Thanks to Openrice who made a trip to Hong Kong possible for me lately, I finally had the chance to try Pierre Hermé (not the most accurate but somewhere near the pronunciation of ‘air-may’), fresh from the store. Also thanks to a very close friend who flies around the world as a job, I’ve tried it before. But you know, how as macarons are, the macaron shells tend to soften over time (especially when kept outside of the refrigerator for a prolonged period of time). Consequently, the sweetness of the ganache fillings would become overwhelming because it has lesser bite of the shells to counterpoise the sweetness. That’s my take, and that’s also why it’d be unfair to judge if a macaron tastes good, if let’s say it’s flown back from Paris.
It’s still worthy to fly it back from Hong Kong, and that’s what I did for my friends, since an outlet of Pierre Hermé is available at IFC Mall, a mall at Central / Hong Kong MTR Station; one that you’d plausibly bypass en-route to the airport. Buying it at the last minute, flying back (about 3 hours) and placing it into the fridge at home, would maximally only take about 6 hours. That’s acceptable, and the quality of the macarons would still retain, reasonably. Tested.
It was such an ‘OMGIAMHERE’ moment when I first step foot at the outlet. I know, it’s pretty himbotic. I couldn’t help it as a hardcore foodie, especially since I can’t find this in Singapore. The salespersons were really helpful (and English-speaking, of course) with revealing the flavors of each available macarons on the counter (I had her repeat multiple times because psh, my memory ain’t that good!).
Taking SGD1 = HKD6.2 (the exchange rate I had):
A box of 7 costs HKD210 / SGD33.80 / SGD4.80 per piece.
A box of 12 costs HKD330 / SGD52.20 / SGD4.40 per piece.
A box of 24 costs HKD660 / SGD106.40 / SGD4.40 per piece.
To the best of my knowledge, they do not sell it individually.
There are a couple different types of macaron-lovers.
Macaron Shells :: Some like it tough, some like it soft. For me, I definitely prefer the former as the extra bites in your mouth allows you to taste the flavors better, have the flavors linger longer, and makes your money better-spent. And Pierre Hermé has it tough.
Tough has two different types – one very crumbly (like a cookie), and the other one just right, with the edges of the macaron shells crumbling, but the main portion of it still remains in tact. This is exactly the one Pierre Hermé provides. And which I love. Further, its shells are huge.
You realize its ganache fillings are thick in general too, which doesn’t only gives more flavors, duh, but also makes the whole burger bigger.
Pierre Hermé was created with all intentions to create unique flavors, away from the classics like Chocolate, Vanilla or Salted Caramel. You know too right, that Pierre, the Chef himself, used to be from Ladureé. You can see the difference in their directions; one with very classic and simple flavors, the other with flamboyant and daring ones. We’re talking about flavors like Milk Chocolate & Passionfruit, Chocolate & Foie Gras, and Mandarin Orange Olive Oil & Cucumber Water.
Available flavors :: Vanilla, Violet & Blackcurrant // Lemon & Flaky Hazelnut Praline // Pistachio, Ceylon Cinnamon & Morella Cherry // Vanilla varieties from Mexico, Tahiti & Madagascar // Rose, Litchi, Raspberry // Candied Chestnut // White Truffle with Roasted Piedmont Hazelnuts Slivers // Pedro Ximenez & Soaked Sultanas // Chocolate & Foie Gras // Mandarin Orange Olive Oil & Cucumber Water // Chocolate & Smoked Salt // Vanilla, Old Gold Agricultural Rum & Cedar Wood // Rose & Rose Petal // Salted Butter Caramel // Pure Origin Peruvian Dark Chocolate, Morropon Province, Village of Asprobo // Milk Chocolate & Passionfruit // Hazelnut Praline & Praline Crisp // Red Iapar Coffee from Brazil Iapar // Green Coffee & Redefined Bourbon Coffee from Reunion // Jasmine Flower & Jasmine Tea // Pure Origin Venezuela Porcelana Dark Chocolate
It’s simple and straightforward that Pierre Hermé has deservedly earned the title as one of the best macarons in the world. I like everything about it, from packaging to taste, to the wide array of flavors. The only downside is the steep price attached. Asked if I’d return, I’d say yes, even though it’s expensive. I probably wouldn’t splurge as much anymore, but would for sure, return to try its other (sometimes seasonal) flavors, like Chocolate & Foie Gras. That’s one hell of an intriguing pastry.
If you’re heading over to buy some (back for me), try its Chocolate & Smoked Salt. It left the deepest impression in me. I wouldn’t say it tastes the best, but it’s the most gripping, because when it says it’s smoked salt, it really is, smoked. It’s like someone BBQ-ed in your mouth (except not that choking). It’s fascinating. Otherwise, have fun being indecisive (like me) over the crazy flavors.
Address (In Context): 8 Finance Street, IFC Mall, Hong Kong
Photos by Kathleen & The Chosen Glutton.