savouring every mouthful. He took his first mouthful and then looked up at me, grinned cheekily and said “Oh my...”   End point.
Not only does this dessert look incredible with its attention to detail but its taste surprises you. For some reason I was expecting something else, maybe a little crazy & was pleasantly amazed at what was on my palette. It was a beautiful sweet, caramel, smooth, crunchy, spicy mix, a party in my mouth. Well done Mr. Zumbo, well done.

:: I wonder who this mrs palmer is??? ::
:: a lovely pastry- butter up mrs palmer ::

Butter Up Mrs Palmer
Recommended to me by the assistant, this would be a wonderful afternoon tea treat. “Butter Up Mrs Palmer” at $9.00 has burnt butter castriano and caramelised palm sugar creme legere, palm sugar almond crunch with caramelised puff pastry. It has a combination of divinely smooth, creamy layers then a crunch of pastry to break through the palette. It is a lovely dessert, a safe bet if you like your vanilla slice, which I do!

:: just look at the amazing colour! ::
:: the tart of passion tastes just as good as it looks ::

Tarte Aux Fruits de la Passion
Wow. How refreshing! “Tarte Aux Fruits de la Passion” at $6 is a passionfruit curd and pâte sucrée. Well, I could easily eat this as a dessert on a tropical island somewhere whilst sipping a tequila sunrise watching the sun set on the beach, listening to the waves lap at the shore line. Hmmmmm. The pastry was perfect, the passionfruit curd had the right amount of fruity flavouring to it & the gelatine layer made it visually spectacular. Now, back to that cocktail....

The Selection
OMG. I thought I had died & gone to my sweet tooth heaven. The amazing staff allowed me to take a few snaps to share with you, which is oh so lucky because some of the goodies were a little worse for wear after the long drive home! So enjoy what Zumbo had to offer...

:: exit malt ::
:: don pandan man ::

:: helen where's the garden ::
:: ave a avo ::
:: choc surprise tart ::
:: duck the balls of a l'orange ::

:: a beautiful macaron selection ::

All in all, my Zumbo experience was an amazingly memorable one. I was so excited to try his treats for the first time & his quality sweet goods did not disappoint. After being posted as a defence family around Australia & being rather isolated at times, I can finally say that I have tasted Zumbo delights & what a treasure it was. I have to say that I brought my esky to Zumbo’s & as I wasn’t planning to leave empty handed & to no surprise I managed to fill that baby up! Most of the treats made it home for a photograph after 5 hours of travel in extensive traffic, but I had to eat some straight away... oh well.

I now can’t wait to go back to visit his establishments with his Wonka-like desserts again.

:: adriano zumbo packaging ::

Location: Original Store: 296 Darling Street, Balmain, NSW 2040
Other various locations throughout Sydney, including Manly & Rozelle. See his website for details.
Contact: All phone enquiries Tel: (02) 02 9810 7318

 Adriano Zumbo's Book - Pre-Order Now Available
Good Things: Classes: Adriano Zumbo will be opening up a learning centre at his Rozelle location as soon as renovations have been completed. Holy cow, a chance to work with a genius of this calibre? Where do I sign?
For more information on the Adriano Zumbo Cooking Classes, follow the link.
Book: Adriano Zumbo's new book Zumbo is now available to pre-order online... SIGNED! Follow the links here or on his web site for your copy.

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