I ran into a celebrity today. Well, a few, in a way. Guess who…^^

Tim and I decided to pay a visit to Balmain. After getting lost a couple times, we eventually found ourselves driving down Darling Street, keeping an anxious eye out for…

After hearing multiple rave reviews about the cakes and macarons on various Sydney foodblogs, we decided we simply had to pay a visit. And judging only by the quality of the eyecandy, it was very much worth the hour-or-so detour. Adriano Zumbo is tucked away rather discreetly in Balmain, no flashy window-displays or gigantic signs…but when you walk inside, it’s difficult to resist the temptation of elbowing your way through the laid-back saturday-afternoon shoppers to peer, like children in a candy store, at the wondrous creations underneath the glass counter. And the smell…Freshly baked bread and pastries…I was tempted to skip dinner and go straight for some of the many delectable items on offer (it was probably a good thing I didn’t, but more on that later). My photos do the cakes and pastries themselves no justice, I’m afraid.

We boxed up 4 cakes, and a dozen macarons to sample, I’ll try to write up some reviews on what we bought later. (But will return soon, I hope, to try some more!)

But that’s not all we saw there…

Although I’m relatively new to the world of food-blogging, this hasn’t meant that I haven’t been reading other foodblogs. So while I was taking the above pictures, it caused me some amazement to hear “Oh, are you a food-blogger?”, from the person next to me, who, I had idly noted, had asked for a box of macarons. The other half later informed me that that should have given who it was away… It was none other than Susan, of ChocolateSuze fame! I was literally bouncing all the way home, because it was some of some of her reviews that had encouraged me to seek out the patissier. Don’t know if you’ll ever read this thing, but it was fantastic meeting you ^^

For dinner, we went to another place that has been getting some rave reviews. Din Tai Fung is the latest in an international dumpling chain, and relatively new to World Square. Which is fantastically located, as I am in the area so often!

I could tell you how we were thrilled by the innovative decorations (really, it’s cool), amused by the stoic faces in the production line making the various dumplings and rolls that Din Tai Fung is famous for, a little bemused by the waitress leaving us a menu order form on the table, but reassured when she gave us a pen and an indication that she was happy to fill in the form if we so desired (we passed on that). We could say how good the dumplings were, particularly the pork-filled xiaolongbao, filled with a gorgeously hot unami-full soup based which could be slurped, along with a perfect ratio of soysauce, vinegar and ginger, from the spoon with great contentment, before biting into the tender dumpling itself. Or how good it was to relieve memories of Beijing’s starters/appetizers in the vegetarian salad and pickled cucumber entrees. And how perfectly the noodles were cooked, even if the soup was perhaps a bit lacking in flavour compared to other noodle restaurants, but how prawn or vegetable and pork wontons and jiao ze rounded out the meal perfectly. What’s more, we could be making your mouth water with photos of these delicious items…

But apart from this not-fantastic shot of the sign, we will give you nothing more, apart from the advice: Go early. The restaurant had not opened yet for the evening, and there were still 30-odd tables ahead of us. And soon. Not to be missed, I promise you.

So there. Three celebrities, of sorts, much loved and lauded, and definitely worthy of praise.

Reviews on Adriano Zumbo cakes and macarons next time!

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