Back when the macaron craze hit KL, I had really wanted to try them... dainty, colourful, delicate, pretty, what's a girl not to like? There was very little to compare to at that time, so I didn't know what good macarons tasted like; all I could do was read descriptions of how they were supposed to taste like!
My first experience was Levain's macarons, and I don't remember thinking very much of them. It's like, all that fuss for these hard shells of sugar, with more sugary fillings within? No.
However, I'd always heard so much about the authentic Parisian macaron, and names like Laduree and Pierre Herme being thrown around. When Laduree finally opened doors in Singapore, I knew that had to be one of the things to do on my list when I next visited the Lion City. :D
Laduree is said to be creator of the original macaron, and possibly one of the most popular sweet shops in Paris.
In Singapore, it's located at the brand haven of Takashimaya with an standalone outlet on the second floor and a smaller stall on the Ground Floor, easily visible just as you enter. There's some velvet ropes on standby outside the store, making me think that there can sometimes be queues :S
The shop itself is very pretty and pastel, with blue skies on the ceiling and chandeliers across the counter.
While the macarons are obviously the main attraction for visitors, there's really a whole lot of other confectionery on display and for sale - caramel, jams, candied nuts. You can even get mini scented candles here.
What really cheesed me off were the staff... grim, unfriendly and completely bored to be working there. I know it can't be easy facing overzealous women buying up boxes of macarons, but really, you'd think they would hire a more professional bunch. But, I digress.
Macarons here are sold for SGD 3.80 per piece but I decided to go for for the Singapore edition box, thinking it'll make a nice keepsake of the trip and also what the heck - might as well splurge a little? (And also because I think my brain wasn't working right that day, especially after a 7am flight and the sight of macarons. FML.
The Singapore edition box with 8 macarons of your choice will cost SGD 38. No, I don't wanna think about how much that costs in RM, thankyouverymuch. Thankfully our RM wasn't as weak then as it is now. Adam's eyes went the size of saucers when I told him how much they cost! o_O
I had really wanted to try the blue Marie Antoinette which is an earl grey flavoured macaron, or Pistachio but they were both unfortunately sold out by the time we got there at about 2pm. :(
Happily holding my mint green Ladurée paper bag like all the other girls walking out of the store, we headed back to Sentosa for our check in at Hard Rock Hotel. Because we decided to rest in for the rest of the afternoon, I couldn't wait any longer... out came the beautifully coloured macs. :D
Poor Rose macaron... Despite destroying it, I savoured every mouthful of my first Laduree experience and I was very blown away! The centre was milky with a light and fluffy texture, akin to whipped cream while the macaron shells held a strong rose flavour. I never knew macarons could taste like this!
(At that point, I was also feeling terribly cheated by the pasty, sticky macaron fillings we have back here in KL. Meh.)
Chestnut didn't have much of the nutty fragrance I was expecting, but it was nicely textured with chopped bits of chestnut. I thought I tasted a slight hint of alcohol in this but I can't be sure.
The Lemon had a sharp, immediate tang in its cream, one that hits you at first bite. The edge pleasantly softens after a few seconds though, making it quite a nice citrus-y change from the other macarons flavours I chose.
I found the Vanilla very pleasant and aromatic. There was the strong essence of vanilla pods and an amazing liquid-ish centre that just immediately dissolves into a pool over your tongue.
The Ghana Chocolate was subtle and refined with a slightly dark chocolate bitterness to it. Very luxurious, I thought to myself.
If the Ghana Chocolate was subtle, then I guess I would call the Strawberry Marshmallow completely in-your-face (Haha!). This happy pink macaron (dotted with coarse sugar bits, no less) has a sticky marshmallow centre that slowly melts in your mouth. The interesting texture was very welcome, but this was far too sweet and perhaps even a bit artificial-tasting for my liking.
The Praline tasted strongly of hazelnut, with a slightly more textured filling, with finely minced nuts.
Salted Caramel was one of my favourites (anything caramel always is!) but I suppose it was a bit on the sweet side. This macaron has a much stickier centre, and the caramel tastes more roasted than salted, perhaps I would have liked it to be a teeny bit saltier. :)
I think I've been a bit spoilt for life now after tasting Laduree's macarons. I'm amazed at how much better macarons can actually taste when crafted by one of Paris' finest brands, especially when it comes to the macaron fillings - lush and creamy, not all pasty in any way. Absolutely loved them! Now, I'll just have to go back to Singapore for more... *checks SGD exchange rate*
Ladurée Singapore | Site
Level 2, Lot #02-09,
(A smaller stall also available on the Ground Floor near LV & Chanel)
Takashimaya Shopping Centre,
No. 391 Orchard Road, Singapore
Tel: +65 6884 7361
Opening Hours: Daily, 10am-9:30 pm