CAKE maestro Adriano Zumbo has finally brought his whimsical creations down south and opened a Melbourne store. Diane Leow drops by and gives you her verdict.
Known for crazy creations like the V8 cake on season three of Masterchef Australia, patissier Adriano Zumbo originally worked out of his Sydney stores, driving dessert aficionados to often purchase dozens of macarons when they were in the city, with some making special trips just for his exclusive dessert train events.
But now, sugar addicts can visit his store in South Yarra and satisfy any cravings.
Decked out in Zumbo’s signature magenta, the Melbourne store has a small seating area for patrons to enjoy cakes, pastries and the signature zumborons. Be warned: there is usually a queue, though the line moves rather quickly thanks to the attentive staff on hand.
Grabbing everyone’s attention at the moment is the zonut – a donut made with flaky croissant pastry, then deep fried and filled with vanilla custard, topped with a layer of icing, and cookie crumbs to finish. It is extremely rich and decadent and would make a great dessert or snack to share with friends.
With at least a dozen zumboron flavours available every day, you’d be spoilt for choice. Ranging from familiar flavours such as chocolate to Asian flavours such as Pandan Sticky Rice, you just may want to purchase a large box. The pandan sticky rice macaron was a wonderful adaptation from the Asian desserts we are so familiar with, while the salted butter popcorn will definitely appeal to those with a penchant for sweet-salty flavours.
Zumbo is also known for bringing molecular gastronomy (read: crazy food experiments) to the masses. When we visited, the Melbourne Zumbo store heavily featured the Steak and Pie macaron.
You might be puzzled over this flavour at first, but it was actually very satisfying. The ganache was reminiscent of beef mince from a typical Four ‘n’ Twenty pie, and there was even a tomato sauce that went very well with the macaron. All up, I’d definitely recommend you try Zumbo’s other wacky-flavoured zumborons, especially since you’d be hard pressed to find such flavours at other patissieries.
Of course, one cannot leave the patissier without trying one of Zumbo’s famous cakes that are all pretty as a picture. Expect typical flavours such as hazelnut and salted caramel, as well as wacky cakes such as this wasabi-banana-lime combination.
We took it to a panel of four to decide – the contrasting textures of the cake made for an interesting dessert, but the banana cream was pretty overpowering, masking the other flavours. That said, it might be a great dessert for those who would typically avoid wasabi, as the wasabi flavour was not too strong.
Melbourne is home to a great many cake stores, and Zumbo is definitely a welcome addition. Dessert lovers should definitely make their way to the store at least once – if not to eat cake, then at least to admire the beautiful creations through the window.
While not every flavour will appeal to each person, be a little adventurous and you might surprise yourself. That is, after all, the hallmark of a great patissier – to create dishes that incite wonder and keep people wanting more.
From the popularity of his Melbourne store, it certainly seems he’s doing it right.
Adriano Zumbo Patisserie is on 12 -14 Claremont St, South Yarra, open everyday from 7am until sold out.