L’Espresso @ Goodwood Park Hotel

The hazelnut macaron ($6 or $6.50 thereabouts) caught my eye as we strolled past the pastry counter of L’Espresso on our way to lunch. After lunch, the thought of it was still in my mind actually (but I was a little ashamed to ask for dessert because lunch was really quite heavy). It was a good thing dad wanted to have a little breather too before heading home so we settled for a dessert and a drink at the charming area within the hotel.

Truth be told it’s my first time in Goodwood Park Hotel, and also my first time dining in a cafe within a hotel! If only I had a book at hand to laze my afternoon away~

Presentation-wise, the hazelnut macaron was a joy to look at. For me, presentation counts for 40% of the experience when eating desserts.

In terms of technique, the macaron is executed perfectly. Despite it’s size, the shell is a perfect dome with a thin crispy crust, and chewy innards, nary a single air pocket. It isn’t aged but since this is more of a dessert entremet than a macaron per se, I think the contrast of textures with everything else is good. The hazelnut pastry cream is smooth, and packed with the distinctive flavour of hazelnuts. The same goes for the macaron shell, which has part of the almond flour replaced with hazelnut flour.

The purist in me however, has problems with the raspberries which seem a little out of place flavour-wise though aesthetically you can’t deny the natural beauty of these little fruits. Similarly the swiss-roll has an eggy flavour that is delicious on its own, but quite separate from the hazelnut flavour that predominates in the other two components. I would much rather roasted whole hazelnuts in the place of raspberries, and a hazelnut sponge as the base.

This isn’t a dessert worth travelling for but nonetheless a good one to order if you are there.