Ever heard someone say they don’t like chocolate? In my experience, that is the cause of much shock and awe in any conversation (and dangerously close to being deal breaker in budding friendships). I’d say that especially holds true for Royce’ chocolates, the famed Japanese confections. First launched in July 2013 at Palladium Mall Mumbai by Burgundy Hospitality’s Avani Raheja & Samir Gadhok, these were recently brought closer home for the capital’s discerning sweet-tootheds. Naturally, we like to count ourselves in each time using that reference. Below is our photo review from an exclusive tasting held at their hardwood maple lined, geometric-chic chocolate salon in Ambience Mall, Vasant Kunj.
Nama, a Royce’ signature is a cocoa-dusted, truffle-like, melt-in-the-mouth (no, literally) creation that’s second to none in creaminess. Whatever sweet-dark ratio you might prefer, the Japanese confection company has you covered, by offering Mild Cacao, Ecuador Sweet and Ghana Bitter variations. And no matter which you pick, you are bound to find that perfect moisture and flavor explosion.
As wrong as that sounds, it is absolutely right in that it is the utmost sensation. The “Potatochip Chocolate” also a House signature is a combination of salty potato chip made from carefully selected, high quality potato and a sweet milk chocolate. The combination of sweet and salty is a natural palate pleaser. Add to that, the silky texture of the milk chocolate layer and the nimble potato base and you are guaranteed the tastiest, most sonorous crunch you’d ever hear.
Here’s where purists might hit a roadblock. The prafeuille chocolate, inspired by the very popular and very delicate French desert ‘millefeuille’ is a three-millimeter thin strawberry-scented chocolat. Think of it as a raspberry and blueberry reduction filled fine dessert. That’s when you start to see how it’s sweet-tart pairing works.
This one’s again not for purists, not chocolate lovers or coffee addicts. But it’s no secret how well coffee and chocolate go together, so put those aside and you have one confection nodding to the popular mocha trend that’s almost everyone’s favorite.
If until now, this list was missing nutty variants then there you have it! Before anything else, what must be mentioned though is that this is one bar you will love even if you do not like nuts in your chocolate. Crispy, nutty, chocolaty, all at once, these hefty bars might just be bargains in wrappers given how much they pack within.
While we’re always in search of the best chocolate fingers and these weren’t quite it, they’ve found in us new loyalists. Elegant, subtly flavored and almost wafer thin, each cookie is a complement to its rich chocolate coating.
I said ‘almost’ wafer thin up there because here’s what’s wafer thin, only enveloped in smooth dark chocolate and hazelnut cream. And it’s quite clever that there’s dark chocolate and not milk because that lends a certain intensity to a snack. Plus the abundance of chocolate and cream that’s lacking in most store-bought cream wafers shows you the line between mainstream and artisanal.
Want to know what else is not mainstream? The use of Criollo chocolate by a confection company! You’d only find a handful of chocolatiers using this complex and aromatic chocolate made from Criollo beans, the world’s rarest and most expensive cacao beans, found only near Lake Maracaibo in Venezuela. No wonder then that Royce’ Criollo chocolate has their signature stamped all over. While the milk variant is smooth as could be, the dark is bound to be a real hit with gourmands.
If there’s anything that became clear by the time we got to these it wasn’t how utterly besotted we were, no, it was that Royce’ chocolates are all about elegance. Elegance in flavoring, shaping and packaging their chocolates! This fact became all the more apparent upon tasting the brand’s Pure chocolate. Designed, not to be bitten into but placed in the mouth like a slim coin, each bears a wave pattern that one would imagine, enhances its smoothness as it dissolves in your mouth.
It isn’t exactly easy to pick from a lot of chocolates, where each lot is distinct, artisanal, and above all, delicious. Anyone who likes chocolates would understand. Still, if we absolutely had to, we’d say we have our hearts set on bagging those Potatochips. To us, they’re chocolate and more, perfect for an afternoon of couch potato-ing, elegantly of course. For a slightly more productive day though, we’d be partial to Nama’s Mild Cacao. Even on a productive ‘summer’ day. Nama’s specially designed travel bag with a frozen cooling gel pack will make sure of it.
ROYCE’ chocolates are priced at Rs. 1050/- for 125gms onwards.