In an unassuming corner on the ground floor of the famous department store Printemps somewhere between Chloé and Burberry sits a beautiful cordoned off section for one of the newest kids on the [patisseries] blocks…Café Pouchkine. True to its name, this is a Russian patisseries famous in Moscow since 1999. Their creations are inspired by the décor that evokes 18th century Tsarist Russia. Today Café Pouchkine in France can only be found at the Printemps address.
They carry a limited selection of delicacies, each more beautiful than the next. While their flavour selection of macarons doesnt rival that of La Durée or Pierre Hermé in my humble opinion, its macarons are significantly larger in size and just beautiful. The plain looking ones seem to have been showered by gold dust and those dual colored ones you see are double-flavoured and described so poetically. That fashionable-looking pink and green one is pistache coeur fraise… literally translating to mean pistachio with a strawberry heart. How beautiful is that!
I hate to be disappointed by food, and so, true to my i-dont-mind-eating-the-same-thing-a-million-times-if-its-good philosophy, I had 1 chocolat and 1 citron macaron. Chocolate is chocolate (yum!) and lemon is probably my second favorite flavour in desserts. I must say that I consider myself to be quite a macarons aficionado having sampled a wide variety from La Durée , Le Nôtre, Pierre Hermé and Hugo et Victor and my favorite remains a tie between La Durée and Hugo et Victor . Café Pouchkine’s are rather different in that they consist of a super slim crust and a mega portion of ganache/cream which, although more intense in flavour, takes away from what I believe to be the most vital characteristic of a macaron: that unique texture of chewy, crunchy yumminess. The crust was just too thin making it too crunchy.
Their patisseries are lined up like porcelain dolls fanning their elaborate pink and brown petals. You are a spectator behind that gilded gold frame and glass partition that separates you from these fine works of arts. Each is tagged with a Russian descriptor adding a touch of the exotic to otherwise expected Parisienne treats. They also had a few Easter hens proudly placed beside the cash counter; their red feathers and bright yellow beaks etched like a solid domination of sugar.
It is certainly a must try and I will most definitely be back to try either the eclairs or one of those beautiful cakes. After all shopping amongst all these desginer brands can be truly exhausting…if not for the soul, then definitely for the pocket!