L’Opera Patisserie

IMG_9398

L’Opera is located on Minoru Blvd next to the shops near Hilton Hotel. It’s an odd location for such a fancy looking patisserie. But good for me, since I don’t need to travel all the way downtown for some good pastries! There’s also free parking behind the Sheraton/Hilton parking lot. Anyways, I’ve purchased a pastry for a friend here, but I haven’t actually tried them myself. C gave me a box of L’Operamacarons for my birthday, so I am finally able to write about them! It comes in a beautiful box with a ribbon. The owners are Asian, but had training in Paris, so the shop and decor are all very Parisian.

When you open the box, you have a little note which tells you how long and how to store your macarons. They use natural and organic ingredients, so they can spoil if not kept properly.

IMG_9400

Green Tea, Caramel, Coffee, Chocolate, Pistachio, Rose

The macarons were actually quite small in size. Dainty and light. I found them smaller than the ones at Thiery. What I liked about them was that the colours were all very faint and light. It’s a sign that they probably didn’t use food colouring to achieve the colours. Creamy fillings and the shell itself is up to standards. I also like how they aren’t too sweet. My favourite was the coffee. It had such a strong aroma of coffee and I think there were some crushed coffee beans in it too.

Overall, very satisfied with the macarons at L’Opera. They come at around $2 a piece, so quite standard. It’s also super close to home, so I’ll definitely be visiting more often. They also have afternoon tea, which I hear is pretty good. Will definitely give that a try next!

L'Opera Patisserie on Urbanspoon

Laduree – Printemps Paris

IMG_6188

The famous Laduree of Paris! You’ve probably seen these macarons in their little pastel green boxes. I’ve been dreading to try these because people say they are the absolute best! We had saw the Laduree store in Milan, but we knew we were going to Paris, so of course get it from it’s home city! There are several Ladurees in Paris, with the one on Champs Elysees being quite famous. That one has a sit down cafe and is always packed with tourists. We found a Laduree pop up shop inside Printemps, which is another department store situated right next to Lafayette. Other than the pop up store on the first floor, they also have a sit down cafe on the upper floor. They offered breakfast there and had a specific time for customers who wanted to just dine on desserts.

IMG_6187

Anyways, by the end of our shopping trip, we were kind of broke again… But i insisted we had to try these little macarons! I believe they are around 1.7 euros for each, which is decent if you think about the price of macarons in Vancouver.

IMG_6189

We ended up only getting two, since we didn’t want to carry them home. If you get less than 6, then they put them into a little bag.

IMG_6192

I got the Rose and Orange Blossom flavour. Okay, seriously, they are so delicious! When you bite into them, the outer layer is so airy! And the other thing is that I find macarons in Vancouver to be too sweet, but these ones have just a subtle sweetness. The orange blossom is a must try! I haven’t seen this flavour elsewhere before. It’s got a hint of orange flavour and is so fresh! Absolutely love it. These little guys are a bit smaller than the macarons back in Vancouver, but I understand why people go crazy over them now!

Patisserie Sadaharu Aoki – Lafayette Paris

IMG_6162

Galeries Lafayette is seriously one of the most beautiful department stores I have seen! It’s an upscale department store selling luxury brands like no other. I swear they have colours and styles that I’ve never seen in Vancouver, because…well you’re in Paris… Anyways, the cool thing about these luxury department stores is that most of them have a floor dedicated to food. And if you think it’s like a food court, think again. It’s like luxury food court! They have sections of food products like chocolate, candy, cookies, but they also have an area with luxury cooked food and pastries. Prices are quite expensive, but just imagine yourself at Thomas Haas or Thierry, and it’ll make you feel more like at home… Wandering through all the gourmet stalls, my eyes caught Patisserie Sadaharu Aoki!

