Several years ago, French style macaroons were not very popular in Hong Kong and were pretty much associated with LGB, a patisserie with several stores on Hong Kong Island. The concept grew with the development of upscale malls but was hardly mainstream. Over the past year however, there has been an explosion in the number of concepts catering to this trend. First up was TWG Tea in the IFC Mall. TWG Tea is a Singapore concept patterned off the great French tea houses like Laduree from Paris. Then, Laduree itself opened a store in Harbour City under the direction of the bluebell Group. Not to be outdone, the famous chef Joel Rabuchon opened his second Salon de The location in Elements Mall last month, the first being in Landmark in Central. Finally, Pierre Herme opened his first shop in IFC very near TWG Tea. Of course you can also find these macaroons in La Maison du Chocolat and Jean Paul Hevin among many others. Even the fast food chain, Delifrance, is getting in the act, offering their version for Christmas time at a very reasonable price of HKD 376 for 24 (HKD 15.68 a piece) compared to the HKD 25-30 a piece for the authentic French ones. I am no expert on macaroons but it is easy to tell the difference between the ones locally made and the ones air freighted from Paris daily.
French macaroons have always been popular in Japan but they came and went in Korea. It is clearly boom time in Hong Kong but I think the boom will be around a while given the number of Mainland Chinese shoppers looking for something new and interesting to bring back to friends and relatives as a gift. Next you might even find local Hong Kong Chinese wearing a beret! Mon Dieu!