One of the world’s best known macaron makers Ladurée have arrived at Singapore, the first in Southeast Asia, and fans have been going gaga over these colourful little round things.
Ladurée have opened a boutique and counter both at Takashimaya Shopping Centre, one on the second level (#02-09), and the other sandwiched between luxurious French brands Chanel and Louis Vuitton, very near to sister company PAUL Bakery. (Read: Laduree at Tokyo Shinjuku)
The first level counter may have a shorter queue, but it is the physical store that can allow you to razzle dazzle at the prettiness of the interior design and merchandise of tote bags, chocolates, scented candles and keychains.
Comparing Ladurée to the other queues of Tim Ho Wan Singapore and Jollibee, the queue is nothing. Actually, I shouldn’t even compare as Ladurée obviously attracts a niche market, mostly middle-upper class females.
I was the only other guy in a queue of about 15, but queuing to buying took me about 30 minutes. The people in front were fortunately very decisive in what flavours they exactly wanted, but there were some mixed-up orders and a spoilt cashier which slowed things down.
At $3.80 per piece, the small petite macarons are freaking expensive, because the average price of other brands is here about $2-$2.50 per piece. No, they are not made of gold, and the gold-speckled chocolate macarons going happens to go for $7.60 per piece.
I bought a Singapore edition box of eight at $38.00, that works out to be $4.75 per piece! Comparing this to the other cities such as Hong Kong (HK$23, $3.67), Paris (2€, $3.24), London (£1.40, $2.67), New York (USD$2.70, $3.34), Sydney (AUD$3.30, $4.25) and Tokyo (367 Yen, $4.65), the price is very slightly steeper, but mostly comparable. The macarons need to fly over, what do you think?
Customers have to buy a minimum of six to get a box. But nothing is stopping ladies from buying boxes that ring up to hundreds of dollars on the register.
According to the immaculate French service staff at the counter, the four most popular flavours are Salted Caramel, Pistachio, Vanilla and Rose Petal. (I bet she answered that question at least 5 dozen times a day.) The other regular flavours available are Orange Blossom, Coffee, Lemon, Strawberry Candy Marshmallow, Raspberry, Chocolate and Liquorice.
The more exciting seasonal flavours are the dark yellow Chocolate Yuzu, and sea-blue Marie Antoinette. The Chocolate Yuzu was obviously my favourite, with creamy chocolate sandwiched between the airy light meringue with an addictive hint of yuzu. The other is the Salted Caramel.
Ladurée is known to be the inventor of the double decker macaron, when Pierre Desfontaines, second cousin of Louis Ernest Ladurée took two simple macaron shells and joined them together with a delicious ganache filling.
I would think Ladurée has the reputation and one of the most delicate, nicely-shaped and fuller-tasting macarons available in Singapore. But the very hot climate is working against them. Mine did not survive well being carried out in the open in a matter of minutes.
One pop in the mouth and $3.80 is gone. I would get one or two only when I really want to pamper myself. Have you tried Ladurée macarons? Do you feel it warrants that price?
#02-09 Takashimaya S.C., Ngee Ann City, 391 Orchard Road (Orchard MRT) Tel:+65 68847361
Opening hours: 10am-9.30pm