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Cristina Re's store - definitely aimed at women

A new little cafe/store recently opened in the back streets of Collingwood.  I kept walking past the place when it was closed and was a little intrigued. Unfortunately my ‘research’ (google) advised me that the store was in fact a new concept store for stationer Cristina Re – the store is called “where a girl goes” (!?!). According to the Cristina Re site the store offers a “unique shopping experience” for “stylish women with an eye for style”(!?!) and women can go to the instore “papercraft academy” to have invitations designed. It’s fair to say I was a little overwhelmed with cynicism.

I finally managed to stop by when the place was opened and it was duly ‘girly’ in its design. They had a range of macarons on offer that looked pretty great, although alarm bells rang when I saw a sign in the store advertising that all macarons were vanilla flavoured, with only the buttercream actually flavoured. Nonetheless, I selected two macarons, a ‘strawberry’ and a ‘blueberry’:

Raspberry and blueberry macaron

Visually, these macarons were pretty great – smooth, shiny domes (not sure if the edible sprinkles were required), good ‘feet’ and uniform in size.

I thought they also looked pretty good from the side:

Side view...

Alas, biting in to them, they were almost completely flavourless. The strawberry macaron had a small amount of flavour from the buttercream, which was rippled with strawberry. The blueberry macaron did not taste anything remotely like blueberry, it was completely flavourless. The only blueberry thing about it was its colour.

I definitely think these macarons were all style and no substance. I won’t be going back.

Details

Cristina Re “where a girl goes”
Corner Langridge & Oxford Streets, Collingwood
Ph: (03) 9495 6222

UPDATE 13 May 2010: Saskia stopped by Christina Re and ate some macarons. She reports that they were definitely flavoursome today. There was a passionfruit one that, in particular, packed a punch. As Emily found, they were beautiful to look at. There were, however, some air pockets inside and piping marks on the outside.

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13 Responses to “Cristina Re’s macaron – no flavour”

  1. luke says:

    You wrote: “I definitely think these macarons were all style and no substance. I won’t be going back. ”

    Ha Ha – great review! I love it when you cane a place. Um, was it so bad that you actually didnt finish it? I bet you did 🙂

  2. Emily says:

    Amazingly, I didn’t finish the macarons – I gave the end of it to a workmate who agreed that it tasted of nothing!!

  3. Good afternoon. I’m having trouble with your website. I can’t see the pictures. Is anyone else having this problem? I have been having trouble with my computer lately, so I’m not sure if its my equipment or if its your blog. Thanks!

    • Emily says:

      Hi Clement

      As far as I know, people haven’t had trouble with the pictures on the blog – perhaps it is your PC?

      Hopefully the pics will work for you and thanks for stopping by!

  4. jayne faulkner says:

    Your comments are way off the mark!! You sound like you have no substance or any idea. Beautiful store, gorgeous cupcakes and divine macaroons!

    • Emily says:

      Ha! I agree that the store is pretty and I said that the macarons are beautiful as well, but unfortunately, they tasted of nothing! Perhaps they have improved since I went back in December. It would be great if they did give the macarons some flavour as they are some of the prettiest ones I have come across (it is notoriously difficult to make a good macaron, and I admit my own efforts were not great!). Thanks for stopping by.

  5. Mia says:

    I was excited when I came across your blog as it covers both reviews of restaurants and new recipes.

    Yet, after reading many reviews on here, it saddens me to say that I don’t like the negativity in your approach.

    Word of advice; as my mother would say… If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.

    You have just lost a follower.

    • Emily says:

      Hi Mia

      I am sorry that you don’t like my approach. I actually don’t like being negative but I think part of a good review is being critical when I think it is warranted. I feel that if I said everything was great (when it wasn’t) then that isn’t very helpful to the readers, who genuinely want to know what is great and what isn’t so great.

      Cheers
      Emily

  6. poppi says:

    Hi Emily,
    It’s part of being a good reviewer to speak the truth. You can’t always be nice. I think your analysis is fair. I’ve been here and felt the whole concept was self-obsessed nonsense. The macarons weren’t the only thing lacking in substance. If you’re looking for great macarons, have you tried Kafe Krifi (horrible name, I know!) at Victoria Gardens? I haven’t tried them yet, I just go for the coffee, but the range of flavours is impressive and they look extremely pretty.

    • Emily says:

      Hi Poppi

      Thanks for the comment – glad you appreciate the honesty! I haven’t tried the macarons from thereKafe Krifi but will give them a shot when I am next at Victoria Gardens.

      Cheers
      Emily

  7. Lauren says:

    Hi Emily,

    I also appreciate honesty and am mystified by people who label this as ‘negativity’ and seek to condemn others for expressing an opinion that is different from their own. How is it positive to lie about something in a review and say ‘nice’ things if you don’t mean them?

    I went to this place a few months ago and though I didn’t sample the macarons, I could identify with some of your comments. My fiance kindly offered to go with me to look at paper, but became quite uncomfortable when confronted with all the pink, feminine decor. Strangely enough, in this day and age some men do want to help with the wedding (!!) so the girls-only approach is really getting tiresome.

    Thanks for your opinions 🙂 and the recipe ideas too.. I’m looking forward to giving them a go.

  8. Rebecca says:

    Hi Emily,

    Great review, I totally agree with what you said, and I thought you were very readonable in your assessment.

    The coffee and staff were lovely but the macarons were not comparable to what’s on offer in Melbourne, and they were over priced too! Brunetti just up the road have much better ones.

    Have to say, the whole concept was just confusing, am I in a cafe or a stationery store or a lifestyle store? Like one commenter already said, self indulgent nonsense: I was honestly surprised there wasn’t a full length portrait of Cristina Re on the wall.

    And, (to be honest, this is probably what’s really swayed my previously good opinion of the brand) Cristina Re was in the store while I was there, and her dirty, little white dog was there too, in the store & allowed to roam around the cafe. Not acceptable in my eyes.

    Don’t think I’ll bother going back personally.

  9. Emily says:

    Lauren and Rebecca: thanks for the encouragement. As I said earlier, it can be hard to be critical but it is ultimately part of writing a blog.

    Lauren – hope your wedding planning goes well!

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