Luxury patisserie chain Ladurée is one of the places that seems to be on the list of every -- as Vanity Fair had coined them -- foodie transpotter. "Oh you're going to New York? You simply have to go to Ladurée," enthused one such friend, as she whipped out her phone to Google for the address of the patisserie for me. "Their macarons are to die for."
Never mind that she's never been to New York herself, or probably any of the Ladurée chains around the world; hearsay is good enough for her, and Ladurée now sits on her mental list of restaurants she's compiled from various sources -- usually chi-chi restaurant guides -- and deemed appropriate enough for her bragging rights. Oh, if only I had known that her "to die for" macarons at Ladurée's Madison Avenue home also came with complimentary atrocious service that included, and is not limited to, eye-rolling, curt responses, and an attitude so unhelpful they'd have fit right in in Singapore.
So on hindsight, it's not really all of a surprise that, like all international brands well-aware of their influence over impressionable and excitable local foodies, Ladurée will soon no longer be a plane ride away, or on the top of anyone's bragging rights list.
With their exclusive appointment with The Hour Glass, buyers will now have access to Ladurée's collection of macarons, chocolates, confectionary, as well as a selection of fragrances, all with "an identical experience as they would have in Paris" through two outlets in Takashimaya Shopping Centre, Ngee Ann City, from April 2013.
While the general sentiment right now is one of eager excitement at finally having Ladurée's famous caramel with salted butter macaron within driving distance (they are indeed rather good), I still have some trepidations about welcoming the patisserie with open arms. Will we have to contend with neverending queues (yes)? Will the quality of the sweets be anything like that of their Parisian counterparts (probably not)? And more importantly, will we be subjected to the kind of abysmal service quality -- not exclusive to just Ladurée -- born out of a misguided, overinflated self-importance of working for a brand of international renown? We will wait and see.
Ladurée will open in Takashimaya Shopping Centre in April 2013.