Dessert Correspondents

A Melbourne, London & Hong Kong dessert blog

Zumbo Patisserie

Tarts + cakes + macarons + chocarons + dessert train = sugar vertigo at the one of a kind (slightly underwhelming) Zumbo.

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Our experience

Zumbo. Heard of the name? Read the book? Seen the TV series? Yes, no and no are MoMo & Coco’s answers. Following hype usually leads to profound disappointment, whether that be the top 10 best-selling books, must-adopt fashion trends, must-buy share investments etc. It’s so pink that it screams “Barbie.” It’s so neon that it shrieks red light district. Yet there it is, tucked away on its lonesome in a corridor of the Star Casino precinct, Zumbo’s third patisserie and first dessert train. There’s neon-lit trapezoidal domes covering cakes like laboratory specimens, a bath tub filled with chocolates and chocarons (chocolate-covered macarons) and a wall of emergency, “break to open” boxes housing trays of stacked macarons. Then if that’s not enough to mesmerize your sight and give you sugar vertigo, there’s a sushi-style dessert belt that weaves its way from open pastry kitchen to a side room decorated with the wooden toy models straight from childhood days. It’s truly a fascinating layout for a patisserie, one of a kind.

Zumbo Patisserie – the frontage

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Without too many more words, MoMo & Coco will show you the store. We only dared to take photos of the store because almost every person who walked in did the same, :)

Zumbo Patisserie – the shopfront

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Zumbo Patisserie – the shopfront

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Zumbo Patisserie – the shopfront

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Let’s show you now the dessert train. Priced at $8.50-$10.50 a plate depending on the colour of the plate, one is at leisure to sample as little or as many of the desserts that rotate on the conveyor belt. There are 9 that are unique to the dessert train at the Pyrmont train, and the rest are from the current cake range available in store for around $2-$3 cheaper if taken away rather than eaten at the dessert train.

Zumbo Patisserie – the dessert train

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Zumbo Patisserie – the dessert train

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Zumbo Patisserie – the dessert train

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MoMo & Coco sampled three of the desserts unique to the dessert train, and one creation from the current cake range. The first — “Pine/Mint Splice” — was a refreshing palate cleanser, light and cool of texture and bursting with lime, pineapple and mint on the palate.

Zumbo Patisserie – the “Pine Mint Splice”

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Zumbo Patisserie – close-up of the “Pine Mint Splice”

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The second — the “Hazelnut Dacquoise” — comprised of two logs of hazelnut cake, soft, spongy, beautifully infused with hazelnut with a crunchy praline base, accompanied with an equally lovely twirl of chocolate chantilly cream. MoMo & Coco’s favourite of the lot.

Zumbo Patisserie – the “Hazelnut Dacquoise”

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Zumbo Patisserie – close-up of the “Hazelnut Dacquoise”

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The third — “Chocolate Coffee Brulee” — was a trio of chocolate fudge cake square laced over with a tasteless, superfluous foam web (it was supposed to be a “milk emulsion”), flanked by a tube of a bitter chocolate gelatinous cream and crested with a spangled shard of toffee. It did not live up to its label of creme brulee, even in its deconstructed form (we have never eaten a creme brulee with cake components).

Zumbo Patisserie – the “Chocolate Coffee Brulee”

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Zumbo Patisserie – close-up of the “Chocolate Coffee Brulee”

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From the standard pastry range, the “Ssnowmanorr” was delightful, two fat voluptous mounds of choux pastry enclosing a fluffy lychee cream and a coconut-lychee sago centre. By golly!

Zumbo Patisserie – the “Ssnowmanorr”

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Zumbo Patisserie – close-up of the “Ssnowmanorr”

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Let’s also show you the Chocarons — chocolate covered macarons. The macarons take on a somewhat denser, chewier texture when covered in the chocolate shell. Can you get any more sinful?? Simply divine.

Zumbo Patisserie – the “Chocarons”

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Zumbo Patisserie – close-up of the “Chocaron”

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Our verdict

Is the hype warranted?

The dessert train – no. :(  That dessert train at Pyrmont was a particular disappointment — the marathon of dessert plates require significant re-tinkering. Melting, puddling Ice cream and soft cream are not an appetising look. Further, mere daubs of bavarois and just-only dressed-up slices of plain cake are not worthy of the asking prices. For a similarly-priced dessert-only experience, MoMo & Coco would rather return to Melbourne’s Cafe Rosamond dessert evenings.

The standard patisserie product range –YES! :D Firstly, it is important to note that Zumbo’s creations does not surpass the extreme scientific-like inventiveness found at Melbourne’s laboratory-cum-patisserie, Burch & Purchese. However, by comparison to the sadly often muted and/or understated flavours of Burch & Purchese’s highly complex creations, Zumbo’s simpler creations are far more consistently flavoursome. No insipid sugary-ness only. Moreover, because Zumbo’s cakes are generally constructed classically but with a Zumbo twist here and there, and because they do not travel down the mousse-cake route only, Zumbo’s creations are far easier to appreciate by us and arguably, by more generations of dessert lovers. Specifically, the much-lauded macarons are just ok, powerful flavours but erring on a somewhat dry and bumply texture for our personal preference (bear in mind though, that unlike our previous macaron reviews, we were not able to visit more than once to ensure accuracy). No matter, the so-so-sinful chocarons are better, but it has to be Zumbo’s cakes that come with our highest recommendation. In particular, Zumbo’s famous eight-layered V8 cake (sampled some time ago; we did not see this one at Pyrmont on our recent Sydney trip) and the classical French tarts are reliable exquisiteness. The seasonal creations at the dessert train and brought home were truly indulgent also. So yes, MoMo & Coco quite love Zumbo’s Patisserie. One of a kind. And yes, as much as we Melbournites hate to say it, there seems to be another reason to travel to Sydney for something that Melbourne does not have.

  • Dessert adventure checklist
  1. Dessert destination: Adriano Zumbo Patissierie, 80 Pyrmont Street, Pyrmont, NSW 2009.
  2. Budget: $-$$.
  3. Sweet irresistibles: Cake.
  4. Must-eat: Dessert train experience, and “chocorons.”
  5. The short and sweet story: Tarts + cakes + macarons + chocarons + dessert train = sugar vertigo at the one of a kind (slightly underwhelming) Zumbo.

Zumbo Patisserie – one of a kind

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4 comments on “Zumbo Patisserie

  1. Poppet
    March 9, 2012

    This place is something of a dream! Interesting to hear your mixed review. Those chocarons are pure indulgence materialised… Might have to get a few sent to Melbourne! Thanks for sharing.

    • MoMo & Coco
      March 10, 2012

      Hi Poppet – yes, Zumbo’s patisserie is a dream…a sugar dream! Our review relates to the Pyrmont store, not the Manly nor Balmain one so it might be different. Thank you for your continued readership of our blog, MoMo & Coco

  2. Baking Tray
    March 9, 2012

    I REALLY REALLY want to visit Zumbo’s! yes i agree! One of the main reasons why I want to go to Sydney ^^ Those chocorons look delicious~ :) Thanks for the review!! Hope I can go there one day too :)

    • MoMo & Coco
      March 10, 2012

      Hello Baking Tray – thanks for your comment, looking forward to hearing from you about Zumbo’s patisserie if you get to Sydney too. Cheers, MoMo & Coco

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