I’ve been eager to try all the varieties of macarons that Vancouver has to offer, so we headed downtown this past weekend to Thierry (on Alberni Street, between Thurlow & Burrard) to taste their signature macarons.
Part of the Top Table group of restaurants in Whistler and Vancouver (Araxi, Blue Water Cafe, CinCin, West), Thierry was created by internationally acclaimed maître pâtissier, Thierry Busset, a native of France. Thierry — a chocolaterie, patisserie & café — offers a contemporary approach to the finest, beautifully-handcrafted chocolates, pastries, cakes, macarons, and other exquisite desserts.
Thierry is a modern, aesthetically pleasing café with a very upscale, yet comfortable atmosphere. Lots of seating is provided, both inside and out. Its front patio has gorgeous wood paneling on its floors, and I loved its sturdy wooden main entrance door with small circular window cut-outs. We watched master bakers at work in their open atelier, while a friendly and knowledgeable staff member assisted us with our purchase.
Not only a bakery, this cafe also offers espresso beverages, homemade sodas, house pressed juices, and spiked drinks – yes, Thierry is a licensed establishment, so why not add a shot of liqueur to your coffee?
Theirry macarons are sold as follows: $1.75 for one, $11.95 for seven, or $19.95 for twelve. Seven seemed like the perfect amount for the two of us, so we selected a variety of flavours. The only problem was that because it happened to be a busy Saturday evening, the majority of their macaron flavours (often 17 different kinds) had already been sold. Luckily for us, we managed to snag one of the last remaining blackberry macarons, two lime, two lemon, and two passion fruit.
Presented in a pretty box with Thierry imprinted on its top – its pacakaging was lovely. We thought Thomas Haas’ macarons were quite large, but Thierry’s macarons were even bigger. And in terms of price, Thierry’s $1.75 macarons are the cheapest macarons we’ve come across (so far) in Vancouver. However, we were thoroughly disappointed with these very hyped little treats.
First of all, the texture was heavy, chewy and almost gummy in consistency. Also, they were overly-sweet for our liking. I didn’t fee the buttercream was very well-balanced as it exuded too harsh of a butter taste. There was also way too much buttercream between each center – the cream spilled out of the macarons when bitten.
These macarons were not consistently assembled, nor did they have uniform “feet”. Moreover, the colours were overkill. They were the same hues as Crayola felt tip makers – highly pigment, bold, vibrant…and artificial. The blackberry macaron left our tongues bright purple the entire evening.
Although most of these macarons were actually quite bland, the lemon flavour was very strong. Except, in lieu of a lovely bright citrusy essence, sadly, it was especially artificial tasting. Now, there was a small piece of lemon peel in the middle of the buttercream filling (and a piece of blackberry inside the blackberry macaron) but I would much rather enjoy macarons with all natural ingredients (like Kitchening With Carly) than those with dyes.
In ‘theory’, Thierry’s macarons should be amazing, but we still prefer Kitchening With Carly’s truly perfect Parisian macarons by a landslide. Although we would not recommend Thierry’s macarons, this will not prevent us from returning to Thierry for a second visit. Their customer service was superb, the shop was beautiful and their pastries looked decadently divine, so we’re looking forward to revisit to sample more items Thierry Patisserie has to offer.