12-14 Claremont Street
South Yarra VIC 3141
I think it’s fair to say that most of us know who Adriano Zumbo is so my introduction will be brief. He’s the bald-headed dude whose face launched a thousand shits on Masterchef when he gave the contestants the task to create a croquembouche. He’s the dude partly responsible for making macarons a ‘thing’ in Australia. And he’s the dude who made a savoury-over-sweets-thanks person like me go crazy over his dessert train at The Star in Sydney last year.
Thankfully Melbourne’s Zumbo lovers do not need to hop on a plane to Sydney if they’re craving Zumbo’s macarons (or ‘zumbarons’). Zumbo’s first Melbourne store opened two months ago and as predicted, a huge crowd rocked up to the party on the first day of trading.
Dave and I decided to wait it out before heading to the store. We both finish work at a reasonable hour and so we agreed to meet in the South Yarra store at 4:45pm on a Tuesday afternoon. We were stoked to see no line outside the door; however we were not prepared to be told that they had sold out of little cakes and tart! Nor were we prepared to be greeted by the sight of these strange-looking seats – they looked like they were covered in some strange marshallow-soapy-fairy-floss thing.
Luckily, Dave got there minutes before I did and was able to snag the very last tart, a passionfruit curd one.
The tart was beautiful. From the crumbly base to the tangy and velvety filling, the tart proved to be a hit for us self-confessed carnivores.
There were a few Danishes left so I grabbed a strawberry one for myself and one for my workmate, Amy.
Despite the fact that it was towards the end of the day, the pastry was still crispy and flaky. I was also impressed with the filling – the strawberries were sweet and fresh, while the custard was creamy with the slightest hint of tartness.
Of course, one can’t leave a Zumbo store without taking home some macarons – sorry, zumbarons. At $2.50 each, they’re pretty good value for money when you think about the fact that some places sell crappy ones for about the same price. Upon Daisy’s recommendation, I grabbed the pandan & sticky rice zumbaron – it almost felt like I was eating a pandan-flavoured bika ambon in macaron form. Meanwhile, I liked the piquancy of the yoghurt and passionfruit one and the tanginess of the pineapple & lime. My favourite, however, was the apple pie one – it was tart with hints of cinnamon. Somehow Zumbo also managed to capture the essence of the crust for I could taste a hint of pastry dough. This, I reckon, prevented the apple pie zumbaron from tasting too one dimensional.
This Zumbo store is a worthy addition to the growing Claremont Street repertoire, and one that Melburnians have embraced like today’s sunshine (we’re in the middle of December and we’re finally starting to see legit summer weather!). I’m hoping that I’ll get a chance to try one of Zumbo’s cakes though knowing my luck, I’ll probably have more luck hopping on a plane to Sydney and scoring one at The Star than in Melbourne!