Saturday, 29 December 2012

Ladurée


Ladurée – 100 Market St, Level 3 Westfield, Sydney 2000

Macaron tower
Ladurée is a famous French patisserie, located in the heart of Sydney’s premier shopping district – Westfield Sydney. Surrounded by up-market fashion stores, including Carla Zampatti, Mulberry and Hugo Boss, Ladurée looks like a little slice of Paris, albeit with a distinctly shopping-centre feel to it. This macaron store-come café predominately caters to those who wish to take their macarons home in beautiful little boxes, however also has a small dining area for those who want to dine in. This dining area is bordered by classic (faux) manicured low hedges, which sit atop pretty pastel green fences. The seating is not the most comfortable in the world, but looks really pretty, and very French. The tables are also lovely, and are a good size for multiple teapots, teacups and saucers, and macaron plates.

Teas and macaron
I went to Ladurée with my friend Fiona during our summer holidays. I had wanted to visit Ladurée since it opened back in September, however had deliberately delayed my visit until the initial hype had died down. My plan worked marvellously – instead of waiting up to 90 minutes for a table as we would have 2 months ago, we simply waltzed in and were immediately seated by a (quite attractive) French waiter.
Pretty menu


Our waiter promptly brought us pretty logo-ed menus, as well as an illustrated macaron menu. When I opened the menu I was pleasantly surprised to find that tea, rather than food, was listed. Just over 20 blends are on offer at Ladurée, and I was pleased to see that they weren’t simply the standard run-of-the mill blends that you find at every Sydney café. In fact, they only really serve one ‘standard’ tea – Earl Grey – and there is a noticeable lack of English Breakfast on the menu (it is a French café after all!).

After a lot of humming and ha-ing I eventually chose the Marie-Antoinette, described on the menu as “delicious China teas mixed with essential oils of subtle citrus fruit, rose and jasmine flowers, scattered with small pieces of dried fruit and honey.” Fiona ordered the Darjeeling Namring:  a delicate blend “with almond and peach flavours from different Darjeeling gardens located on the foothills of the Himalayas.” We also picked a macaron each – I chose the salted caramel, while Fiona went with the strawberry marshmallow.

Beautiful teapot
When our teas arrived, they came in beautiful heavy silver teapots. These pots had lovely curved spouts and pretty handles, and were served on silver plates. After placing the pots in front of us, our waiter then pulled out little ‘L’ napkins and slotted them over the handles to protect our hands from the heat of the pot as we poured our tea. I was a bit disappointed to find that we were served leaf tea, however the interesting varieties of tea, and the quite good grade of tea, made up for it. Although the teas were incredibly expensive, priced at $7.50 a pot, each pot poured 4-5 cups, with Fiona expressing surprise at one stage that there was still more tea to go! Neither tea came with milk, which did not bother me as I am a tea purist, however could bother those who like to add to their cup.

Marie-Antoinette tea
My Marie-Antoinette was a lovely blend. It was quite light in colour and in taste, with the citrus, rose and jasmine flavours coming through more in the tea’s scent than on my palate. The light flavour meant that it did not get too strong as I approached the end of the pot, remaining pleasant throughout. Although I did not try Fiona’s Darjeeling, it had a lovely strong, heavy scent that was closer to a Automnal blend, as opposed to a First or Second Flush Darjeeling. Fiona loved her tea, and said it was the nicest blend she’d encountered. I could not say that my Marie-Antoinette was the nicest blend I’ve ever tried, however I can say with confidence that it was quite pleasant and far superior to many of the teas normally encountered in Sydney’s cafes.

Macarons!
Overall, I liked Ladurée. Although extremely expensive – coming to a total of $23 for two teas and two macarons – you really do get what you pay for, and that is French luxury and imported goods. The service is also impeccable. The only real downside to Ladurée is its location. No matter how hard it tries, at the end of the day it is located smack-bang in the middle of Westfield, and no amount of cute hedging (or waiters) can detract from that fact.

Scented candles and perfumes are also for sale
SNAPSHOT REVIEW:
Price:
Two tea + two macarons came to $23

Tea: 8/10
Nice blend, good strength. I loved the 20 different varieties of tea. However a warning to those less-than-adventurous tea-drinkers – don’t come here expecting an English Breakfast!

Pot: 10/10
The pot was beautiful. Although the branded handle-napkin did detract from how pretty the pot was, it is a practical solution to a real dilemma. The pot gave 4-5 cups, which was fantastic.

Ambience etc: 6/10
Although the dining area is very pretty, the seating is limited and quite uncomfortable. There is also no escaping the Westfield surrounds. Service was, however, excellent.

Overall score: 24/30

MissTea xoxo

Find them:
http://www.laduree.fr/en/maisons/monde
(02) 9231 0491



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