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Sunday, November 08, 2009

Adriano Zumbo - Macaron Day

Macaron! Macaron! Macaron!

It was macaron mania last Friday, a one-off day of nothing but crazy macaron flavours in-store at Adriano Zumbo, Balmain, to celebrate Adriano Zumbo's birthday.

Up to sixty flavours had been promised, a bewildering array of creations, ranging from Vegemite sourdough to cheeseburger to avocado and Golden Gaytime.

I arrived early on Friday morning with fellow macaron fans to find a window display decked out with a rainbow of macaron shells...

Macaron window display

and a paint palette set with macaron "paints".

Perhaps it was a little overboard to get there at 7.30am. Other fans started to arrive at about 7.45am and by 8.00am, the queue was already snaking its way across two shopfronts. The sight of so many people prompted several locals to stop and enquire why we were queuing.

The queue at 8.00am

Charles starts unpacking the macaron boxes at 8.10am

Although slated to open at 8.00am, the van with the first delivery of macarons didn't arrive until 8.05am. Adriano arrives shortly afterwards.

Adriano Zumbo

Adriano Zumbo helps with the macaron set-up

Zumbo fans are keen but also patient. The doors finally open at 8.30am and when we enter, it's quite a sight to see the entire counter covered with a deluge of multi-coloured macarons.

Controlled chaos. There's no central list in-store so customers are rattling off flavour requests from print-outs (I spot a few printed from Grab Your Fork!), or browsing straight from their iPhone. An army of staff, meanwhile, squeeze around each other from one end of the counter to the other, packing precious cargo into cellophane bags or Zumbo's signature black and pink cardboard boxes.

Macaron mania? Bring it on...

Iced Vovo macarons

Liquorice macarons

Strawberries and cream macarons

Goats cheese and blueberry macarons

Chupa Chup macarons on a stick

All those macarons can make you feel a little delirious. Half our flavours had not yet arrived by the time we ordered, so we found ourselves clutching our purchases and then joining the queue a second time (the cheeseburger macaron had to be ours!). Yes, we're a bit mad in the head.

The final result? I came away with 19 macarons, splurging $46 in the process. Each macaron was $2 except this one, the $10 black truffle macaron with real black truffle.

Black truffle macaron $10

The black truffle macaron was amazing. The flecks of truffle were sparse but when you found them, the earthy mushroom flavour resonated across the palate.

Lamington macaron

I also loved the lamington macaron, the shells a little softer in a way that replicated the texture of a chocolate-dipped sponge cake. A sprinkling of toasted coconut provided the perfect finish.

Dougnut macaron and burnt toast and butter macaron

Other highlights: the cheeseburger macaron was hilarious. Bright red and sprinkled with sesame seeds, it was sandwiched with tomato and pickle sauce and a real slice of cheese.

I also loved the Vegemite sourdough macaron which was salty and sweet. It's awakened a new craving, and had me eating Vegemite on toast all weekend.

The burnt toast and butter macaron makes you gasp in the same way that the popcorn macaron does. It tastes exactly like the description: crumbs of burnt toast slathered with butter that reminds you of slap-dash breakfasts on the way to school.

Avocado macaron and popcorn macaron

The avocado macaron reminded me of an avocado shake, the flavour the avocado tempered by the sweetness of sugar. Golden Gaytime was a cute idea idea but I found myself craving chunkier biscuits crumbs, just like the ice cream original.

Bacon, maple syrup and pancake macaron

Bacon, maple syrup and pancake macaron has a strong maple flavour but the fine bacon bits in the ganache are hard to discern flavour-wise. French toast has crunchy bits in it that reminds us more of rice pudding, and whilst Chupa Chup isn't striking in flavour, it's a cute concept to have a macaron on a stick.

Toasted marshmallow has a sticky creme filling; chocolate and salted caramel is sandwiched together with a thick splodge of sticky caramel.

Chocolate and salted caramel macaron

Toated marshmallow macaron and Golden Gaytime macaron

Adriano Zumbo

Check out the full list of macaron flavours that were sold on the day here.

Macaron Day was held on Friday November 6, 2009 to celebrate Adriano Zumbo's Birthday.

Happy Birthday Adriano!

