Thomas Haas: Macarons that Dreams Are Made Of
998 Harbourside Drive, North Vancouver
There’s nothing like girl talk on a sunny patio with macarons, cakes and croissants! Diana of Foodology, Anita of La Petite Foodie, Amy of Food Queen and Kathy of kathygko.blogspot.ca and I decided to check out Thomas Haas’ North Vancouver shop. I had never been so I was thrilled! French macarons are at the top of my list of favourite desserts, right up there with New York cheesecake and creme brulee.
It was pretty packed in the shop. Thomas Haas wasn’t there, unfortunately. Anita told us that he is often seen in his shops. Tucked away in a corner is his wall of fame though, newspaper articles, awards and photos of the famous pastry chef.
The display cases of beautiful cakes made it almost impossible to choose, I wanted to eat everything available! I finally settled on the lemon tart with shortbread crust. I love shortbread and only exclusively eat cheesecakes with shortbread crusts (Carnegie Deli in NYC makes killer ones).
From the lovely lineup of macarons I chose vanilla, lemon, passion fruit and kalamansi. Anita and Amy grabbed the last of the mango coconut macarons!
Suffering from another case of wishing I got what the other person ordered, I fell in love with Amy’s milk chocolate and passion fruit cake upon my first taste. The chocolate was so rich, smooth and decadent and that punch of sweet and tangy passion fruit cream in the middle made this cake incredible. Darn it! Why didn’t I pick a chocolate dessert?!
Although, my dessert was not chocolate, it was still just as rich and equally beautiful. Whereas the milk chocolate and passion fruit cream cake had a contrast of flavours in the sweet chocolate and tangy passion fruit, the lemon tart that I ordered was oozing of thick, creamy and over-the-top sweet and tart lemon curd. I loved the structure that the shortbread crust gave this tart and the cookie crust was so soft, crumbly and buttery that I would be happy just eating the crust alone!
I didn’t get a nibble of Diana’s chocolate cake but needless to say that it looked chic and stunning on the plate.
Now onto the macarons! I always order vanilla macarons wherever I go. Can’t mess with the classics. As soon as I bit into this macaron, I knew what everyone was raving about. The texture was perfect. Crisp and delicate outer shell, chewy interior that held up the outer shell, no collapsing here! And the cream filling. Amazing! It was sweet, fluffy and fresh tasting, no bitter aftertaste of vanilla extract. It’s hard to savor macarons, I’m usually a two-bite macaron eater but I stretched this one out to four. It was that delicious. Nobody loves macarons more than me. If Laduree ever opened in Canada, I’d start living in the shop.
I also had a lemon macaron to go with my lemon tart. It wasn’t as tangy as the tart. The fluffy cream was sweet and tasted more of lemon jam. I couldn’t stop staring at the perfectly symmetrical little feet running all around the macaron. Thomas Haas is a true artist.
The other citrus macaron that I tried was the kalamansi. I’ve never tried kalamansi fruits before but the macaron was very tasty, a little bit more tangy than the lemon macaron. This one made me think of the funky coloured macarons from Pierre Herme.
The pale orange macaron was the passion fruit. I have no idea how such a little cookie can be so flavourful but it was as if the passion fruit juice was bursting from the middle of this cookie. Again, the texture of the macaron was perfectly chewy and slowly melted into a sugary dream in my mouth. I love macaron flavours but am more attracted to the deliciously chewy cookies over the cream fillings. I am now officially addicted to Thomas Haas’ macarons.
Since the sun was still shining over the crowded patio and we were right in the thick of some juicy girl talk, we decided to nibble on a couple of croissants too. The butter croissant was just as I expected, flaky, light but also rich in butter flavours. It made me think of Paris immediately.
The almond croissant I wasn’t prepared to fall in love with, after all I am not a huge fan of almonds. But my goodness, was this ever an amazing croissant! Filled with a thick and sticky almond paste and covered in slivered, toasted almonds and sugar, thanks to Thomas Haas, I am now an almond croissant convert.
I never thought I’d find macarons that I would love more than Pierre Herme’s but in a gastronomical paradise like Vancouver, anything is possible!