IMG_6184

It was interesting because I didn’t expect to see a Japanese patisserie shop in Paris. You need to remember that I’ve been away from Vancouver for some time now, and my green tea craving was really kicking in… When I saw Patisserie Sadaharu Aoki serving all these Japanese flavours, I felt like I was home again! They specialize in macarons and cakes, but with a Japanese twist. Matcha flavoured macarons? YES! I’ve always wanted the Vancouver dessert shops to make that flavour… I chose the Matcha and Redbean Cake, which is a cake with alternating layers of green tea, cream, and red bean. It’s then topped with some matcha powder and a matcha flavoured macaron! I absolutely loved this! The layers gave the cake so much texture. Some of it was crunchy, as they used something similar to rice krispies, and the red bean also gave it another texture. This pastry stall is a must try! If you enjoy Asian flavours, this will be perfect for you. They also specialize in macarons and chocolates with very interesting flavours! If only they were less pricey, I would’ve tried so many others!

I believe they also have their own boutique in Paris, but Lafayette is great as you can try other gourmet restaurants while you are there!

Patisserie Für Elise

IMG_3898

Patisserie Fur Elise is located in the Yaletown area, and you wouldn’t really even spot the place since it’s situated in an area that looks like residential area. I’m not sure what the houses next to it are used for, but it’s essentially at a Victorian-looking three story townhouse, and there is a row of these houses.

IMG_3899

When you step in, the right is the area for buying desserts to go. They have a variety of cakes, and of course macarons. The place is decorated with mini chandelier lights and gives a very girly and fresh feeling.

IMG_3900

For customers who would like to sit down for afternoon  tea, you must  make your way up to the second floor along this flight of stairs. I love how everything is like a fairytale!

IMG_3901

This was their window display on the first floor. Love how they have the Victorian-style dress, which the waitresses wore, and it’s like you’re at a tea party in the garden.

IMG_3903

On the second floor, this is where guests can enjoy their afternoon tea with grand furniture. It’s perfect to have a girl’s day out, and I believe you can even book the place to host parties. They have another seating area tucked away at the back, so there’s plenty of seats for you to choose from to have some quiet chats with your friends.

IMG_3907

They only have one afternoon tea menu with a pre-set menu and then a choice of tea. For $30, you get a choice of tea, a tier of savories, and a tier of sweets along with a Chef’s choice of a starter. I chose the Honey-Scented Tea, which is an award-winning black tea from Wuhe, Taiwan. It was described as rich and mellow, with a natural honey-like sweet aftertaste. I enjoyed it as it had a hint of honey flavour to it, but it wasn’t too sweet. J got the China Rose, which was a flavoured black tea with an aroma of roses. We peeked in her cute little teapot, and indeed there were rose petals. What’s unique is that they also give you a sand timer, and once it’s emptied to the bottom, it means your tea is ready. No need to guess how long we should wait. They also give you the cutest tea leaf strainer, which is shaped as a bird. The little details of their chinaware and furniture definitely wins a girl’s heart.

IMG_3908

Mandarin Creme Brulee

For the  Chef’s choice of starter, we were brought the Mandarin Creme Brulee. It’s got the creme brulee on the bottom, with a mandarin flavoured jelly on the top, topped with a slice of mandarin orange. At first, I thought it tasted a little odd, since I’ve never heard of a creme brulee with this fruit, but I started to enjoy it a few scoops in. The hint of tangyiness seemed to work with the sweet creme brulee. It was smooth and I enjoyed the jelly at the top.

IMG_3913

Afternoon Tea

Our two sets of afternoon teas were presented on two tiers, with the top as sweets and the bottom of savories. Each item was carefully crafted and presented and looked utterly adorable!

IMG_3911

A closer look at the savories… The sandwich was a Cucumber Dill Finger Sandwich, which was interesting since they didn’t put the cucumber between the slices of bread. Instead they placed it on top, and although it looked pretty, I had to dissect the sandwich and eat the cucumber on it’s own so it wouldn’t be too messy. To the right of the sandwich is the Prosciutto, Brie and Fresh Basil Sandwich. This was a mini croissant and I loved the combination of prosciutto and brie. The flavour from the fresh basil also complemented the sandwich really well. The hamburger look-alike was the Smoked Salmon Brioche. I found the brioche to be a little dry, so this one wasn’t one of my favourites. Lastly, there was the Bocconcini and Havarti Skewer. It’s got the two types of cheeses sandwiching a cherry tomato. I’m not a fan of tomatoes, so I didn’t exactly like this menu item, but I did enjoy the cheese. In the centre, there was the Scone served with a apricot house-made confiture. I’ve never been a big fan of scones since I find them too dry, so I can’t comment much on it.

