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The Zumbo has landed

Jaime gives us a play-by-play of what to expect at Adriano Zumbo's first Melbourne bakery - Zumbo Patisserie

Words & Photography by: Jaime Chong

Zumbo has finally arrived in Melbourne and today’s the day I payed a visit! I’ve been patiently waiting for three years since I visited the Balmain store. Now nothing will stand between me and my beloved salted butter caramel macaroon! Here’s my journey towards my sweet, sweet reunion.

12.50pm: Walking around the corner towards the store from Chapel Street, there are not many people in sight. Like the calm before the storm, I’m foolishly optimistic that there may not be a queue at the store.

1pm: Walked past the open kitchen where people are buzzing about making desserts. Paused for a second to admire them but must keep moving to get to the shop!

1.02pm: Smacked by the realisation that the queue snaked around inside and out the door. Wonder how long it will take the line to move? As I’m peering inside, I’m distracted by the rows and rows of cakes, macaroons and pastries.  Damn you window for being in my way!

1.03pm: A kindly elderly lady standing next to me tells me “The line is moving really quickly. You’ll be there in 10 mins”. Desperate to believe her, I get in line.

1.04pm: As I’ve surrendered myself to the line, I notice for the first time the bright zingy decor. It’s totally different to the quaint little store in Balmain. The crazy reflective silver ceiling and walls, along with the “Zumbo” sign in neon pink reminds me of a P. Diddy music video.

1.05pm: I cross the threshold into the shop! Yay! There’s a double line in here. Boo.

1.07pm: Estimated there’s 40 people in front of me. There’s a slow steady stream of people exiting, grasping their clear plastic bags with various colored boxes, walking past me. Slow and steady wins the race.

1.09pm: I look across to the counter and it looks like the zonuts are all gone. My heart sinks.

1.11pm:  A baker from the back comes out with a tray of pink pastries – the zonuts are replenished! Woo-hoo!

1.14pm:  The line has now come to a slow crawl. This gives me my first opportunity to check out the cakes. I’m surprised by some of the flavors I see. They’re big and bold, nothing familiar or traditional. I’m a bit afraid of the “WASSAUP-BI” cake.

1.19pm: Holy moly I reach the counter! Disappointment hits as I realise there’s not much left. I have my eye on the last Dr. Dot cake (chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate) and right before my eyes, it gets snapped up by another buyer.

1.23pm:  It’s my turn to order. And I get a serve of zonuts and macaroons.  The desserts look great, but the ones I wanted are gone. I walk out with my precious package of goodies firmly in my grasp.

Later in the day….  The macaroons are good, but I’ve just found my dessert equivalent of crack. As I take the first bite of my first ever zonut (better known as a cronut), I am totally blown away.  It is a crispy croissant, filled with a tart strawberry/raspberry jam and soft fluffy cream. The combination of savory, salty, sweet, tart, crispy, and fluffy were amazing.   Guess I better prepare myself to get back in line next week.

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