30 Hardware Lane
Melbourne VIC 3000
Telephone: 03 9024 4528
Opening Hours: Mon - Fri 10am - 6pm (or until sold out); Sat 10am - 4pm
Here are some terribly over-used phrases:
"I am a self-confessed Francophile."
Quintessential snap of stacked macarons.
Because it is 2011. It is hugely unfashionable to have a measured response to anything remotely attractive. We live in a world that all about the rat race, rah-rah, hi-def, neon lighting, and total extremes, mate.
You bought a house? I bought a property. You eating out? I'm dining out. You like 'all things Parisienne'? I liked them first. On Facebook. Didn't you see the tweet?
So it is with a feeling akin to coming out of the closet that I can say I'm as subscribed to the French-ise as much as the next person (which it seems means something close to worship) yet I have never been a macaron maniac.
Like every responsible foodie in Australia I've had my fill, and then some. Ogled the Zumbos on television. Enjoyed the Ladureés, the Pierre Hermés, the Duncans, and the Josephines. Been unimpressed by the Cacaos, the Café Vues, and the Laurents. The La Tropeziennes were alright. Lindts only okay. But just when I thought I'd can can-ed with everyone on the block, a new kid moved in too cool to ignore.
Stacked against the stalwarts, La Belle Miette doesn't need my fandom; it's amassed its on aplenty. I would agree, however, that as far as macarons go the adoration and marvel is pretty deserved. It is quite the Mary Poppins of macarons: practically perfect in every way! Crisp exterior, yielding interior, and intensely flavoursome.
I say this with some authority, having sampled my way through an entire boxful, gifted to me by an indescribably superlative friend.
A chest of treasures.
Being a self-confessed chocophile, it is probably not completely coincidental that this rose through the ranks as my chosen cocoammander: the 72% Cocoa Single Origin Chocolate (Venezuela).
Special mentions should be made as well of the Hazelnut Belle Miette, the Mariage Freres Earl Grey Chocolate, and the 'Bastille' - Moet et Chandon and Blackcurrant. Full list of flavours here.
Not many left now.
In the interest of being utterly objective, I'd say the Strawberry & Vanilla macaron was marginally underwhelming. The concept couldn't be more estrogen-friendly, but the unfortunate result had the vanilla so neutralising the intensity of the strawberry that it was much more plain-Jane than something-about-Mary.
La Belle Miette - a courageous contender in a very saturated Melbourne market! Where do you sit in the macaron camp?