Unlike donuts which are now practically everywhere (think Dunkin’ Donut and Mister Donut hubs), French macarons are, weight by weight, one of the most hard-to-find and expensive food yet people are still going for them! Each piece costs PHp 50++ and you only get to have a max of 3-4 bites until finishing off the entire thin, flavorful meringue cookie sandwiched with some kind of filling.

So why the macaron craze? Bakeries put so much effort in packaging and designing macarons that these beauties come out as utterly gorgeous and delicious displayed in shops and in boxes. As a result, love on both the visual and palatable elements about these confections has been developed.

I’ve tried macarons by TWG Tea Salon and Boutique in Greenbelt 5, Makati, Tous Les Jours in Mall of Asia, Pasay and The French Baker before and undoubtedly, I thought TWG macarons are the best! Another contending macaron maker is Chez Karine Bakery, which my friends all over Instagram go gaga over. They promote it with pictures and captions saying that this bakery’s macarons have a chewier bite than other regular crispy French biscuits in Manila.

Last Saturday, out from lunch with my friends, we decided to continue our girl talk in Chez Karine Bakery located in the same aisle as Fez Gastrobar in Serendra area and find out if Chez Karine’s macarons would seal the deal, break the record and indeed win over my love for TWG’s.

Aside from macarons, Chez Karine patisserie offers high quality, specialty coffee and tea and other pastries like cakes, royal pudding, panna cotta, cookies and honey toast all inspired by Asian and American flavors with fresh and natural ingredients.

Review of Chez Karine Bakery (Serendra, BGC, Taguig City)

Ambiance: ★★★★☆

The space is limited with less than 10 chairs available for the long table across the counter. Everything on display was appetizing, particularly if you have a sweet tooth. Interior design was minimalistic and there were no frills on the backsplash other than the list of prices and items on the menu. Outside, three tables with four chairs each can be occupied by guests who want to chill out and stay longer. But most of Chez Karine’s customers choose to leave after getting boxes of orders here.

Service: ★★★★★

Staffs were always inside the counter, so I can’t say more about service on this one. Anyway, I would give an all-star perfect rating as they provided good assistance in suggesting preferences and preparing orders. They were quick on their feet, too, so long lines are manageable.

Food: ★★★★☆

Chez Karine’s macarons come in many flavors, each at PHp 50. Since we couldn’t try every one, we chose six we thought were sufficient to represent:

  • Salted Caramel – When asked, the staff said that salted caramel is one of their best-sellers. So without question, we added it to our order and were not disappointed. There’s a tiny hint of salt mixed with caramel resulting to a bittersweet divine taste.
  • Mint Chocolate – With back-to-back fillings of mint and chocolate, this was the one I enjoyed most! Mint and chocolate must be in my blood, so naturally when I put these together I thought they were amazing. 😀
  • Earl Grey – Filled with earl grey milk chocolate ganache, this macaron was among the best we had. It was so good that it should be able to get anyone to come out of hiding.
  • Speculoos – Speculoos was a name that’s quite hard to remember but the taste was really unforgettable. It was buttery and tasted like a vanilla-based gingerbread cookie.
  • Matcha Green Tea – This can be the ultimate macaron that would ruin my diet. I can eat ’em all day! This green tea flavored macaron tasted somewhat like Starbucks’ green tea latte. ♡
  • Maple Bacon – Though it was okay, this was the flavor we all least liked. It tasted like a breakfast of pancakes with maple syrup and bacon.

All in all, the cookie surface was smooth, without bumps and bubbles (as you can see in the picture below). There were no large air bubbles or irregular empty pockets either. Although the shell of the macaron was thin, it did not easily shatter. The macarons were not as super chewy as expected but just fine. One bite gave way to a tender and moist (not soggy or wet) interior. Eating was clean; the filling did not squish out and didn’t leave any residue on the teeth (yes, I’m concerned and conscious of this because of my braces).

In terms of flavor, Chez Karine’s macarons were sweet but not to the point where the original flavor is already masked; they didn’t coy sweetness forming a lump in the back of your throat. They were true to whatever the name of the flavor literally spell.

After gaining fuzzy happiness from eating macarons, we tried the Muscovado Royal Pudding (PHp 100), a soft set custard pudding with dark caramel at the bottom. This royal pudding had a smooth texture, almost the “melt-in-your-mouth” type, but it was just a bit disheartening that the taste was not anything spectacular. If you’re familiar with leche flan, then you’d know exactly how this pudding tastes. Only key takeaway was this cute bottle that can be reused at home! 😀

Price for Value: ★★★☆☆

The reason why these are costly may be that they are notoriously difficult to make and to perfect. I understand that there’s a lot of patience required, as well as planning and precision. Almost, the presentation must be as good as the flavor.

Even so, paying PHp 50 for one macaron is, I think, too much. Same goes for PHp 100 for a tiny jar of pudding of ordinary caliber that doesn’t make enough justice to the price tag. In the end, I wasn’t that convinced that Chez Karine’s macarons are better than TWG Tea’s. I guess I’m still sticking to my first love.

Serendra 2 Loading Bay McKinley Pkwy, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
For inquiries, call (02) 804 1889
Date Published: 08/23/2013
16 / 20 stars

Operating Hours:
Sunday to Thursday: 10:00 am to 10:00 pm
Friday to Saturday: 10:00 am to 11:00 pm

About 

Health and technology freak. Food and lifestyle blogger with a large appetite for food and travel.

