Macarons, macarons everywhere!
“I feel like I’m about to give birth to a macaron!”
Yet another gem from the ever quotable Steph who summed up all of our feelings in one line.
Yes it was famed patissiere Adriano Zumbo’s birthday last Friday and he celebrated the only way he knew how (happy birthday!). And some of us celebrated by taking the day off work! Out went the cakes and in came box after box of macarons in an orgy of different flavours and varieties (see here for the list!). From the sublime and traditional favourites to the wacky and downright insane, his quaint patisserie was bursting at the seams with a technicolour rainbow of macarons. This will also be the most I’ll ever say the word ‘macaron’ in one post but since it’s a one-off occasion, I think I can be forgiven.
Clockwise from top-left: The most oohed and aahed macaron, the shopfront window decorated with macaron shells, lollypop macaron, the patisserie transformed to a macaron heaven
Fortunately for the five of us who arrived just after 10am, there was barely a line and plenty were still on offer compared to the apparent morning mayhem of around 8am. We were hungry and sugar depraved, so without batting an eyelid we shelled out for the $110 box which had (basically) every macaron before heading to the cafe to begin our sugary debauchery. There were curious looks all round and a few that wanted to see it up close and indeed, a large box of these rainbow coloured beauties was mesmerising.
At first, we were a bit confused with the box as there were 46 macarons in it with the one Black Truffle at $10 and the other 45 at $2 each. Were we short of 5 macarons?
In any case, look at them; what an epic macaron rainbow. And we were going attempt to devour them all. Audacious? Brilliant? Either way, it was a sweet challenge worth relishing. Without an indication what each macaron was, half the fun was taking the first bite and deciphering what flavour it was. There was some that was painfully obvious such as the Olive Oil and Rosemary and some, even now, I still haven’t figured out whether I tasted it at all such as the Pan d’epice.
The sugar coma appeared about halfway through but we ploughed on, albeit with smaller bites and plenty of water in between. We were nearly defeated with 15 macarons to go but seeing as the box was mostly empty, we were re-motivated. The finish line was just so close! At this stage our valiant efforts weren’t going unnoticed judging by the wide-eyed looks and gasps from fellow Zumbophiles and a waitstaff or two exclaiming “did you really eat all of those?!”.
Clockwise from top-left: beautiful bronze macaron (which flavour was it?!), halfway through and feeling the pain, the gorgeous Black Truffle, crazy but true – some of us bought extra to take home!
The last 15 was a blur as each macaron started to taste like the previous. The esteemed honour of the final macaron went to the Peanut Butter, which was heavenly but its richness was probably best enjoyed about 30 macarons earlier. Even after we’ve finished (at a time of just under 1.5 hours), we couldn’t help but return to the patisserie to check out what we actually ate when we realised there were two macarons missing from our range! Neopolitan and (believe it) Beer and Peanuts! Did we eat them too? You bet my sweet flabby bottom we did!
The Neopolitan macaron
So what did 5 sugar-filled people do after a 48-macaron binge? We bought ourselves greasy chips and gravy and I’ll tell you… they were the best damn chips ‘n’ gravy I’ve ever eaten.
So the verdict; some flavours were hit-and-miss while others demanded an encore performance. Do you like lists? I like lists. So in no particular order:
Macarons that I wouldn’t touch with a 10-foot pole:
1. Blue Cheese and Pear
2. Goats Cheese and Blueberry
3. Chocolate Foie Gras
Stinky cheese ugh. And I never ever touch foie gras.
Macarons that confused, bemused and fuelled endless speculation:
1. Mexican Chocolate
2. Tanzanian Salted Chocolate
3. Plantation Chocolate (I couldn’t tell these apart. There were some chocolate macarons that had weird aftertastes, which I just assumed it was one of these exotic three).
4. Vegemite Sourdough – funny enough, the one I thought was vegemite turned out to be Burnt Toast and Butter! The real vegemite had me scratching my head.
5. Carrot Cake – I’m still figuring out if I ate this one.
Clockwise from top-left: Chocolate Foie Gras macaron, this was all the milkshake that Steph drank, hallucinating about pretty flowers on a sugar high, Green Tea macaron
Macarons you really shouldn’t eat if you’ve already eaten 45:
1. Peanut Butter
2. Chocolate and Salted Caramel (oh the richness!)
I don’t hate them… but I don’t think I liked them:
1. Fig and Blackcurrant (I like fig. I like blackcurrant. Just not together in one macaron).
2. Mastic, yoghurt, cucumber and mint (maybe it was the tangy yoghurt bit I didn’t like…)
Macarons that I want to see again:
1. Iced Vovo
2. Strawberry Bubblegum
3. Chup-a-chup (hello? Macaron on a stick with sherbet? WIN)
4. Strawberries and Cream
5. Beer and Nuts
6. Date and Orange
7. Turkish Delight
8. Rice Pudding
1. Cheeseburger – the one I had was super soggy and tasted like a mouthful of Macca’s ketchup
2. Maple syrup, bacon and pancake – dude, where’s the bacon?
Heaven from the first bite:
1. Chocolate Citrus – my favourite! Damn I’m so predictable!
2. Chocolate and Passionfruit – better than Lindt. By far.
3. Chocolate and Red Wine
4. Raspberry and Chocolate
5. Burnt Butter
6. Chocolate and Mint
1. Black Truffle
2. Green Tea
3. Mysterious shimmery bronze one
And again, I can’t stress the importance of salty foods after a heavy sugar binge! So last but not least, the perfect Macaron-overload-antidote award goes to…
1. Chips with chicken salt and gravy!
The perfect sugar antidote!