I heart Macaron

video via Wall Street Journal.com

I just watched this video on Wall Street Journal dot com which really got me thinking..

The once classy, elite French confection called the Macaron which use to only be available in Ladurée and Pierre Hermé, Paris, is now starting to show up in low-end places like Starbucks and McDonald’s in France.

Of course the fans of the Macaron in France are up in arms because they feel like their prized confection is being desecrated.  “Macarons are not meant to be mainstream,” says a well known French lady writer who has been blogging about French culture from Washington for the past six years.

As you can see from the video, the people on the streets of France are put to the test.. and while some who “claim” to be experts really are, others do not really have a clue.


As you can see from the video, the people on the streets of France are put to the test.. and while some who “claim” to be experts really are, others do not really have a clue.

First it was the rage of the cupcakes, now the macaron. In Malaysia, Starbucks or McD’s might not be carrying these cutesy, colorful, burger-looking sweets just yet, but I have to say, places that sell them are sure proliferating compared to just 5 years ago. The other side of the argument that I have read is that whilst large-scale franchises might start to churn out mediocre versions,.. so what? This might be a good thing because, it will force bakeries and local cafes to up their game and to keep improving the macaron.

Yup, macarons going mainstream is a good thing. Look at the quality of the cupcakes available now – it has come a long way since transitioning from ‘indie’ to mainstream. I for one am really happy that so many bakers in Malaysia can make Macaron and make them well. 5 years ago I would have spelt it Macaroon and probably said.. “Macaroon who??”

People who are fans of this delicate pastry and love them passionately will almost be assured of finding better alternatives with each passing year. Lovely! I heart Macaron!

Recently one of the really cool places that has opened up for business is a restaurant called Nathalie’s Gourmet Studio.

Recently one of the really cool places that has opened up for business is a restaurant called Nathalie’s Gourmet Studio. Imagine my surprise when I found out that this was the Nathalie under whom I took a Macaron baking class, a year ago! Surprise, surprise.. she seemed really happy to seem me and when she found out that I was a blogger too, she was more than happy to show me around her cooking studio. I immediately fell in love with the place and also charming Nathalie, all over again! I love this French baking teacher.. she is hot! LOL. Anyway ..

The 5 Things I like about Nathalie’s Gourmet Studio are:

1. The Macaron (of course!)
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2. The Shop Deco
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As you enter, you will pass Nathalie’s baking studio. As you take a turn, you will enter the main dining area. Her kitchen has an open concept where you can actually observe her and her team cooking. It’s super-modern, uber-chic, yet still comfortable.
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3. The Fine Food
Natalie's Studio

Salted butter and bread

Please note how lovely it is that the butter is indeed salted with actual bits of salt!

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Eggplant in 3 ways

This immaculately presented menage a trios consists of, eggplant on toast, eggplant mousse ice-cream (note photo on right) and eggplant with souffle. Gorgeous!

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Asian Crab Salad

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Duck Confit

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Squid stuffed with oxtail

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Poire Belle Helene

Oh my Lord! My dining partner is not big on meringue but I tell you, she loved this one! Once you break open the sorbet that sits in the meringue cup-like structure (all of the components can be eaten – how clever!) it reveals pear cubes in a slurry of super smooth chocolate. Call it, the surprise inside the egg, if you will!

4. The Service

The service was attentive and the waiters made good recommendations. This is a real plus point.

5. The Packaging
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This place is like the mecca of packaging! From the shop’s ID to the cutlery to the nice, shiny take-away boxes of goodies, Nathalie’s Gourmet studio exudes class and finesse.

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So how did the macaron fare?

I could be biased because I love this lady – she was my Macaron baking teacher.. BUT, I have to say they are perfect in their own right. Leave them for 2 days in the fridge and they get even better, when the outer crust forms a little more, revealing a soft, squidgy inside that is characteristic in a great macaron and just so addictive.

What can we say.. We love this place! We will definitely be back.

Add:
Nathalie’s Gourmet Studio
Unit A4-01-5
Solaris Dutamas
Jalan Dutamas 1
Kuala Lumpur
(pork free)
Tel: +603-62079572 , +6017-2806717
Google Maps

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