It's pretty safe to say that most Sydney-siders would be well acquainted with the macaron, given the attention they've received from pastry king Adriano Zumbo. Yet, credit for the invention of these double-decker delights must be given to the French tea-house and pastry emporium, Laduree.
A striking difference to the neon-lit, wonka-esque Zumbo patisseries, Laduree has graced our shores with its first Australian store opening in Westfield Sydney. Exuding elegance and sophistication, the patisserie, chocolaterie and salon de thé is most famous for 'le macaron', but also well recognised for its beautiful interiors.
Situated on level three and nestled neatly in between stores of equal refinement, everything at Laduree is Parisienne perfection, from the décor to the pretty packaging ; even the most modest purchase is vigilantly wrapped. The adjoined tea salon holds posh seating and a ribbon wall with spools of pale silks in every width and colour. Towers of colourful macarons adorn the counters and attentive waiters can bring you cake au citron ($7) along with a Royal Laduree cocktail ($24).
And clearly these macarons have got a bit of a reputation, as you'll have to join the queue. The front counter is awash with vivid macarons ($3.20 takeaway/$4 eat in). Do we wear these little jewels or eat them? Classical flavours such as chocolate, coffee, raspberry, pistachio, soft-salted caramel or vanilla are tempting, but so too are the seasonal variety including almond marshmallow, blackcurrant-violet and licorice.
So what makes these macarons so goddamn good? Is it because they're made in Switzerland, frozen, then shipped out to Australia within 24 hours? Is it the final pinch of unique "know-how", which is essential to the making of such a delicacy? Or is it because the outer shell is perfectly crisp, the chewy texture won't break your jaw and the gooey ganache sets your eyes rolling into the back of your head?
All hail the macaron, we say. It's time to take yourself to the opulent Laduree for a little slice of Parisienne luxury.