If you haven’t heard of Adriano Zumbo, chances are you don’t watch TV or read food magazines. As the many times honoured master of the macaron, Zumbo’s earned a reputation as the nation’s sweet-toothed aficionado of all things quirky in the dessert realm – from Coca-Cola cakes to the questionable (until you taste them) salt ‘n’ vinegar macarons.
If you want to see where it’s all happening, then his cafe in Rozelle is the mother lode. Taking over where the now defunct Balmain cafe left off, this black and white slice of Willy Wonka madness is tiny: there’s room to seat about 15 people.
But relaxing over a cuppa isn’t why you come here. You come to pick up a seasonal cake (it might be peach and cinnamon), a flavours-of-the-day tray of multi-coloured macarons (don’t leave without the salted butter caramel) or maybe a loaf of sourdough and a lunch of pork and fennel sausage roll.
But you won’t do any of this without taking in the view: a glass corner window affording a panorama of the Zumbo machine – the huge kitchens where all the magic happens. From endless sheets of cone-shaped cakes to welling pools of melted chocolate, there’s a reason the colourful graffiti on the front wall is all cherry bombs and ice-cream fizz.