I caved in to temptation in Tokyo and bought macarons. Yes, I know, I have mentioned before, somewhere, that I don’t particularly fancy sweet things and in all my memories of macarons, they are sweet. What else can we expect from these small meringue-like discs that are made from ingredients that count eggs and icing sugar among its main ingredients?
But the recent hype over the opening of well-known French patisserie Ladurée in Singapore at Ngee Ann City, with its apparent snaking queues to lay hands on those meringue cookies sandwiched with a layer of cream of various flavours, kind of stirred a sweet craving in me. Perhaps. It also helped of course, that the little cafe and counter near the South-east Gate of JR Shinjuku (on the ground floor of Lumine 2) is usually empty. They even have a take-away ice-cream counter but on this trip I still hadn’t given their glaces a try. Maybe the next time. 🙂
I only bought two pieces, since these things don’t keep too long and I don’t think I want to eat 5 pieces of these on my own, though I could. They are that light and easy to consume that you won’t even know if you had just eaten many of them.
From my friend’s post about the ones she got, I decided to try the two flavours she raved about, Chocolate Yuzu and Caramel with Salted Butter. Since it was just two pieces I got, the staff put them in a paper bag, packed them with a small ice-pack of sorts and presented it in this huge plastic carrier.
I have seen the nice box packaging they have, which I suppose comes at an extra cost (I’m not sure) or perhaps they are the “reward” for buying more pieces. They would make a great and pretty gift I guess but these are purely for my own consumption and satiation of my sweet tooth so let’s skip the box for now. Incidentally, I bought them on the last day of my trip, all the while deliberating about getting them so it only happened during my last few hours in Tokyo. I ended up not eating them until I got back to Singapore, and a day had passed, but they were still pretty fresh (since I got back in the wee hours of the morning and deposited them into the fridge immediately).
The Chocolate Yuzu was slightly smashed so I hid it behind the other piece in the picture. I shared these two with my mum and our conclusion was that we liked the Chocolate Yuzu because we both don’t have too sweet a tooth. Haha. The Chocolate Yuzu, by its name alone, suggests that the macaron probably wouldn’t be too sweet. I like the mixture of the chocolate taste with the citrusy yuzu and the shell was so soft and still crunchy! It’s so easy to eat and enjoy I can totally understand why everyone is raving about them. But at more than S$3 a pop (costs 270 yen per piece), I think it won’t be a regular sweet that I’d buy, so thank goodness that I don’t always have a sweet craving!
While I instagrammed/Facebooked about the Ladurée macarons, my friend suggested that I should check out Pierre Hermé too since they are supposed to be good (according to her) and aren’t available in Singapore, yet. I would admit that where macarons are concerned, or in any case, good food, I am one of the last persons you go to, because I am the sort who eat to live, at least that is what I think of myself now, so I don’t know what is good or not. I thought I wouldn’t have the time, since I checked that the nearest Pierre Hermé to me then was at Isetan and I wasn’t that near with sufficient time. Still, at the last minute, I decided to make a dash to the food hall in Isetan Shinjuku and left with these.
The packaging wasn’t fabulous, as compared to what I got at Ladurée. Initially they packed my macarons into a red box but when I stopped at three pieces, the server took them out and put them instead into this clear plastic bag. Bleah. This was then put into a nice white paper carrier but I think they already lost out on the packaging somewhat. Haha, yes I know it’s superficial but a lot of these are about packaging! The Pierre Hermé macarons had a slightly longer shelf life, according to what the label read, and I consumed these only a day after the supposed expiry date. They were still good actually, but honestly, between the two brands I tried, I don’t know which was better. Maybe I should have picked flavours that are the same in order to compare, but my verdict was that they are both good! Sorry!
The three pieces I got were Chocolate Ganache, which I liked very much because it had a slight hint of bitterness and wasn’t sweet, Infiniment Citron (which I didn’t try because I gave it to my mum), and I think the last was Mosaic, apparently not a regular item they had. The last contained cherry and pistachio, and as I was eating it, I thought it seemed to be laced with rum? As I looked for the flavour online I realised that what I thought were raisins were perhaps cherry bits, and it reminded me a little of rum and raisin ice-cream.
This was only the second time I tried Ladurée, the first being in Zurich last year when I chanced upon the shop and bought these two pieces, chocolate and pistachio, because I asked for something “not so sweet”. Yummy.