Saturday, March 14, 2009

Chocolate heaven

Saturday March 14, 2009
Chocolate heaven

This is one café that chocolate connoisseurs should not miss.

A café serving everything chocolate. That would be a chocolate lover’s dream come true. Well, this fantasy has now become a reality with Godiva Chocolatier Café.

It offers an amazing variety of chocolate items, from beverages to desserts, that you simply can’t say no to.

But isn’t it fattening?

“Not really,” says Carolyn Pereira, Godiva’s marketing manager.

“All Godiva chocolates are low-fat and animal fat-free. We conduct quality control by tasting the items in the menu every single day. You don’t see any overweight staff here, do you?” she smiles.

Located in the upmarket Pavilion KL, Godiva Chocolatier Café opened in December last year and is Godiva’s first and only café in South-East Asia. Godiva was previously only available through their retail outlets in KLIA and Suria KLCC (opened September 2008). All Godiva chocolates are flown in from Belgium.

Clockwise from top: Baked Dark Chocolate Tart Topped with Ganache and Fresh Cream, Godiva White Chocolate Cake, White Chocolate Cheesecake, Equinoxe White Chocolate with Caramel, Carrot Cake with Ginger and Kalamansi Frostings. — VICTOR K.K.NG

The café adopts an open concept, with warm chocolate colours enticing shoppers to have a break in their cosy enclave. Adding to the posh feel are the luxury designer boutiques surrounding it.

First-timers are encouraged to try the Carrés first, so that they will know the difference between the various degrees of dark chocolate and milk chocolate. Carré 85% Dark has the most concentration of dark chocolate while Carré 50% has half dark and half milk. It will be much easier to choose your drinks if you know what kind of chocolate you like.

You can sample Godiva chocolates the traditional way by ordering flights of chocolate that come in four, six or 12 pieces. Truffes are slightly more expensive compared to Pralinés because they are handcrafted. Some chocolates have alcohol in it, so read the labels carefully or ask the staff if you’re not sure.

Godiva’s signature items at the Café are their heavenly dark and white chocolate cakes. Pereira says they sell an average of six whole cakes a day. That doesn’t include birthday cake orders which need two to three day’s advance notice.

And heavenly it is. The Godiva White Chocolate Cake is pretty simple with a thick white chocolate ganache topping, a sponge base and mousse-like filling. Although it looks rich, it is actually very light and not too sweet. The Dark Chocolate Cake is slightly heavier but is still quite easy to finish on your own.

We try the White Chocolate Cheesecake next, which is light and fluffy with nuts at the bottom. There is a hint of orange flavour, and I love the crust but wish that it were a little thicker.

The Dark Chocolate Mousse with Vanilla Bruleè looks like a hard chocolate shell but is actually quite soft with a marshmallow-like texture. The harden bruleè inside tastes like nuts, which is interesting.

I find the Baked Dark Chocolate Tart Topped with Ganache and Fresh Cream has just a wee bit too much chocolate as it is mainly pure dark Godiva chocolate on pastry. It’s really a dish for dark chocolate fans.

The Pistachio Macaroon is nice and crunchy on the outside but a bit too sweet and heavy on the inside.

“Equinoxe” White Chocolate with Caramel is shaped in the form of a pyramid, with white chocolate encasing toffee and apricot inside. It is spongy and light and has a drizzle of orange, which I’m not too keen on. Their Carrot Cake with Ginger and Kalamansi Frostings is unique as well because of the Kalamansi. The spices inside give a twist to the traditional carrot cake.

If you like Tiramisu, you should try Godiva’s version as the cake is caramalised with Godiva chocolate liqueur. It’s lighter than most Tiramisus as it uses less mousse and cream. I love the almond flakes on the cake.

Godiva serves pretty good beverages too, with their Hot Chocolate selections, made with signature Godiva blended cocoa, being their best sellers. Their other more innovative drinks are mostly created by assistant manager Charan Gill.

I love his Chili Hot Chocolate, which has red chillis added to the hot chocolate. Another of his drinks, Lavender Kill Me, is infused with lavender leaves but it’s too sweet for my liking.

Their ice-blended Chocolixirs are very popular as take-aways. The café has come up with a loyalty card, where a free Chocolixir is given after you’ve purchased six.

o Godiva Chocolatier Café is currently offering their limited edition Easter Collection, available until May 31.

Godiva Chocolatier Café
Level 2, Pavilion KL
Jalan Bukit Bintang
Kuala Lumpur
Tel: (03) 2142 5252

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