IMG_3912

At the top of the tier were the desserts! This is always my favourite part. I’m also usually starting to get full at this point, but desserts are a must eat! I’ve always got room for some dessert… Anyways, the brown tart is an Orange Dulcey Daisy Tartlet, which had a hard tart shell at the bottom and the middle was a caramel type mixture and topped with a piece of pistachio. The green little square was a Mini Green Tea Chocolate Ganache with Red Beans. When I heard the name, I got extremely excited since I love green tea desserts. I think my expectations were set too high, because it ended up being quite disappointing. I found the texture to be too rubbery and the chocolate ganache just didn’t melt in my mouth. I was imagining some smooth chocolate just melting as I place it in my mouth, but that unfortunately didn’t happen. It was too sticky and gooey and stuck to your mouth. The pink dessert was a Mini Fur Elise, which is a strawberry mousse cake. I enjoyed this as it was light and not too sweet. And the white square was a Blueberry Cheesecake, although the menu said Lemon. It was a cheesecake square with a dented well in the middle and it was filled with some blueberry sauce so it would spill when you cut it in half. This was smooth and light as well. Delicious! And last but not least, we were a Macaron each, and I think I had the caramel one. It was decent, but definitely small in size. I think J has a lemon one.

To be honest, I felt that the service was lacking here. There were only two girls working, but it wasn’t that food was coming out slow. It was their attitude. They seemed so serious and didn’t really initiate much conversation, which I would’ve expected at an afternoon tea shop. They barely even smiled and I almost felt silly smiling back at them when they just had a serious look on their face. It kind of ruined the experience, but the menu items themselves were decent at an average price. What really makes up for everything is the awesome decor which isn’t found at many of the other afternoon tea shops. This one was unique and it made you feel special.

Patisserie Für Elise on Urbanspoon

Soirette Macarons & Tea

Tried all 21 flavours with a double for matcha, lavender and rocher 🙂

Rocher

Lavender Earl Grey Tea

Lavender Earl Grey Latte

Bought another box home 🙂

Matcha Macaron


Soirette Macarons & Tea
has been so talked about around Vancouver as one of the newest and top macaron shop in town! I had it on my wishlist on Urbanspoon and can definitely check that off now! And yes, I’ve got to agree with all those bloggers out there. It seems like they have the largest selection of macarons, and they are really specialized in them, as they only sell a few desserts on the side. I got a sneak peak in the kitchen when I was on my way to the bathroom and also saw the owner of the shop. Pretty cool! Soirette is located near the Coal Harbour area, and the store is furnished so that it feels extremely clean and bright. Everything is white and modern, and the colours of the macarons totally steal the spotlight. It can seat around 10 people max, but many people get them to go.