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Adriano Zumbo Patisserie
296 Darling Street, Balmain, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9810 7318

Monday to Saturday 8am-6pm
Sunday 8am-4pm

Related GrabYourFork posts:
Adrian Zumbo Macaron Day flavour list (Oct09)
Adriano Zumbo Patissier, Balmain ( May09) , (Jan09) and (Nov08)
Adriano Zumbo Cafe Chocolat, Balmain (Nov08)
33 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 11/08/2009 11:06:00 pm


  • At 11/09/2009 12:33 am, Anonymous Mrs Pig Flyin' said…

    Amazing colours and creations, thanks for sharing! There are enough flavours for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.... and many tea breaks in bewteen

  • At 11/09/2009 1:18 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I have read about Zumbo's Patisserie via your blog previously. My interest was piqued. So when I heard about the Macaron bonanza, I decided that i'd make the 1 hour trip to Balmain to see what all the fuss was about. I also strolled down to the cafe and ordered a serving of 'the younger years'

    While I commend the sheer variety of Macarons, I was not wowed by them. I like rich food, and in particular sweet things, but these Macarons were not my cup of tea. I found them to be very sickly sweet for the most part (I bought 5) and think that there is better fare elsewhere. The popcorn flavoured one wasn't too bad though.

    The cafe was allright, but the service was slow and rushed (I'll put that down to the crowds that day) such as the waitress injecting the coulis into the fondant, etc. I didn't find my dish to be that exciting taste-wise, either.

    I would like to try the cakes sold at the patisserie in the future, however due to my uninspired experience I don't think I'll be doing so unless I happen to be out that way.

    Keep up the great blog work by the way. I find it useful for meal/outing ideas.

  • At 11/09/2009 1:35 am, Blogger sugarpuffi said…

    wow that looks overwhelming! I would've bought one of every flavour (cept vegemite) to save myself being in a position of dilemma.

  • At 11/09/2009 7:46 am, Anonymous chocolatesuze said…

    mmm what a fun and tasty day! i loved the buttered toast and the cheeseburger macaron and oh the popcorn macaron and the peanut butter macaron and oh man i want more!

  • At 11/09/2009 8:33 am, Anonymous Su-yin said…

    This looks amazing! I would have loved to be able to be able to make it, though I suspect I'd have had a tough time deciding on flavours! :P

  • At 11/09/2009 8:34 am, Anonymous Su-yin said…

    Lol. I just realised my comment makes it seem like I actually live in Australia, when in reality I'm many many miles away. :P

  • At 11/09/2009 9:19 am, Blogger Two fit and fun gals said…


  • At 11/09/2009 9:59 am, Blogger Gastronomy Gal said…

    Did you taste the cheeseburger?!

  • At 11/09/2009 10:11 am, Blogger Stephcookie said…

    Hehe I can't help feeling a little ill looking at all the macarons, still can't quite believe how many I ate! I totally agree, the cheeseburger macaron was hilarity :D

  • At 11/09/2009 12:08 pm, Blogger Karen | Citrus and Candy said…

    Oh the colours! I love the pretty colours! Awesome pics Helen! Nah it wasn't overboard to come at 7:30. I admire your dedication to do so before work though :)

    It was a fun and interesting day but I'd still take his passionfruit tart and Paris La Vien En Rose over macarons anyday!

  • At 11/09/2009 12:41 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    What a day!! The pictures are awesome. I should really start making an effort to visit zumbo.

  • At 11/09/2009 1:07 pm, Anonymous Norman said…

    Just for the total otaku-ness (if there is such a word) of the day is something we should all admire and support... hopefully some of these flavors will filter out into the regular offerings! I vote for burnt toast and cheese burger.

    AND.... Love to see a picture of the cheese burger macaron!

  • At 11/09/2009 1:25 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hello Grab Your Fork- was lovely meeting you at the Zumbo queue last Friday.

    The Burnt toast with butter was orgasmic- I would love to see that flavour become a regular.

  • At 11/09/2009 1:39 pm, Blogger A cupcake or two said…

    Great write up Helen. I love Zumbos Macarons. Unfortunately I missed out because of work. The strawberries and cream mac looks amazing. Yummm

  • At 11/09/2009 2:02 pm, Blogger OohLookBel said…

    You are certainly dedicated, getting into the queue twice! I'm still working through my macaron splurge with the burnt toast and butter ahead by a mile.

