Pasticceria Tamborrino is reliably busy at times when every other Five Dock venue is quiet. Vincenzo and Cristina Tamborrino could easily have twice the space and make double the money – and they once did. The couple traded in a two-storey, bigger shop next door for this smaller space.
That was the only way they could keep their product perfectly consistent and of a high quality. It’s this attitude that has given them such a high standing in the local community. Among Italians in the area it’s considered one of the best, if not the best, pasticceria in Sydney. And they say this despite the fact Vincenzo and Cristina are Roman. Sydney’s Italian population is historically dominated by southerners – people who grew up with very different pastries the duo create.
Rome is famous for its biscuits; among them the lingue di gatto, a simple biscuit shaped like a cat’s tongue (the name literally means cat’s tongue). There’s also mignon, a style of tiny pastries (including some copies of larger pastries and some unique creations), the most popular being the aragosta, or the lobster’s tail – a brittle pastry filled with Chantilly cream. That’s not to be confused with the sfogliatella (often called a lobster tail in America), a similarly textured pastry filled with ricotta, which comes from the Naples region. Cristina and Vincenzo also sell it, along with cannoli and babas (little doughy yeasted cakes soaked in syrup or rum), pastries and other sweets with southern origins. The couple don’t want Tamborrino to be Rome specific – they’re more interested in providing variety and consistency.
But one of the most popular orders is also the most generic Italian of breakfast meals – coffee and a croissant. These aren’t like the French variety; they’re made with less butter but more sugar, so are sweeter and more dense. They come stuffed with cream, custard or ricotta, depending where you’re from, of course.