It all started when Ladurée Sydney opened to much excitement and, yes, whilst I know it’s not a good thing that they are flown in all the way from Switzerland, it was my way of reclaiming a little bit of the magic of Paris. Favourite flavours remain as citron, salted caramel and pistachio, with the new discovery of various marshmallow flavours with their slightly bouncy fillings. Unfortunately the macarons don’t taste exactly like those in Paris – or that could be my rose-tinted memories distorting accurate recollection – but the Sydney ones seem a little softer in texture.
We were then gifted some MakMak macarons from lovely friends which, apart from all being hand-piped, are some of the smoothest shells I’ve ever seen. The matcha macaron has got to be the standout for me, with its little white loveheart accent and the most in-your-face matcha flavour blast. The gianduja is a must for hazelnut lovers, tasting like a Ferrero Rocher replete with small hazelnut in the centre of the filling!
These were then followed by what can only be described as dodgy macarons. They looked like macarons but tasted like dry cookies with a hardened fudge filling. They smelt milky and the shells were full of air pockets when cut open. We were deeply saddened by these biscuits which didn’t even fall into the accepted definition of macarons, and simply couldn’t bring ourselves to finish them. Booooo...
And to round off our macaron marathon, there was the annual Zumbaron Day but a first experience for us. With the patisserie at The Star being open for a little over a year, the crowds seemed bearable compared with queues seen in photos from years past. And with all flavours being on display on the dessert train, apart from the “special order” $5 macarons, the colours along with their wacky flavour combinations were enough to rope me into this candyland.
I can never go past salted butter popcorn but surprisingly enjoyed all the savoury flavours too. The Japanese mayo macaron tasted like okonomiyaki while the hamburger macaron was pretty self-explanatory. Several savoury macarons cost $5 each and were made to order. The fried chicken was surprisingly crisp and un-greasy, while fried doughnut, duck pancake and pork belly (macaron in a char-siu bao really) had flavours reminiscent of Asian bakery buns – that sweet/savoury flavour amongst a soft pillowy texture.
So Sugar Hits may be almost over for another year, but obviously I won’t have any troubles with keeping up my sugar intake in the interim!