Seeing all those different flavours, my friends and I wanted to try all of them, and we ended up getting all 21 flavours and cutting them into quarters! Yes, quite small pieces, but I don’t think we would’ve been able to finish all 21 individually on our own… The 21 flavours included: Matcha, Lavender, Cappucino, Rocher, Chocolate, White Truffle, Raspberry, Passion Fruit, Black Rose, Vanilla, Guinness, Orange Blossom, Malibu, Pistachio, Earl Grey, Violette, Maple, Lemon, Pink Peppercorn, Jasmine, Rose, and Caramel. So let me tell you which ones really caught my attention, and which ones I disliked! I left with another box of 6, so let me tell you which were my top 6! In order beginning with my favourite would be: Matcha, Lavender, Rocher, Pistachio, Cappuccino, Raspberry, Chocolate. Matcha is one of my favourite all-time flavours for almost anything…but I loved how this macaron had just a hint of matcha flavour and it worked really well against the white chocolate cream. Lavender surprisingly wasn’t too flowery and had just the perfect amount of flavour so it wasn’t too strong. Now let’s go on to the ones I disliked the most. Number one would have to be white truffle. The flavour was way too pungent and although it was supposed to be a savory macaron, I didn’t like it. Black Rose also had a very weird flavour to it, and pink peppercorn had a spice that I wish wasn’t paired with a macaron. Surprisingly, Passion Fruit and Vanilla really let me down. I thought they would be very original flavours, so should be quite typical, but I found Passion Fruit to be too sour, and Vanilla to be really bland and lacking even vanilla flavour. Both beverages were also very good with a lovely hint of lavender that I loved! Overall, this is the place to be if you want to try the most talked about macarons in Vancouver!

Macarons are $2 each, or you can purchase them in boxes of 6 or 12 at a discount.

Soirette Macarons & Tea on Urbanspoon

Bel Cafe

Crispy Choux, Orange & Milk Chocolate Ganache

Rose and Raspberry Macaron & Cookies and Cream Macaron

Happy belated International Macaron Day!! And yes, it’s macaron, not macaroon. Honestly, I didn’t really know the difference until sometime late last year after getting all confused and deciding to do some research into it. But what I’m talking about here aren’t the coconut macaroons, but those colourful Parisian desserts that are made with almond flour. And I believe there is a difference in pronunciation too, but I guess most people don’t realize. So yes, International Macaron Day was on March 20th, and honestly, I did not know about this big day until Steph told me. She is clearly the bigger foodie here! So yes, of course we had to celebrate and get some macarons! We wanted to go to Soirette but it was kind of far from where we were, so I did a little googling, and off we went to Bel Cafe. And we discovered it was actually right next to Hawksworth, and is the sister cafe to it! So they are both situated in the Rosewood Hotel Georgia. Honestly, I’m not a crazy fan of macarons as I think there are tons of other desserts that are more worthy, but Vancouver has been on a macaron craze these past few years. Everyone talks about them, and I’m no expert to judge which ones are better. The rose and raspberry macaron definitely had a very strong rose taste to it, but I actually didn’t really taste any raspberry flavour. I did like the strong rose flavour though, as I love rose flavoured desserts! The cookies and cream macaron was really good too. You could totally taste the cookies and cream flavour with a strong vanilla flavour as well. Almost tasted like a chewy Oreo! Overall, they had a consistent smooth texture with a little chewiness inside which I like! Next, we also got the Crispy Choux, Orange & Milk Chocolate Ganache. It was basically a cream puff with a strong orange flavour to it. Not bad, but I found the puff a little tough, but I think it was supposed to be the “crispy” part of it. Service was exceptional, and the cafe is extremely busy! We almost couldn’t find a seat and had to go for take out. Busy busy cafe with exceptional desserts and savoury items as well!

Bel Cafe on Urbanspoon

Thierry Patisserie

Passion Fruit Mousse – biscuit roulade + passion fruit mousse

Tiramisu – mascarpone sabayon + coffee/kahlua soak

It’s no surprise that I love desserts, and I was really excited when I knew I was going to Thierry! Thierry is located on Alberni, where many of the Glowball restaurants like Coast and Italian Kitchen are. The entrance to Thierry was really nice! They had large wooden doors and something about the layout of the shop was extremely comforting. So many desserts to choose from! I kind of wanted to try the macarons, but I was more attracted to the cakes. The passion fruit mousse was my favourite. I loved the mini macarons around it, and the mousse was very smooth. It was a little sour, but it’s passion fruit, so it was acceptable. It actually had a very strong passion fruit flavour and even had little seeds at the top, although I would’ve rather it not. The tiramisu was also extremely delicious. It was presented very nicely, and the alcohol was not too strong. Delicious! And i like how Thierry is open til midnight, so you can always go there for some late night desserts!

Thierry Patisserie on Urbanspoon