Experience No.052 in Australian Traveller Magazine’s 100 Greatest Australian Gourmet Experiences.

The new darling of Sydney’s Darling St wants to “caramelise the nation” – and judging from the queues outside Adriano Zumbo’s tiny patisserie, we’d say he’s well on his way. Inner-city Sydneysiders are known to be a loyal bunch and breaking in to the insular community can be tough, but Zumbo’s Tart Tatin is enough to melt the most calcified of savoury of hearts. A stint on Masterchef helps too and now everyone wants a bite of Zumbo’s decadent treats. It’s not just the names that stand out at this hole-in-the-wall patisserie.

“Nice macaroons and much else.” – Alla Wolf-Tasker

Zumbo’s tarts, cakes and custards mix sweet and savoury with stunning success. “Nancy’s Crumbed Cloud” looks like a mini meringue pie that’s seen better days but the crusty topping turns out to be crumbed cauliflower, lacing the sweetness with a smoky undertone.

Zumbo also has a sense of humour. “Weekend in the Cross” is a top-heavy mixed tart designed to deliver a huge sugar high – rhubarb compote, rose brulée, pistachio pâté, watermelon and berries make an appearance. The “baggie” of watermelon sugar on top is just an extra bump.

Where: Pâtisserie 296 Darling St Balmain NSW. (02) 9810 7318, www.adrianozumbo.com

Did you know: If the line’s too long at the Pâtisserie, you can simply grab a table at Zumbo’s Café Chocolat just down the road at 308 Darling St.

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