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Adriano Zumbo Patissier, Macquarie Park

Adriano Zumbo’s pop­ular­ity has taken off since his appear­ance on Masterchef Australia in 2010. Funnily enough, I stopped vis­it­ing fol­low­ing his ‘debut’ as his cakes became less mod­ern-take-on-a-clas­sic and more exper­i­ment­al. With that, their fla­vours blurred into dif­fer­ent takes on a gen­er­ic fruity sweet­ness, which stopped me, but not increas­ing num­bers of Sydneysiders, flock­ing to his store in Balmain or his expan­sion to a fur­ther six loc­a­tions. Six years on, I gave his cakes anoth­er try, hop­ing to be re-impressed.

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This is Dr Apple and Nurse Pear ($9.50) with ‘pista­chio dac­quoise, apple and pear jelly, apple and pear milk curd, car­a­mel­ised apples and pears, apple and pear mousse, apple and pear glacage’.

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With so much apple and pear in the descrip­tion, I expec­ted the fla­vours to hit me in the face from the start. Unfortunately, there were only very faint hints of cooked pear and apple in the mousse, with the rest of the ele­ments tak­ing on the famil­i­ar gen­er­ic sweet­ness that could remind one of cooked apple and pears, but without the defin­ing tart and crisp fla­vours that define the fresh fruit that would’ve made this cake enjoy­able.

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And this is the Passionfruit and Coconut Zonut ($5), a cronut filled with a coconut whipped ganache, topped with a disc of pas­sion­fruit gel and coconut flakes.

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The pas­sion­fruit in this zonut is everything I wished the apple and pear was: the tangy trop­ic­al fla­vour hits you in the face with every single bite, right from start to fin­ish. Indeed, the gel is so intensely tart with the fla­vour of pas­sion­fruit that I would’ve liked some relief from a sweeter coconut ganache, although D — who enjoys sour foods — appre­ci­ated it thor­oughly. Flavour aside, the oily taste of the cronut came through in the back­ground of every bite, and made us remin­isce fondly of the fluf­fi­er, light­er, non-greasy cronuts from Mister Donut in Japan.

For cakes, though, I’m stick­ing to La Renaissance and Cafe and Koi Dessert Bar.

Zumbo Patisserie is loc­ated at Level 3 (out­side Woolworths), Macquarie Centre, Cnr Waterloo & Herring Road, Macquarie Park NSW 2113.