12 Dec2014

P1010035a

After our rather hearty breakfast from the Raspail market, we made our way by subway to the Avenue des Champs-Élysées, strolling leisurely on our way up to the meeting point for the bus to the new Louis Vuitton museum. We had some time to kill, and knew the perfect place to do that…

P1010036a

First up, a snazzy, relatively new, I think, Kusmi tea shop on the Avenue. We stopped to pick up a few cans or bags of tea, and noticed they had a chi-chi tea salon on the second floor as well. I first wrote about Kusmi while on a visit to New York, where they have a branch, and Mrs. MM seems to like several of their flavored teas. This shop had the same sparse aesthetic, but was much bigger and better stocked than the New York outpost.

P1010039

But we were really headed to Ladurée, which has a beautiful shop just a few meters away. Our family had our first memorable stop at this exact same spot when the Kid was just 6 or 7 years old, and we went to town tasting Ladurée’s various macarons and pastries. I featured them again as part of a macaron run-down on a trip to Paris some 4-5 years ago, here.

P1010043a

The interior of Ladurée is quite stunning, and if your wondering why you are about to pay nosebleed prices for a bit of eggwhite, almonds and sugar, just look up at the ceilings and walls…

P1010046a

…that are painted and probably gold-leafed or at least painted!

P1010044

The cool marble counters are chock full of the most beautifully decorated cakes and pastries. They could really almost qualify as “works” of art. I am always wary of desserts that just look too precious, but everything we have had at Ladurée in the past has always met high expectations.

P1010048a

These cakes ranged in price from Euro30-45 or so, roughly PHP1,600-PHP2,000+. I have never tried a whole cake, but have had several of the individual sized pastries in the past. Compared to some of the prices we would come across in London a few days later, these actually seemed almost reasonable by European standards!

P1010049a

What really seems clear is the pursuit of excellence… in visual appeal, in intensity of flavor, in the quality of ingredients. We have LOTS of wonderful bakers in Manila, but there is an almost universal need to watch the economics of the baked good, and hence drive the final outcome. I also almost always find local desserts to be way sweeter than they need to be…

P1010052a

It always borders on being a bit over-the-top, but I do relish browsing their windows every few years or so. Even the corporate color is so steeped in history, or so it is perceived…

P1010054a

…friends of ours once had lunch with a great view of the avenue, but nearly choked when the bill arrived. We were a bit cheaper and simply did take out…

P1010055a

…and for a “local” or one wanting to be more “local” that means making an event out of purchasing a single perfect macaron. Line up and contemplate the choices, chat with the lady or gentleman behind the counter about the merits of the freshly done blackberry vs. salted caramel macaron, think and finally pick one macaron to be consumed before you get on with the rest of your busy day. Mrs. MM had a chocolate one on behalf of our daughter, who was at university and unable to join us on this trip, we split a salted caramel just to taste it…

P1010059a

…and I had to have my pistachio macaron, since my pants were green. No, I am kidding. I love pistachio flavored desserts. It was sublime. :)

 

COMMENTS:

  1. -g- says:

    Kusmi tea is love!

    Dec 12, 2014 | 10:39 pm

     
  2. natie says:

    Love this post! I love macaron posts…

    Dec 12, 2014 | 10:53 pm

     
  3. boynextdoor says:

    have to agree to Mr MM, the best way to feel like a local in Paris is to eat a macaron while having a leisurely stroll

    Dec 12, 2014 | 11:29 pm

     
  4. Nina says:

    IMO, Pierre Herme is better than Laduree; flagship store near the apartment that you stayed in.

    Dec 13, 2014 | 6:22 am

     
  5. Marketman says:

    Nina, I agree, I wrote an extensive rundown of macarons a few years ago, tasting over a hundred different ones at nearly a dozen purveyors, and for me, Pierre Herme was the best of the best… :)

    Dec 13, 2014 | 10:29 am

     
  6. Rona Y says:

    I didn’t care for either Pierre Herme or Laduree! Or Sadaharu Aoki!

    But when Henri LeRoux has macarons, mmmmm…. or his cbs tart!

    Have you ever gone to Mariage Freres? It’s the oldest tea shop in France, I believe. Marco Polo is one of the more “famous” flavoured teas, but my favourite is Bolero. At the shops in Japan, the all-male waitstaff used to wear off-white linen suits. Ooh la la! (the managers in the shops still wear beige linen suits, but the waistaff now where off-white polyester or some non-natural fabric)

    Dec 13, 2014 | 9:33 pm

     
  7. bijin says:

    Several years ago I was excited to find Laduree in Tokyo. Of course I just had to try their macarons. Bought one of each flavor. Big mistake. I should have tried one first. They were too cloyingly sweet for me. I will give Pierre Herme’s macaron a try now that he’s in Osaka

    Dec 15, 2014 | 11:14 am

     
  8. ami says:

    You’d have to wonder why the french aren’t fat given how accessible these sweets are to them.

    Dec 16, 2014 | 1:48 pm

     
 

Market Manila Home · Topics · Archives · About · Contact · Links · RSS Feed

site design by pixelpush

Market Manila © 2004 - 2017