Japan Mar 2011 Day 2 – Macarons from Patisserie Alcyon
Sorry for the lack in updates from our recent Osaka trip. These two weeks had been hectic as hell for me with students’ mid-year exams round the corner. Trying to cram in as much last minute revision as possible. But alas I’d better get this going cos we are going Taipei next week and that would mean a severe backlog to clear! So here we go!
Patisserie Alcyon is another home-grown brand under “Anjou and Alcyon” whose humble beginnings in 1972as a restaurant in Shinsaibashi Osaka, specialising in Mediterranean cuisine. The patisserie branch debuted in 1986 and has since grown not only locally but reached the shores of France, with dessert boutiques in Paris. We visited their takeaway outlet in Umeda, Osaka which is reputed to have a very good selection of macarons. And indeed they do! 30 flavours in all!
All their macarons, except of 2 are priced at 180 Yen each. Cheaper compared to the rest of Japan but still very expensive compared to what we see here in Singapore. Each piece is individually wrapped with an expiry date label at the back.
We went back with 3 flavours. Yes I know, only 3!!! Alas, we had to control ourselves from splurging too much here as there are still so many other places to visit!
In pretty grapefruit pink and yellow spirals is Macaron ポンム , “pomme” aka apples. An apple flavoured macaron, a definite first for me!
Then there is Macaron ごま, “goma” aka sesame
And finally for good contrast, we tried ライム, “Raimu” aka lime!
What struck us most is how much efforts were put into “packaging” the macarons making them more aesthetically appealing. Many of the shells showed interesting motifs and designs, either through playing with colours of the macaron batter, or adding bits of sesame seeds and pistachio croquants to air-brush stenciling work, making them little pieces of artwork.
The shells were very smooth and had a wonderful gloss on them , probably due to the italian meringue method used. But they taste somewhat disappointing.
There is nothing much “sesame” about this piece here. yes, the black sesame seeds released their wonderful aroma when the husks gave way under the pressure of the teeth. But its seems to be only that ; the buttercream filling if not echo “sesame” experience as I’d anticipated.
The spiraling motif one was slightly better in terms of flavour, hinting slightly with the fragrance of Fuji apples, likening those carbonated apple drinks. But the presentation was somewhat shoddy with the buttercream filling unevenly piped.
The lime flavoured one scored best amongst the three, very refreshing and tart, exuding the assuring tangy aroma of freshly squeezed limes. This helps to relieve ones tastebuds, being the third macaron eaten in one sitting.
We compared these macarons from Patisserie Alcyon (PA) with the two from Patisserie Mont Plus (PMP) and one would immediately notice the difference. PMP’s shells lack the shine but wins in the crunch texture, probably due to the difference in technique used. PMP shells were also more consistent in texture and overall aesthetics, despite the fanfare of coloring and spiraliing on PA’s macs. Maybe I’m still very old school when it comes to macarons. PA filled their macarons much more generously than PMP but this may not be a good thing afterall, especially after eating so many macarons at one go. Here’s a look at the innards from PMP’s macs for comparison.
Macaron framboise. So which do you prefer?
Would we try these flavours again, probably not. Sorry to say they failed to impress us much, lacking severely in the “oomph factor” we had been hoping for. Would we try other Patisserie Alcyon macarons, proably yes. Given the large variety of flavours they offer, one of them is bound to get it right. Or so we hope…