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.

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

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,ūüôā

Zumbo Patisserie – the shopfront

Zumbo Patisserie – the shopfront

Zumbo Patisserie – the shopfront

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

Zumbo Patisserie – the dessert train

Zumbo Patisserie – the dessert train

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”

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

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”

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

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”

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

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”

Zumbo Patisserie – close-up of the “Ssnowmanorr”

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”

Zumbo Patisserie – close-up of the “Chocaron”

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!ūüėÄ 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

Adriano Zumbo P√Ętissier on Urbanspoon

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~ūüôā Thanks for the review!! Hope I can go there one day tooūüôā

    • 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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