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37 Responses

  1. Christeen

    I tried Tous Les Jours’ macarons and I liked it, I wish I could try some more from some other bakery to complete my experience and to be able to completely relate with the craze. haha. Ill have your list as a guide to do it =)

    Reply
  2. maritel

    I love macaroons and yes, they are expensive (P40) even in our part of the country. Still when I have extra money, I buy 3-5 pieces…of course, I share this with family 🙂

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      You are one sweet and thoughtful kapamilya. ♡ I also think of my family whenever I go out and dine. That’s why I see prices here to be even more expensive; instead of thinking for one (myself), I’m already counting my coins for four! 😛

      Reply
  3. jane

    omg!! i still keep asking myself Why i guess im the only human being who dont like macarons and not in the macaron craze. my husband bought me the other day and I only ate one and the rest I gave to my daughter. Not my taste at all I guess or I am not in the mood for sweets. hehe Love their menu!

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Your daughter is very lucky to have received all the rest of the macarons! Haha maybe you have not tried TWG Tea’s macarons. And oh yes, there’s another one that they say is a must-try: Lauduree, a French luxury bakery and sweets maker. 🙂

      Reply
  4. sir rob

    I remembered during my college days that every time I went home for sembreak, my mom always baked macarons for me. I wonder how it tastes now.

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      I’ve always wanted to bake but we don’t have an oven and I think it’s too tiring to bake and end up feeling guilty to have made so much goods I can’t take because of my strict diet. Your mom must be passionate about baking. Padalhan mo naman ako haha. 😛

      Reply
  5. Jonas Labagala

    Their macarons look delectable! But it’s quite pricey for a small piece of French macaron. Imagine 50 Pesos for a tiny piece of French Macaron and you’re done!

    I might want to try their cakes instead. 😀

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      My thoughts exactly! Their cakes are expensive all the same. Nonetheless, if you’re already there then it’s better to buy at least any one. Sayang kasi opportunity hehe. 😀

      Reply
  6. papaleng

    If you give a 4-Star rating on Price for value then, i’ll go visit the place. LOL Nice review and the establishments offers quite treats to choose from.

    Reply
  7. Karen

    I haven’t tried eating this macaron yet though they look so yummy with these different colors and flavors. I’m sure my kids would love these too.

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Try to go in the morning to avoid the lines. The macarons are good for 3 days (if they last that long) so keep that in mind if you want to give them as a gift. Also be prepared to pay more for a pretty box.

      Reply
  8. jonrun

    i tried to eat here one time kaya lang dameng tao.. after ng running event kasi yun..kaya ayon
    next time i go in bgc will try to eat here

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      This shop is a touristy necessity when in BGC, Taguig. It can be your favorite post-marathon spot and next time you can’t resist going to Chez Karine whenever an occasion could even slightly, maybe, possibly call for celebration.

      Reply
  9. Franc Ramon

    I like to try their macaroons and it’s just beside Gelatissimo in Serendra. Would love to have it with Gelatto on the side.

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      That’s what my friend did. She can’t resist getting gelatto for herself after eating macarons. 😀 I agree that they are a good combination, but be careful on the calories. 😀

      Reply
  10. Lai

    I only have tried the macarons of Tous Les but that was three months ago pa. i miss eating macarons tuloy, i wanna try this with my kids when we visit manila again 🙂

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      If you are patient enough, learn to make them yourself. 😀 Macaronage is not rocket science. There are many available recipes posted online (in text and video forms). But that’s only if you are willing to spend time learning and trying to master the technique.

      Reply
  11. Bobs

    Oh sweet, sweet macarons. Lately, this has been my favorite since my friend brought me a pack of this sweetness. I could even eat this for breakfast, lunch, dinner and the snacks in between these meals. 😀

    I would go and eat in this bakery. It seems that it can be a place to hangout with lesser crowd. I’ll check this place out with my friends soon.

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Since space and seating are limited, customers here normally just walk in to buy and take their goodies home. Yup, you can spend a day here chatting with your long-time buddies.

      Reply
  12. Teresa Martinez

    These macarons really look very delicious and I’m sure they’d be very attractive to my children’s eyes but they are quite pricey although of course it is always good to try any food at least once just for the experience.

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      You’re right. To quote my mom’s favorite catchphrase now, “You only live once.” So better take advantage of everything you can do – earn, eat and live – before it’s too late. 😉

      Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      I also love eating colorful food as they seem more palatable and appetizing to the eyes. I think the Filipino version of macarons are our puto – we also have mini puto in those colors, right? 😛

      Reply
  13. joy | chemist2writer

    At Php50 a piece, that small piece of macaroon is certainly quite expensive 😀 but it seems that you found it delightful so I might give it a try in the future. I don’t think there are French macaroons available here in our place but when I visit Manila, I’ll try those yummy goodies. 🙂

    Reply
  14. Genzel

    Wow! So far my fave macarons are from Bizu! I hope you can try them too but it’s expensive like 55 a pc. I want to try and visit this place too but it’s too far from my place 🙁

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Oh I’ve heard that Bizu also serves macarons. I think the nearest branch to me is…Greenbelt 2. Since you personally suggest it, now I am excited to go for one. 🙂 Thanks, Genzel!

      Reply
  15. Francis Nuñez Balgos

    a good review..
    There is a french bakery in Glorietta 1, near the entrance facing SM Makati that sells macaroons too.
    Since my work is located in glorietta 1, I get to see just people of all classes milling to buy their macaroons.
    I should try one first I think, any french macaroons for me will do.

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Actually I’ve seen those in SM Makati: one just in front of HyperMarket on the ground floor and another on the second floor near the entrance (maybe this is what you’re talking about). I was thinking to take them home to try but then I was more enticed to try cupcakes from Vanilla Cakery/Bakery that time.

      Reply
  16. Rochelle Rivera

    I love Chez Karine! Everything is just sooo good! I will featuring it to on my blog and googled a bit of information and I am so happy to find your review. You have the best reviews as always. 🙂 See you soon!

    Reply

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