UPDATE 15/4/2013, 7.14PM
Ladurée has confirmed that the level 2 boutique opening hours for April 16 and 17 will be affected due to a private event. Opening hours for the counter at Level 1, Takashimaya Shopping Centre remain the same.
Macaron fans, the wait is over. Ladurée has opened its doors at its first outlet in Singapore; and its first in Southeast Asia too, for that matter.
Ladurée's Singapore store opening has been generating a heady buzz since the October 2012, announcement that it would arrive, and true to form, some very eager Singapore fans were milling about the store around opening time on Monday, April 15, 2013.
Ladurée at Takashimaya level 2
Macarons are specially imported from Ladurée in Europe, with shipments coming in about three to four times a week.
We staked out the store on Ladurée’s opening day this morning; here’s a look at what you can expect.
While there was a steady stream of shoppers, the crowds were far less intense as compared to the recently-opened Hong Kong dim sum franchise Tim Ho Wan. It looks like Ladurée may attract a more niche crowd.
Store interiors at the Ladurée store in Singapore
The queue lines stayed manageable at between five to about a dozen shoppers in line at both the boutique and the level one counter, from opening time at 10am, throughout the morning. The situation was about the same when we checked back at 12.30pm.
Waiting time can be anything between five to 15 minutes from queuing to payment, since shoppers tend to spend a lot of time on flavour selection; the horrors, if you’re standing behind someone nit-picky about their flavour count.
While Singapore fans will not have a "dine-in" experience, Ladurée Singapore has two locations at Takashima. Find the main boutique at #02-09, next to Jo Malone and a counter at Level 1, in between the Louis Vuitton and Chanel stores.
The Ladurée counter at Takashimaya Level 1
Take note that the Ladurée boutique at level two will be closed most of the day on April 16 and 17, for a private event. The counter at level one however, will still stay open as per usual.
The Ladurée mint colour scheme has been kept, with chandeliers specially imported for the Singapore store too. The ceiling features a cloudy, sky blue wallpaper adding an almost dreamy look to the boutique.
Walls are lined with shelves and shelves of Ladurée merchandise, from teas, jams and more collectibles; it’s a fairly narrow shop, so you may have to inch your way around as you browse, if the store be packed.
The centrepiece of course, is the long counter of macarons.
Each macaron is priced at $3.80 in Singapore and should be ideally refrigerated within two hours of purchase; they can be kept for up to three days in the fridge.
While you can buy one or two to savour in a paper “pouch”, a minimum purchase of six is required, in order to store them pretty in a box. Up to 70 macarons ($266) can be stored in the largest box available.
Ladurée gift boxes. PHOTO: LADUREE
Price-wise, it is slightly more costly than what you would find at Ladurée stores in Europe; macarons tend to go at around €2 (approximately S$3.20) each. Still, it’s about the same retail price at its international stores; macarons at Ladurée Sydney and Ladurée Hong Kong are available at AUD$3.20 (S$4.13) and HK$23 (S$3.65) each, respectively.
Choose from 16 macaron flavours, including seasonal treats like the Marie Antoinette, a tea-flavoured macaron in blue. The pistachio macaron is our favourite. The creamy paste consists of finely ground pistachio which is flavourful and not-too-sweet; nibbling the crumbly, airy pastry is dessert bliss.
A box of 8 in the Ladurée Singapore limited edition box
There's also a limited edition Singapore box (8 macarons for $38) currently available on sale.
Besides the macarons, there are nougat, chocolates, scented candles and collectible Ladurée merchandise to be had too.
Keychains and tote bags at Ladurée
Tote bags are priced from $30 for the smallest shopping bag and $78 for the Ladurée key rings; prices for non-edible treats go up to $114 for a large scented candle.
Ladurée is located at Takashimaya Shopping Centre, #02-09 and Level 1, Tel: 6884 7361. Prices start from $3.80 per macaron to $266 to a box of 70 macarons.
Will you join the queues for Ladurée macarons in Singapore? Share with us your take on the macarons here too, in the comment box below.