Restaurant Review: Ladurée Brings The Taste Of Parisian Luxe To Mumbai

Experience la vie en rose at Maison Ladurée in Mumbai, a French brand famous for its macarons and more.

Published On Jan 12, 2024 | Updated On Mar 08, 2024


Ladurée Paris has finally arrived in Mumbai, after delighting Delhi and Gurugram. Yes, Maison Ladurée's world-famous macarons — those perfect almond meringue shells, with just the right amount of bite and chew, sandwiching that glorious ganache — are here for the taking! 

The Ladurée macaron

While the brand was born as a bakery started by Frenchman Louis Ernest Ladurée in 1862 AD in Paris at 16 rue Royale, its most recognisable product has been the double-layered Ladurée macaron, which was created by the baker's cousin Pierre Desfontaines in 1930. More than six decades later, the legendary Pierre Hermé (whose own pâtisserie empire is as formidable) headed the Ladurée bakery and was the one behind the now-iconic flavours that we love today — rose, pistachio, salted caramel. 

From being used to depict luxurious excess by director Sofia Coppola in her 2006 film Marie Antoinette, to being relished by Serena and Blair of New York City's Upper East Side in Gossip Girl, the Ladurée macaron has become symbolic of the most sumptuous snack, the most decadent dessert, the most wow-worthy gift. 

In Mumbai's Ladurée, you'll find macarons taking pride of place, with all 10 flavours available displayed prominently... pistachio, vanilla, rose petal, salted caramel, coffee, lemon, Marie Antoinette, blackcurrant, chocolate, milk chocolate-coated coconut. While tastes are subjective, we especially love the rose petal and the blackcurrant variants (neither being too sweet, and the flavours standing out superbly), which, we later find out, are the best-selling ones. 

Zee Zest Tip: Pronounce macaron as 'makharaw', NOT makroon, as so many at the store are doing! 

David Holder, the company's president with a rockstar personality, has a special knack for finding the spots best suited to the spirit of Ladurée. On the Champs-Elysées in Paris, in the Royal Court of the Palace of Versailles, inside London's Harrods, on New York's Madison Avenue... you name the world's most luxurious addresses and, chances are, you can get your fix of Ladurée's luxe treats there. Despite a setback with closures during the pandemic, there are now over a hundred of them in more than 20 countries across the world. 

Which is why it makes complete sense that Mumbai's first Ladurée lands in the luxury label-rich Jio World Plaza at BKC, facing the sumptuously dressed windows of the Louis Vuitton store and looking onto ads advertising the advent of iconic jewellers, Tiffany & Co. 

The elegant venue has all the bells and whistles of a typical Parisian tearoom from the late 19th century. The bakery that opened in 1862, got its particularly plush aesthetic in 1871 thanks to Ladurée's wife Jeanne Souchard. This was the Belle Époque and a time when the glamorous high-society women of Paris were enjoying their freedom and looking out for interesting places to meet at. Souchard had the clever idea to blend the more casual cafes that already existed with a pastry boutique, to create a haute hybrid that appealed to all the senses and the elite's pleasure-seeking sensibilities. 

Decades later, as I step into the soft green-and-gold embrace of Ladurée Mumbai, I understand the care and craft that goes into evoking that emotion behind it. The elegant 48-seater space has an inviting vibe. The upholstered seats that swivel so you can sit down gracefully are comfortable and the marble-top tables with serrated green-and-gold bases add a touch of grandeur. The counter wraps around an island kitchen tucked away behind glazed glass and a stylish partition, where the savoury as well as sweet creations are prepped and plated, and the beverages poured. 

Statuesque macaron towers in pastel shades are part-product display and part-decoration. The Viennoiserie and tea cakes are tempting as well... picture buttery croissants, plump pain au chocolat, giant palmiers, rose tea cakes, glistening with promise. Valrhona chocolate thins, crunchy Eugénie shortbread biscuits, there's a lot on offer and at rather accessible pricing too. 

The Eggs Benedict

Dining options abound. Ladurée has a wide selection of eggs Benedict, French toast, avocado toast as well as sandwiches and salads. I try the salmon avo-toast and am floored by the excellent housemade brioche that's the foundation of the beautifully built-up stack that has oodles of freshly made guacamole, and a generous amount of smoked salmon shaped like — what else?! — a gorgeous rose! 

The salmon avo-toast

And then, of course, coffee. Not just any old cappuccino or espresso (they serve those too, of course) though. I go for one of Ladurée's special lattes, made with almond or soy milk. I pick the Rose Latte, which is served topped with crushed rose petals. It's sweet, as I expected, but also bears the taste of rich, toasty coffee, which pleases me immensely. As with the rose petal macaron and their rose tea cake, the floral flavour lingers lavishly on the tongue. 

They also do a range of classic and 'creation' teas, and infusions. Fresh juices, milkshakes, mocktails, sorbets, and ice-creams, as well as their iced teas and coffees will surely be much in demand in Mumbai. And the coupes glacées, stunning ice-cream sundaes in true French style might just be the ultimate Ladurée flex, even more than the rose petal macaron or the carry bag! 

For dessert, I veer towards the iconic Plaisir Sucré, which is a hazelnut dacquoise biscuit, coated with gleaming Jivara chocolate ganache. But, I keep with the rose theme and go with the much-recommended Ispahan, one of their signature pastries. The macaron biscuit is just chewy enough for that great mouthfeel. The sweetness of the rose butter cream is so beautifully balanced by the tartness of the whole raspberries. And then there's that teeny bit of lychee to add a subtle yet funky oomph to it all. 

The Ispahan

In all honesty, this is a dessert I was ready to diss, had ordered with the intention of sampling a spoonful and leaving the rest. That I end up spooning up every crumb says a lot. The only thing I would change on it would be to tone down the intensity of the pink on the macarons. A light pastel would work so much better than the current antacid pink. Then again, going by how popular it is, perhaps I should just accept the Barbiefication of everything! 

Considering they're getting 1,000 customers a day just a week or so into opening without too much fanfare, it's safe to say that Mumbai has already fallen in love with Ladurée's creations. With plenty to choose from and more additions to the menu on the cards, it's in a sublimely sweet spot. And, just like a fashion house, Maison Ladurée will be unveiling new creations in new seasons. I'll certainly be going back to try more of their ample offerings. Perhaps I'll see you there? 

Where: Ladurée Mumbai. Jio World Plaza, G Block, BKC, Bandra East, Mumbai 
Timing: 11am-10pm (Monday-Sunday)
Meal for two: Starts at INR 125 for a mini croissant and goes up to Rs 995 for the salmon avocado toast

Photo: Featured Restaurant