Sugar fans, take a seat. Adriano Zumbo, the macaron-loving Sydney patissier who can't stop, won't stop, has just swung open the doors to his high tea salon on the defunct Le Grand Cirque site on Daly Street.
Heading up the kitchen is Daniel Texter, coming across from Zumbo's nearby patisserie, and who previously did time at Noma in Copenhagen.
As per everything Zumbo touches, Fancy Nance upends the traditional high tea concept for amulti-course experience delivered one bite at a time, degustation-style. Both the $45 and more elaborate $65 menus, which change daily, start with the sweet stuff (profiteroles stuffed with tarragon ice-cream and topped with freeze-dried cherries; lemongrass panna cotta pebble-dashed with lime tapioca) and finish with the likes of pork rillettes and ossobuco. The tea and coffee menu features Japanese senchas and Ethiopian single origins as well as bottles of Veuve champagne if you want to upgrade. A more elaborate booze list including cocktails is in the works.
The warehouse, which proved itself to be one of Melbourne's hardest to soften in its last incarnation, has been cleverly cropped. Out the back, accessed via the old Le Grand Cirque entrance, is the white and bright salon, where linen-laid tables are overseen by Alice in Wonderland flamingos, resplendent in hats. Out front, using the Daly Street entrance is Little Frankie, a (still to open) cafe that will serve simple Italian food - pastries, breads and coffees - from 7am-3pm daily.
Also of major note: from June 25, roving dessert gun Pierre Roelofs will be taking over the kitchen on Thursday nights in winter for the dessert evenings he made famous at Cafe Rosamond in Fitzroy. Same format: four courses of one-off creations that shake expectations off their hinges with unexpected unions of all things sweet and savoury that crunch, crackle and fizz. The perks being that you can book (see below) and drink.
This wasn't a lucky site for the Made Establishment, who opened and closed two businesses here in just over three years, but if anyone can break the curse of the site, the candy men can.
Fancy Nance, 21 Daly Street, South Yarra, 1800 858 611, fancynance.com.au. Open Wed-Sun 11am-6pm.
Pierre Roelofs Dessert Evenings, pierreroelofs.com, Thursdays from June 25, 7pm-10pm.