Saturday, September 15, 2012

Laduree Sydney

If you're into sweets + macarons, I'm sure you probably heard about the much anticipated opening of Laduree in Sydney this week. The French creators of the humble macaron opened their first Australian store in Westfield Sydney with a kiosk and mini tea salon type setup right outside the Mulberry store.
They opened on Tuesday at 2.30pm after quite a few delays so I popped down after work to see what they had on offer. My theory was that the first day items should be the best they have available for the opening. There were of course hoards of people lining up - don't get me started on Sydneysiders liking to jump on bandwagons - and I reluctantly joined and found myself being one of the last people served for the day. To be completely honest, I just didn't want to stay at work late that afternoon and so getting some macarons was a much more exciting thing to do!
Long queue of eager people
Now I'll start with the disclaimer that I've never been a huge fan of Laduree macarons - give me Pierre Herme anyday! When I'm in Paris nowadays I don't bother with the crowds at Laduree's Champs Elysee store because well, they just don't compare to Pierre Herme. Of course its hard to live up to that so while it's great that Sydney has the 'original' French macarons, I am probably a harsh critic. My main aim was see if the quality was the same as the Paris originals - you see Laduree has three factories with our Sydney macarons being shipped directly from the Swiss factory. Laduree's other worldwide stores are serviced by their factories in France and Monaco. Now of course there is the factor of shipping time causing some deterioration of the shells (flavour isn't usually the issue, if anything flavour develops better with time) so I did take this into consideration.
I am a little disappointed to say there was quite a lot of inconsistency which I wouldn't expect of Laduree. Some shells were a little dry, others too chewy and fillings a bit here and there also. My vote goes with vanilla and pistachio (because that's their signature flavour) though they had sold out of salted caramel by the time I got there. See in the pic below, there is such inconsistency in the filling - some have the right amount, others have too little!

Also they didn't have the best flavour ever - Rose - because of customs issues and I have been told it won't be available until closer to Christmas. When I get my hands on one, I'll let you know my thoughts!

Having said all of this, it's still great that Australians can finally be educated about what real macarons should be like! Have you been by and what are your thoughts?

(Sorry the photos are all iPhone ones - I couldn't be bothered uploading photos from my S95!)

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