I have been working near the David Jones Food Hall for the past couple of weeks and because my trusty friend, The Foodie’s Guide to Sydney 2013 keeps recommending it (it’s in three separate categories!), I thought I should finally go see it for myself. The Hall is a gourmet foodie’s Mecca- all sorts of gourmet food and produce clustered together in one cosy underground-like space.
International Cuisine would best describe what you can find here (sushi, gourmet cheese, delicatessen, seafood, fresh produce etcetera). It was well past lunchtime when I arrived so I was seeking instead for a sweet treat. Suddenly, I came across a golden sign with Byron Bay Cookies luring me towards it. And oh my, was this a fine-looking little shop! There was an overwhelming selection of cookies, tarts, cake pops and macarons all jammed into one huge glass cabinet.
I was so glad they had Eftpos here, and the girl at the counter added proudly ‘and there’s no minimum spend’. Music to my ears I tell you! There was every type of cookie imaginable, in various shapes and sizes, with yummy combinations like Lemon and Macadamia and Sticky Date and Ginger. Chunky cookies were individually packaged and set at $3 whilst the less extravagant shortbreads and smaller types were around 60c each.
But the most attractive baked good would have to be the not-so-humble macarons which were just so pretty! The coloured fillings contrasted the perfectly risen shells so well, with a dash of edible glitter to top them off.
Salted Caramel (bottom row, far left); Popcorn (top row, far right)
I opted for a classic combination: Salted Caramel (to see whether they could pull off the sweet salty balance).
I can’t regard it any higher than this: Best Macaron I’ve Ever Had. Period.
The next time I visited (oh yes, the time after the first and a second time after that…), more macaron-sampling was on my agenda. Here are the flavours I have tried so far:
Popcorn Just a tiny hint of the nutty popcorn flavour you’d expect, chewy with smooth filling but needed way more of a punch.
Lychee So beautiful! The colours were Christmassy green on one side and red on the other, dusted in green glitter. Lychee’s a hard one because it’s a naturally subtle flavour and in the macaron, it just tasted of sugar unfortunately.
Silver Blueberry Again, very pretty – exterior was silver and sparkly whilst the innard was bright purple. The blueberry flavour was definitely reminiscent of the luscious summer berry.
I must try Passionfruit next time!
Honestly, macarons can be a bit of a hit and miss no matter where you get them from and judging by that fact, Byron Bay’s macarons (and cookies) are worth trying for yourself. Go on, tell me you can resist.