Ah, Laduree, the mother of macarons! I was so excited when I heard that Laduree has finally arrived in Shanghai so I made it a point to visit this place before I leave in a couple of weeks time!
I have very fond memories of Laduree, not because they make the best macarons I have ever tasted, but because my very first macaron experience was in Laduree’s London branch. I bought a pistachio and a dark chocolate macaron back then, and I was in heaven. The macarons weren’t overly sweet, and had a nice almond flavour in addition to the chocolate/pistachio flavour. It was then I started paying more attention to these beautiful treats!
Since that experience, I have tried many macarons, good and bad over the years and have slowly formed my own expectations on what good macarons should taste like: crispy shell, chewy centre, intense flavour and not sickeningly sweet. I don’t care much for the colour of the shells – it is the taste and texture that I am looking for.
Other than macarons from other patisseries, I have also tried macarons from the Paris and Singapore store and I have to say, I wasn’t at all impressed with what I tasted, especially given that they’re meant to be one of the best in the world (along with Pierre Hermes)
It is located in the Xuhui district, in Grand Gateway Mall, on ground floor, right opposite Tiffany & Co. What a clever location, it is surrounded by all the luxury brands in the Mall – which probably shares the same clientele as Laduree.
They had a lot of macarons on display, along with beautiful takeaway and gift boxes, candles, key rings and other merchandise.
I went for a box of 6 so that I could try out a variety of flavours from this store.
It has a nice cakey texture, but I could not taste any other flavour except for the almond (which was probably from the shell more than anything) – slight disappointment
This was a limited release, it was a black tea flavoured macaron. It had a pleasant tea flavour but I wished Laduree would include just a bit more fillings in their macarons to balance out the nutty flavour of the macaron shells.
MY FAVOURITE! I always go for a lemon macaron if they’re ever available and this was my favourite from Laduree. It had a really nice zesty, citrus flavour, YUM!
The caramel was slightly burned (not an issue) which gave the salted caramel a slight bitter taste – it was good to cut off some of the sweetness. I wish there was more salt in this salted caramel!
My very first macaron was a pistachio one, and since then, I always try pistachio macarons wherever I go. This re-visit did not disappoint, the pistachio flavour was present. However, I must say that this macaron could be improved if it was nuttier and more flavoursome! I guess they’d need to invest more into this expensive nut! 😛
Rich, intense, oh so chocolatey. My second favourite macaron!
Overall, my experience at the Shanghai Laduree store was quite pleasant. Granted, they are probably more famous for their name than their macarons at this stage, given the number of quality macaron stores that have popped up (and are still popping up) in the past few years, but they are still one of the best macaron providers here in Shanghai! The macarons were on the soft side, and most of them had too little filling for my liking, but I will definitely revisit for the Peru Chocolate and Lemon macarons 🙂
1F Grand Gateway Mall, 1 Hongqiao Road, Xuhui District, Shanghai