The queue outside Ladurée Boutique was split into two: this is the front of the queue which led into the shop, and the line continued on along the wall on the other side to allow space in between for traffic to pass.
Like the Parisian flagship, Ladurée Boutique is decked out in pastels and gold. Blue skies are painted above; the bright colours and lights make the long, narrow shop feel roomier.
The view of Ladurée Boutique when in line. Customers will be spoilt for choice with the range of boxes; the packaging make up a good chunk of the price tags.
Prices for the regular (thinner) cardboard boxes range from a box of eight at $30.40 to a box of 70 at $266. The regular macarons can be bought at $3.80 per piece; up to seven macarons will fit into a bag.
You can fit eight macarons into this Singapore limited edition Ladurée box ($38). We wish they put the Merlion, Singapore Flyer or even Marina Bay Sands on this box. La Tour Eiffel is pretty, but it doesn't quite scream "Singapour".
These gold-leafed macarons are twice the price of the regular. At $7.60 a double decker pop, you get a chocolate macaron filled with chocolate ganache, and as much 22-carat gold leaf you can inhale in one major bite. This is opluence in its most edible state, for passers-by like us, that is.
If you'd rather stick to inhaling, mini candles (and other souvenirs like keychains and bags) are also on sale. These scented mini candles come in packs of two for $90. These can burn for 20 hours each. Take one, or many, deep breaths.
So what should you buy from Ladurée? In general, we found the shells to be light and airy, though for different flavours, the chewiness differed. We've narrowed down some favourites, and one that we just can't bring ourselves to like.
COFFEE MACARON | We like the present but not overpowering coffee flavour in the filling that's held together by shells that make for slightly chewy bites. This won't wake you up in the morning, but its warm flavours will help you settle down.
CRITIC'S PICK | VANILLA MACARON | What lovely, warm, custard-like filling. The light filling is not warm in temperature, but the earthy, sweet notes of the vanilla grounds you. Fitting that the shell is light and crumbly. Take this home, now.
CHOCOLATE MACARON | And what should come hot on the heels of the vanilla macaron? This sturdy (chewy, too), dark chocolate ganache-filled option, of course. This tastes the most ordinary of the lot, though that definitely is good quality chocolate.
SALTED CARAMEL MACARON | We had high expectations for this one, and it started strong and wholesome, though not entirely in the way we liked it to: the sticky salted caramel filling's flavours are prominent, perhaps a little too head-on. A bitter front note developed when we took our second bite. Have it with a cup of latte - the milk will help.
Take a break from macaron tasting (samples are not offered in the store unfortunately) and do some shopping. This is the corner with the candles.
CRITIC'S PICK | MARIE ANTOINETTE MACARON | You should keep your head on for this. This lady's macaron has a tea-infused filling; we picked up floral bergamot-like notes among the spice-laden Marie Antoinette tea blend. The unnatural colour puts us off, but it got a soft perfume and a mild, agreeable sweetness beneath the relenting shells.
CHESTNUT MACARON | Seasonal flavour | This is the only macaron with an alcoholic filling, fortunately it's not too strong. The pureed marron (French for chestnut') is light with the right balance of rum, with crisp shells.
CHOCOLATE COCO MACARON | The filling is coconut marshmallow, making this the chewiest of the lot. It tastes more like a coconut-filled whoopie pie. Come to think of it, it looks like one too.
CRITIC'S PICK | ROSE PETAL | Possibly the most delicate macaron we've ever tasted - the gentle fragrance of the rose flower in the creme-like filling between the fragile shells had us at first bite. "It's like biting into bandung," chirped a teammate. We could wear this one in our hair all day, if we don't consume it first.
LIQUORICE MACARON | This one's an acquired taste, and we aren't the intended audience. Tastes like an Equal pill got stuck in the back of the throat and was set on slow-release.
PISTACHIO MACARON | Not overly chewy, though the filling and the shells resemble bites of marzipan. The pistachio flavour is not extremely strong and the filling reminds us of the pistachio paste found in profiteroles - not quite natural.
For those who would like to attempt making macarons (or those who love eating toast), Ladurée's got a range of jams to take home too.
RASPBERRY MACARON | The jam filling is uneven, though the chunkiness might be intentional; the sticky jam also holds the fragile shell together well. If you like your berry macarons with more even filling, have the slightly tart Red Fruit (seasonal flavour) macaron.
CRITIC'S PICK | ORANGE BLOSSOM MACARON | "It's like a thousand little flowers in the mouth!" cooed one among us. The filling is light (and green) with soft, equally light shell that gives way at the tap of the finger. Spring has sprung.