As I mentioned the other week, I spent last weekend up in New South Wales. I went up with the family to Newcastle to join in the celebrations for the milestone birthday of the mother of my new aunt-in-law.
We'd flown up to Newcastle, but the flight back was from Sydney so on the Sunday morning we drove down to Sydney, my uncle driving his brand new car, an Aston Martin DB9 (aka the car from the latest James Bond movies). The car was pale blue. It was outrageous. And sexy. And outrageously sexy.
It rained the whole time, which was slightly surreal for us bushfiery Victorians.
When I'd found out the week before that I'd be in Sydney for six hours on Sunday, I'd started planning my afternoon. I'd known from the start that I'd want to visit Adriano Zumbo's new cafe, and I was very keen to spend a few hours swanning around Surry Hills, taking the walking tour designed by Lucy of The Design Files fame. I'd emailed Sydneysider friends J and D, asking whether they were free to catch up for lunch or coffee. The charming J joined me for lunch despite feeling somewhat tender the day after Good Vibes, but as for D... he hadn't surfaced post-Vibes. What a piece of work.
Adriano Zumbo Cafe Chocolat
Shop 5, 308 Darling Street, Balmain (map)
(02) 9555 1199
Open 7 days, 7am-6pm
I stumbled upon Adriano Zumbo's pâtisserie last time I visited Sydney, and was happy to subsequently discover that A.Zum has quite the cult following amongst Sydney food bloggers. So when I read Not Quite Nigella's review of the Chocolat Cafe that he was opening a few doors down from his pâtisserie (plus NQN's extended interview with the very dishy A.Zum himself) I knew I HAD to visit.
I got down to Balmain a little early so went to check out the pâtisserie first. The girl serving was an absolute sweetheart (they're blogger-friendly, this lot) and was very happy for me to take photos of the cakes. I actually didn't end up buying any of the cakes but if I had, I would've gone for the Maxiadz, the Cloud 9 or that scandalously rich-looking Millefeuille.
I DID however buy one of those vibrant passionfruit tarts to share with Mum, plus one of every flavour of macaron they had in the place to take home to Melbourne to share with housemate DJ. And yes, they're "macarons", not "macaroons". Those wanting to know more about macarons vs macaroons should read what Melbourne's foremost macaron expert has to say on the subject here.
And on to the cafe itself! It's down a little shopping arcade, with tables out the front and only one large table and a few couches inside. At the counter, there was a selection of chocolates (including the notorious Cameltoe chocolate, named for its shape - !!) and a few more macarons.
Cute, cosy interior. The dark, varnished wood reminded me of a ski lodge. I ordered a coffee and then kicked myself for not ordering a hot chocolate instead - J had a dark chocolate one and from the sip I had it was divine, natch.
J and I both decided to cut to the chase and just order sweet desserty things for lunch. I ordered a dish called "It's a Macaron not a Hamburger!!!" ($13.50), which is a big chocolate macaron filled with dulce de leche gelato served on a bed of banana caramel rice pudding and topped with "chocolate soil" (cookie crumbs). Very rich (couldn't finish it) but delicious, and nice textures.
J went for the "Paris - La Vie en Rose" (also $13.50): rose crème brûlée, raspberry sorbet balls, fresh lychees and petit rose macarons, served with a coconut strawberry tapioca shake. And rose petals! It really was an extremely pretty dish.
He didn't much fancy the shake, but J liked the brûlée a lot. He gave me a quarter of a petit rose macaron - it was fabulous.
Afterwards, we shared a cab to Surry Hills and I embarked upon Lucy's walking tour. I saw some gorgeous stuff, thanks heaps for posting the map Lucy!
Loved the interior of the Object Gallery and their exhibition Abundant: Highlights from the Australian Pavilion of the Venice Architecture Biennale.
Seen in Foveaux Street.
Cute mobiles in Spence and Lyda.
Back at uncle and aunt's apartment in Milsons Point, about to split the passionfruit tart with Mum. The tart was TO DIE FOR.
And here are the macarons!
In descending columns in the photo below, from left to right, we have: chocolate; vanilla; cherry coconut with chocolate filling; pistachio, rose; citron; orange with chocolate filling; passionfruit; orange; earl grey; coffee; rice pudding.
I would like to report to you that they were all delicious... but unfortunately DJ, best-friend-K and I only got through half of them on the Sunday night (highlights included the citron and the earl grey). Returning home from work on Monday night I was aghast to discover that I hadn't properly sealed the container I'd put the rest in, and they were infested with ants. Giant space ants. Bloody drought, driving all the ants inside! We hates them, my precious!!
Bushfire haze on the flight back to Melbourne. :-(