While I was visiting Vancouver last month, my foodie friend Grayelf and I decided to sample some macarons after having lunch one afternoon. Our goal was to sample the macarons from both Thierry Chocolaterie Patisserie Cafe and David Hawksworth’s Bel Cafe side by side to see how they compare. Our first stop was Thierry. Though I’d never been to Thierry before, I had come across some online buzz about his macarons. I had high expectations since Chef Thierry had previously been the pastry chef at two three-star-Michelin restaurants and also led the pastry programs at CinCin and West in Vancouver.
Though not all the flavours are always available every day, Thierry offers quite a number of different flavours of macaron including lychee, vanilla, coconut, coffee, gianduja (chocolate-hazelnut), chocolate caramel, chocolate pistachio, lemon, lime, pink praline, raspberry, mint, earl grey, and passion fruit. The macarons sell individually for $1.95, 7 for $13.45, or a dozen for $21.95. Grayelf and I settled on the Passion Fruit and Lychee flavours as we were in the mood for the fruity varieties. The orange-colored Passion Fruit macaron had a really mild passion fruit flavour. It was filled with a chocolate cream. Personally, I didn’t think the chocolate filling paired that well with the passion fruit. Next up was the pink-colored Lychee. I couldn’t taste much lychee flavour in the cookie itself but I liked that there were a few real lychee chunks in the filling. Overall though, I kept on wishing that the lychee flavour would be more prominent.
We then walked a couple of blocks to David Hawksworth’s Bel Cafe. Bel Cafe is located in the lobby of the Rosewood Hotel Georgia. The flavours available at Bel Cafe included black sesame yuzu, dark chocolate, pistachio, vanilla bean, rose & raspberry, passion fruit, cookies & cream, and maple & bacon. At Bel Cafe, the macarons sold for $2 each. We again chose the Passion Fruit along with the Black Sesame & Yuzu as it sounded intriguing. The Passion Fruit macaron from Bel Cafe was amazing! It was tangy and the passion fruit flavour was intense. Since we had it side by side with the one from Thierry, there was no doubt this one from Bel Cafe was the winner! If you are a huge fan of passion fruit, this one is definitely for you! The Black Sesame & Yuzu macaron from Bel Cafe was equally as impressive. The flavour was really complex. I could really taste the nuttiness of the black sesame against the citrus notes from the yuzu. Initially I wasn’t sure how the two flavours would go together but to my pleasant surprise, they went amazingly well together. In fact, we liked it so much, we went back in to Bel Cafe to get more of the Black Sesame & Yuzu.
From our small sampling of macarons, there’s no doubt that Bel Cafe would be the place I’d hit if I were craving macarons in Vancouver. We felt the flavours were spot on for the two macarons that we sampled.
Thierry Chocolaterie Patisserie Cafe
1059 Alberni St
801 West Georgia