  • At 11/09/2009 2:19 pm, Blogger joey@forkingaroundsydney said…

    Wow! Are all those in the queue at 8a.m. all food bloggers? LOL

  • At 11/09/2009 2:49 pm, Anonymous Chris said…

    Oohh pretty..like little magical gems of sugary goodness - the burnt toast and butter macaron looks interesting, I wonder how he got it to be that shape?

  • At 11/09/2009 3:51 pm, Anonymous Julian Davis said…

    Really amazing pictures of food. I love the different varieties .

  • At 11/09/2009 6:02 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    We went - it was a lot of fun and total chaos. I enjoyed it, in part for the overwhelming choices. loved burnt butter and salted caramel and lamington. We had ours at Little Maroinette which I like better than the cafe, also it was calm and easy to hang out for an hour.

  • At 11/09/2009 6:35 pm, Blogger Simon Leong said…

    i've still yet to try them. maybe one day when it's not so busy :-)

  • At 11/09/2009 7:38 pm, Blogger YaYa said…

    do ya reckon EVERYONE in the queue was a food blogger??? I'm so glad you managed to try the truffle macaron! Amazing pics, felt like I was there!

  • At 11/09/2009 9:22 pm, Anonymous kay said…

    zumbo should give u lots of macarons lol for posting beatiful pics of his macarons!! love the green ones!!

  • At 11/10/2009 10:13 am, Blogger 2-minute Noodle Cook said…

    The macs look beautiful! The flavours definitely a lot more adventurous than I dare to do at home. The black truffle one sounds awesome. Thanks for sharing.

  • At 11/10/2009 4:53 pm, Anonymous Leona said…

    its gonna be a while till I eat another macaron after hoeing into a billion with Karen, Steph & Lisa.. The whole day i couldnt eat anything and the next day i felt soo gluggy. It was worth the sugar overload ^_^

    My favourites was the cream bun, burnt butter, and the chupa chup =P

  • At 11/10/2009 8:52 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Mrs Pig Flyin' - The kaleidoscope of colours was amazing and yes, so many flavours! I think I have enough macarons to last me for the next fortnight! lol

    Hi Ten - Glad to hear you made it to Zumbo although sorry to hear it didn't live up to your expectations. A one-hour trip is quite impressive! I expect the cafe was run off its feet that day. The popcorn macaron is one of my favourites!

    Thank you for your very kind words about the site. Pleased to see that you're finding Grab Your Fork such a valuable resource :)

    Hi Sugarpuffi - Buying one of every flavour was very tempting but for the budget which wouldn't really stretch that far! The Vegemite one was great though - not overly salty but just enough to be intrigugin!

    Hi chocolatesuze - Fun and tasty indeed! Buttered toast and cheeseburger and popcorn were all my favourites too! I missed out on the peanut butter one alas - here's hoping it makes a return visit soon.

    Hi Su-Yin - I'm sure you would've loved it. So many flavours, although yes narrowing down the choices was so much work!

    Hi Betty - It was. Lots of fun!

    Hi Gastronomy Gal - I did taste the cheeseburger and it was amazing. Had a thick tomato sauce which tasted of pickles and the cheese! Real cheese! Very inspired.

    Hi Stephcookie - You guys made a mammoth effort! I applaud your intestinal fortitude. And the cheeseburger surely must make a re-appearance soon!

    Hi Karen - Ha, we ended up queueing for ages, and then had to line up again to order from the second delivery. I think you guys definitely did it in style though, and applaudable excess too!

    Hi Ellie - It was a crazy day, and ha, I don't think you need to visit Zumbo when you possess some amazing macaron skills yourself :) Although I do think you deserve a day out. With tea and dessert!

    Hi Norman - lol. Otaku-ness! Yes! The burnt toast was amazing and the cheeseburger was so much fun. Would you believe that in the end I didn't get a close-up shot of the cheeseburger? I started to get bored (18 macarons? Argh) and didn't realise I hadn't gotten the important cheeseburger shot. Argh. It was bright red, small and topped with sesame seeds. A little prone to sogginess too but otherwise super tasty.

