July 14, 2013 Beirut Lebanon Middle East

The Magnificent Ladurée Beirut: Willy Wonka & the Macaron Factory (Restaurant Closed)

Phone Number: +961 1 992 922

Address: Rue Omar Daouk, Bab Idriss, Mina El Hosn, Downtown Beirut, Lebanon

Website: http://www.laduree.com

Price Range: 15-60 $


Welcoming: 5/5

Food Temperature: 9/10

Ambiance / Music: 8/10

Menu Choice: 4/5

Food Taste: 29/30

Architecture / Interior: 10/10

Food presentation: 8/10

Service: 8/10

Value for money: Soon

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My love for macarons is endless. These little cylindrically shaped bites carry a million stories of flavors and aromas. Honestly, I crave them from time to time, and when I do, I wouldn’t mind paying a small hefty amount for a quick bite that will quench my craving… Ladurée is one place I admire, for its renowned macarons. My favorite branch is their original flagship store on famous Champs Elysées,  a premium pastry shop with a restaurant and a tea salon serving pastry delicacies, sandwiches and salads.
Just a quick reminder:
Ladurée is a French luxury bakery and sweets maker house. It is known as the inventor of the double-decker macaron, fifteen thousand of which are sold every day. They are still one of the best-known makers of macarons in the world.
It’s been a while since I have been to Ladurée. I headed down to Maarad Street in Downtown, where Ladurée's Salon de Thé is located.
We walk into this high ceiling majestic place filled with pink and green colors. Four crystal chandeliers pending from the ceiling light up the shop in style. Colorful macaron towers fill the shelves. Beautiful indeed: Boxes of all shapes and sizes, gold lines, branded ribbons, blue, pink, green and many other designs.
Ladurée signature items here and there are displayed for sale as well as gift boxes waiting to be filled with your favorite macarons. Tea, books, champagne, jam pots, honey pots, chocolates and more… I felt like I was Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory but here, Macaron Factory.
All my senses were activated when my eyes discovered Ladurée's pastry pieces: Eclair Vanille, Eclair Chocolat, Ispahan, Carre Chocolat, Saint Honore, Plaisir Sucre, Tarte Fraise Mascarpone, Tarte Chocolat, Millefeuille Vanille, Religieuse Rose Framboise, Religieuse Caramel. All in the price range between 6,000L.L and 7,000L.L.
Let me answer all your questions, inquiries I have been hearing here and there from the first day Ladurée opened its doors:
  • Macarons pieces are imported from France: Yes
  • They come frozen on a weekly basis and defrosted when needed: Yes
  • Pastry pieces are now produced in Lebanon: Yes
  • Macarons pieces are expensive at $4 each: No
  • They are chewy and not fresh: No
  • They are fresh, slightly crunchy and feel like if they were produced this morning: Yes
Today is Macarons day. I decided to taste them all:
  • Pistachio: Light green pastry with light green filling, this piece tastes like real pistachio with a smooth crunch in the back. It is adequately sweet and light on the palate
  • Caramel with salted butter: light brown pastry filled with pure caramel. A balanced sweetness mixed to a soft salty feel that is felt after swallowing.
  • Chocolate: One of my favorite pieces. A premium chocolate, soft and tender. The piece melts on your tongue like butter. They are filled with Guanaja Ganache with a 70% strength. Awesome
  • Raspberry: A pink pastry filled with a dark red filling where some black dots caught my attention. This is the only macaron with real jam filling. A slight chewiness coupled with the soft pastry and decorated with the crunch of seeds that explode under your teeth. A strong and sophisticated piece it is.
  • Lemon: A yellow shell filled with white cream. Pure lemon richness refreshes your mouth in this summer heat adding to that some lemon zest that add a touch of finesse
  • Coffee: This macaron reminded me of the coffee candies we used to buy at the school's shop. Light brown with a soft coffee filling, it starts with rich aromas and a strong beans taste that cannot be missed
  • Vanilla: If you love Vanilla, this is something extraordinary. A strong vanilla taste and after taste that lasts long in your mouth. A smooth cream fills this double decker with premium ingredients from Madagascar
  • Liquorice: (Reglice) A piece we left for the end as it is packed with strong colors and ingredients. Dark black from the outside and a beige filling, this is a little piece of Heaven if you like liquorice. Not for the faint hearted after all.
  • Rose Petals: Pink pastry filled with creamy white filling, this piece should be smelled deeply before examining its flavors. I loved it
  • Strawberry Candy: Pink from the outside, covered with sugar and filled with marshmallows this is the most creative macaron. Superb to say the least. This piece has the only elastic filling that feels like gum
  • Chocolate Yuzu: Dark chocolate imported directly from Japan and covered with lemon clementine pastry: Mouthwatering strong citrus after taste with bitter chocolate that caresses your palatal buds with passion
  • Orange Blossom: The word ‘finesse’ redefined in a macaron
Laduree_Macarons_Beirut80 Nothing negative can be said. Everything was just perfect. The welcoming, the presentation, the service, superb taste, unique interior and overall premium experience. I enjoyed every single bit of my experience, today on all levels and invite you to try it as well.
Here, I would like to thank the lady in charge, Nour, with her perfect English and French language, took all the time needed to explain piece-by-piece and ingredient-by-ingredient making me fall in love with the brand even more.
For your parties or invitations, the Ladurée macarons boxes are a great gift idea everyone will enjoy. Next review will be about their Sorbets. Stay tuned.
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