Sunday, December 30, 2012

Ladurée

Finally, finally, finally, Ladurée is here in Hong Kong!  (It just opened in Harbor City, Tsim Sha Tsui, on December 1, 2012.)  If you love macaroons, this is the place to be.

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In the words of Ladurée:
The True Story of the Ladurée Macaron
These small, round cakes, crisp on the outside, smooth and soft in the middle, are the most famous creation of Ladurée.
The story of the Ladurée macaron starts with Pierre Desfontaines, second cousin of Louis Ernest Ladurée, who at the beginning of the 20th century first thought of taking two macaron shells and joining them with a delicious ganache filling.
These small, round cakes, crisp on the outside, smooth and soft in the middle, are made every morning in Ladurée’s “laboratory”. The pastry chefs measure out very precisely the required amounts of almonds, eggs and sugar, before adding one final ingredient, a pinch of unique “know-how”, essential to the making of such a delicacy. Once cooked and filled, the macarons are put to one side for 2 days before going on sale, the time it takes to achieve a perfect balance between texture and flavor.
With each new season, Ladurée pays tribute to its most famous creation by creating a new flavour.
The existing range of macarons is always the starting point when a new one is created, as the variety of colours is as important as the range of flavours and a vital part of their appeal.
So of course, Ladurée is on my list of MUST go this trip.  My friends and I were in line for over 60 minutes to get ourselves a few bites of their famous macaroons.  At HKD23 a bite, it is an expensive snack (and a fattening one too) but there is no regrets!


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five of the flavors were already sold out that day :'(
I got 5 macaroons this time and if I had to ranked them:

1. Blackcurrant Violet* - this was a surprise favorite!  I didn't expect I would like it so much.  Loved the fruitiness of the blackcurrant, kind of reminds me of frutips (能得利)

2. Soft Caramel with Sea Salt - I had a bite of the macaroon looking dessert from the Ritz Carlton tea set the day before and I can't get my mind off salted caramel since... the caramel macaroon from Laduree is another gooey goodness and can use a tad bit more salt~~

3. Almond Guimauve (Almond Marshmallow)* - the marshmallow is soft and chewy, very unique and you can still taste a hint of almond.  Bravo!

4. Pistachio - it's good but I wasn't wowed like the rest.  I have had similar ones at other places.

5. Rose Petal - my friend said this was a must-eat but I think I will skip this one next time.  The rose flavor tastes artificial and it's just not my thing.

*indicates seasonal flavor

The Hong Kong store also sell tea (loose leaf and tea bags) in addition to macaroons and other merchandises (e.g. tote, cook books, jams, etc.).  

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it's a lot less crowded compared to the macaroon side
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the teas are much more affordable compared to the macaroons
I am on a tea spree lately... (my doctor declared I need to quit coffee)
maybe I will try the "Marie Antoinette" and "Ladurée" next time
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the cook book looks so tempting too
(my friend already said she wants this for her birthday)
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too bad the dessert one is only in French
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the crazy expensive nougat
forgot exactly how much but I think it was around HKD300
If I had any complaint, macaroons do not travel well and I am too cheap to pay HKD52 extra for a box.  (HKD190 for 6 piece with box - I could have bought another 2 macaroons with that!)  Seriously, if they are going to charge me HKD23 for a macaroon, they can give me a proper bag...  With the kind of crowds at Harbor City, I would be lucky if my macaroons retains its shape before I reached home.  (They didn't; hence, no picture!)  Also, it has to be consumed within 3 days after purchase so I only bought what I know I could finish.  They didn't give me a proper bag.  Next time, I am going to bring my own container.


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my macaroons in a flimsy & pitiful paper bag
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the only macaroon with a presentable "face"
the rest didn't survive the TST crowd
Ready to brave the queue?

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the line starts over here, not there...
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start...
(add another few minutes since we were looking for the end of the line)
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60+ minutes later...

Ladurée
Shop 3224, Level 3, Gateway Arcade, Harbour City, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong
Tel: (852) 2175 5028
Open 10am-10pm

FTC Disclaimer:  I don't work for Ladurée.  I paid for my own macaroons.

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