Vancouver has gone macaron crazy. We now finally have a few boutique bakeries, my favourites being Thomas Haas and Thierry. And they both make macarons. As do many other bakeshops around town. But until Soirette opened up a couple of months ago, there was no bakery whose main purpose was the lovely macaron. I don’t know if I’d be as into these if I wasn’t paleo – there’d be tons of other goodies vying for my attention (Thomas Haas’ double baked almond croissants – how I miss thee…). But macarons are made with almonds, not grains, so they’re one of my few semi-cheat options.
And Soirette does them justice. In Vancouver, I’ve only ever had macarons at Thierry and Bel Café. And Soirette’s are noticeably superior. They are exceptionally soft and chewy on the inside – almost moist, while having a crispy shell. Soirette has a variety of flavors to choose from. I find that because these are rather sweet, I prefer fruity flavours where the acidity of the fruit offsets the sweetness. Also, some of the flavours weren’t pronounced enough for my liking, whereas my two faves, lemon and passion fruit, popped. Aesthetically, they were all gorgeous, especially the heart-shaped Valentine’s Day special: strawberry champagne.
Soirette also serves a variety of fine loose leaf teas, which they can also serve as lattés. Their “Plum in A Pear Tree” green tea is amazing – unlike any tea I’ve had before.
The macarons are terrific, but in my mind, the best thing about Soirette is their macaron-based desserts. This is where it gets interesting – they incorporate the macarons into the dessert, instead of grains. For example, I had tiramisu for the first time since going paleo – and it tasted just like the real thing! My favourite though is the cheesecake – if they have the saffron, definitely try it – it’s amazing (the passionfruit is very good also).
The shop itself is very cute, in a sophisticated sort of way. And they have a great location in Coal Harbour, steps from the water. The staff and owner are friendly and helpful. I’ve stopped by a couple of times already, and with treats like this, it’ll be difficult for me to stay away. Highly recommended.
Disclaimer: These delicious treats are definitely not paleo – at best, they’re borderline primal-ish due to their sugar content. But, they’re grain free and made of all natural ingredients. And apparently almond flour is paleo. So, consider this my primal-ish indulgence ;)