Adriano Zumbo Lab: Funky Café, Macarons and Graffiti in Rozelle

Meet us at the Zumbo Lab?

It’s a request you can’t ignore. Not even when you’d rather sleep in on a Sunday morning. A trip across town to Adriano Zumbo’s new café/lab in Rozelle is long overdue, and when the request comes from MasterGabe, my foodie nephew who idolises Adriano, one can’t say no.

Adriano Zumbo Lab Rozelle
Inside the Zumbo Lab

Enter the Zumbo Lab and you might think you’ve found a secret pathway into Adriano’s mind. This fantasy world with painted walls and bare light fittings almost make you forget the colourful macarons and cakes peering from behind the counter.

Adriano Zumbo Lab RozelleAdriano Zumbo Lab Rozelle
Entrance to the Kitchen Lab (L) and The Chalkboard Menu (R)

Unlike the now closed Adriano Zumbo Café where you could sit around tables with an outdoor section and order elegant dishes such as Paris – La Vie en Rose, Zumbo’s Lab offers a chalkboard menu full of cakes, pastries, viennoiseries, gourmet pies and sausage rolls.

Adriano Zumbo Lab RozelleAdriano Zumbo Lab Rozelle

It may not be Macaron Day but even on a Sunday morning, the queue to the counter snaked around the tiny premises, no doubt a result of the popular Adriano Zumbo documentary on SBS airing on television at the moment.

Adriano Zumbo Lab Rozelle
High stools with no foot rest to climb upon

Seating in the Lab is in the form of tall stools that are difficult to climb if you’re five feet tall. Perch yourself on one of the eight that wrap around the kitchen,  enjoy a hot chocolate, gateau or macarons and you can take a peek from behind the glass at what happens inside the Zumbo Lab.

Adriano Zumbo Lab Rozelle
Tarte aux fruits de la passion ($6)

But first, this passionfruit tart is difficult to resist when you’re almost 11 years old and in the company of a cute young girl. And it doesn’t help when your aunt is hovering around with a camera saying ‘don’t eat until I have taken a photo’.

Adriano Zumbo Lab Rozelle
Passionfruit curd and pâte sucrée

Adriano Zumbo Lab Rozelle
Almond croissant ($3.50), a box of 6 macarons, and a view of the lab

Back on my high stool after a helping hand, I enjoy a coffee and almond croissant with a rich and creamy almond paste. Through the glass, Adriano’s team is preparing some visual treats.

Adriano Zumbo Lab Rozelle
Green macarons in the making

The macaron piping machine somewhat takes the mystery out of the process but we watch as the tray of macaron dollops is removed, tapped hard to make the mixture spread then put away.

Adriano zumbo Lab Rozelle
Chocolate making

Chocolate is poured into silicone moulds, spread and tapped on the bench to give a smooth surface. I remind myself that it is a Sunday and therefore not a lot of preparation is taking place today but those behind-the-scene glimpses of Adriano’s team are well worth it, especially for the young aspiring pastry chef  beside me.

Adriano Zumbo Lab RozelleAdriano Zumbo Lab Rozelle
Wasabi and pickled ginger (black) – Lime and Pineapple (green) – Raspberry and Liquorice (red)

A visit to Zumbo is not complete without macarons. The Lime and Pineapple macaron tastes of summer, sweet and fruity with a hint of lime. The Raspberry and Liquorice macaron is a delight with strong liquorice flavour at first followed by the fruity notes.  Best eaten last, the Wasabi and Pickled Ginger macaron is nothing but bursts of strong wasabi and ginger flavours in the mouth that whets the appetite for sashimi and sake.

Adriano Zumbo Lab Rozelle
Adriano Zumbo graffiti wall outside the shop

The Adriano Zumbo Lab is well worth a visit, perhaps more so during the week when the kitchen is in full swing. The Lab is also the place where Adriano will hold cooking classes in the future.

The funky café may not be the kind of place where you can linger with your coffee and if you’re after a more extensive variety of cakes and macarons, the Balmain patisserie is a better option. But a visit to the Zumbo Lab is sure to awaken your inner child and will leave you with more admiration for the talented pâtissier.

Adriano Zumbo Lab
114 Terry St
Rozelle NSW 2039


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Adriano Zumbo Lab: Funky Café, Macarons and Graffiti in Rozelle was last modified: December 20th, 2015 by Corinne Mossati

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Corinne Mossati

Corinne Mossati is the founder and editor of Gourmantic. An avid scribe, she has taken pen to paper since the age of five. Her repertoire includes long works of fiction, short stories and travelogues. She is a winner of the GT travel writing competition, has judged the Australasian Whisky Awards and several cocktail competitions. She is also named in the Australian Bartender Most Influential List.


  1. I’ve been to his patisseries in Balmain and Manly a few times, but never the Lab. Love the photos!

  2. Pingback: Adriano Zumbo SBS Documentary and Macaron Day | Gourmantic

  3. oh my….the wasabi and pickled ginger macaron looks super interesting. I love my macarons – with the savory flavors, though, I usually go one way or the other (love it or hate it). Pierre Herme is my fav in Paris, but some of his savory ones don’t do it for me. Would love to try this Zumbo one to see which way I felt about it. i also really like the sesame seed detail on that one (I’m assuming that’s what they are…)

    • Zumbo puts in a lot of creativity in his macarons and cakes so I’m always keen to try the unusual varieties. I think a blind tasting of Zumbo’s macarons would be a lot of fun! And yes, these are sesame seeds. He did the same when he made the hamburger macaron – too cute!

  4. You had me at liquorice. I can eat bags of the stuff and I wouldn’t stop at one of these macarons!

    This is some cool cafe-lab. I like what you’ve done with the photos. I take it Zumbo wasn’t there on the day?

    • Thanks Chris. The B&W/colour effect somehow made it look more surreal/fantasy-like to me. I can’t resist a bag of liquorice either, so it’s banned from my place! :)

      Adriano wasn’t there on the day, but it’s a coincidence that you asked. I happened to meet him and have a brief chat just last night at the March into Merivale launch!

  5. It’s great for a non-Sydney sider to see the prices on the blackboard, I was actually pleasantly surprised – especially given how hot Zumbo is right now! Some fun and funky fotoshopping there too, nicely done Corinne. :)

    • Thanks Dudley! :) The cafe inspired me to get a little creative with the photos. The prices are very reasonable considering the quality and the effort involved. Mr Zumbo is certainly hot right now. I hope we get to keep such talent in Australia!

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