  • At 11/10/2009 8:52 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Anon - Hallo! I'm glad we got a chance to chat during our second time in the queue! I agree - I'd love to see the burnt toast be included in the next collection. Lovely to meet you and thank you so much for commenting :)

    Hi A Cupcake or Two - I think quite a few people missed out due to work. The strawberries and cream macarons were very pretty in appearance. But then, so was everything!

    Hi Belle - Ahh I'm still working through my assortment of remaining macaron halves too! We had come so far it seemed silly not to linger for another 30min to get our macarons. The cheeseburger hadn't arrived yet and so many other must-haves that yes, we rejoined the queue. lol. Yes go go burnt toast!

    Hi Campgrenada - I'm pretty sure there were only three food bloggers in the queue at 8am :) The other bloggers arrived at more respectable hours!

    Hi Chris - Not sure why the burnt toast macarons had a funny shape but I'm guessing something in the mixture had soemthing to do with it? Whatever the shape, the flavour was phenomenal :) And yes, this type of jewellery store was much more fun!

    Hi Julian - It was a great day, and so many more flavours I wanted to try.

    Hi Debbieann - I've walked past the Little Marionette and always thought it looked like the coolest little cafe. Chaos can be fun and the choices only contributed to the state of delirium mehinks!

    Hi Simon Food Favourites - I don't think the weekend patronage is going to die down anytime soon. Perhaps an early start and then a leisurely afternoon of weekend papers and sweets. Oh yes....

    Hi YaYa - lol. No, only the front two people in the queue were food bloggers (plus the one behind the camera - lol). Other food bloggers arrived later on, and we did bump into a few on our way out. Glad you enjoyed the pics, and yes, the truffle macaron was such a novelty I had to try it!

    Hi Kay - lol. It's all about sharing the love :) I forgot that you love green!

    Hi 2-minute Noodle Cook - The black truffle one was rather special - you could really taste the true truffle flavour in occasional mouthfuls. And I wouldn't be afraid of experimenting - who knows what amazing flavour or texture combo you might end up with!

    Hi Leona - I can imagine it would be at several, er, days, before you guys eat another macaron. I think you guys certainly did it in style! And there was a cream bun flavour? Argh...... did it have a little of red jam on the side? lol

  • At 11/11/2009 12:33 pm, Anonymous Simon said…

    Wasn't all that much of a fan of the truffle one. Could barely make anything out aroma/taste wise and there were better offerings at the regular price.

    Though, having said that, there are a decent number of macaron flavours I would go back for again and again!

  • At 11/11/2009 12:49 pm, Anonymous clekitty said…

    I was so disappointed I couldn't go because of work. They look so colourful! Would have loved the burnt toast one.. I hope he brings these flavours permanently to the store!

  • At 11/11/2009 10:37 pm, Anonymous Trisha said…

    Ohmygod!!!!!!!!!! That is all I can say!
    I don't even know where to start - all that macarons! Adriano's the macaron god!

  • At 11/13/2009 3:46 pm, Anonymous reality raver said…

    Not sure what looked more delicious, the macaroons or Zumbo. I note that he is a scorpio.

  • At 11/13/2009 5:57 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Simon - I found you really did have to concentrate on the truffle macaron, and occasionally you would be rewarded with a little burst of real truffle goodness :) Am sure that some of the macaron flavours will make a reappearance. Burnt toast and butter? Yes please!

    Hi Clekitty - The burnt toast was definitely up there. I'm sure he will bring back many of the flavours for his next collection - happening very soon, I believe!

    Hi Trisha - Yes I don't think there's a pastry chef in Sydney who's experimented with more macaron flavours. Fun for everyone :)

    Hi Reality Raver - lol. And yes, he is a Scorpio. We always have more fun! :)

  • At 3/05/2010 9:27 pm, Anonymous PastryPrincess said…

    Oh. My. God! this would have been my HEAVEN! i would have bought just about all of the 60 flavours, no joking! Im obssessed with macarons, especially adriano's! sooo jealous! at least i went this week and will blog about it asap. ;)

  • At 3/17/2010 1:50 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi PastryPrincess - The macaron day at Adriano Zumbo was rather insane but in a good way! Glad you made it there and I look forward to seeing more of your Sydney posts!


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