Thursday, 20 February 2014

Royce Chocolates at the Marriott

        Earlier this week, I had the wonderful opportunity to attend and experience the pairing menu that was created by Royce chocolates at The Bombay Baking Co (J W Marriott Mumbai) on the occasion of the opening of their second store in Mumbai. Like we know, Royce chocolates is a Premium Japanese Brand that was started way back in 1983. Royce opened its flagship store in Palladium, Mumbai in the month of July 2013.


Focusing on intricacy and innovation, Royce chocolates is looking to create a niche in the Indian market, which is currently hot for new products. Their concept of opening a "Chocolate Bar" in Mumbai, certainly left the food scene here abuzz. All the products of Royce chocolates were paired with appropriate beverages for us to experience them in all their complexity and element.            
     Chef Himanshu Taneja was there to lead us through the pairings. He was his usual warm and affable self, making everyone feel at home and made the event even more enjoyable.



  We started off with two types of teas. The Twinings Glendale Twirl was paired with Ghana sweet chocolate & the Twinings 2nd Flush Darjeeling was paired with the Venezuela Bitter chocoate. Being a dark chocolate lover, the Venezuela Bitter pairing with my daily Darjeeling was like a match made in heaven.





The 2nd Flush Darjeeling with the Ghana Dark
  Now shifting to coffee, pure espresso with the crema was paired with the Hazelnut Baton cookie. They also had a plain variation of the cookie to taste. These Baton cookies had a chocolate coating as their base. The cookies themselves were crisp, melt - in - the - mouth. Individually packaged, they were like the perfect accompaniments for whenever your guests come over for a hot cuppa! 
     The interesting part here was that J W Marriott had commissioned two "dessert cocktails" especially for this menu. The first one was "Chocolate D'zire" which was a concoction of Chocolate syrup, Vodka & Amaretto served in a chocolate shaving - rimmed martini glass and was paired with the Royce Nama "Mild Cacao"  which was perfectly moist and bite sized. The second dessert cocktail on the menu was a strong mix of Bourbon, hot chocolate sauce and a tiny bit of chocolate bitter which was accompanied by what was, if I may say, my utmost favorite chocolate of the evening -  the Royce Nama "Ecuador Sweet". 



The piece of information that amazed me the most was that all the Royce chocolates are sold in a very special three layered packaging (with ice packs and stuff) because Royce chocolates are so delicate and exquisite that it cannot take any sort of heat abuse. Amazing huh?! 
 Also available on the pairings menu was is the Singleton "18" single malt, which is paired with the Royce Criollo Bitter, made from the world's rarest cocoa beans. 
    The Royce Chocolate Pairing Menu will be served at the Bombay Baking Co and Reflections at the JW Marriott, Mumbai.
    So my final verdict on Royce chocolates? They have certainly raised the bar in both quality and innovation in the Indian Market. It looks like the time is right for us to move towards things different than our usual dairy milk (A bar of dairy milk will always be special to us; but honestly, Royce is a must try, especially if you are a chocolate aficionado). Speaking as a chocolate lover as well as a food blogger, Royce is going to be giving a few other exclusive chocolate brands some stiff competition- not only quality wise but also range wise. I found their range (Approx. INR 900 and above) pretty reasonable. All in all, a refreshing and wonderful change. They've found a customer in me for a long time to come.


A special mention and thanks to the following people - Stacy from MSL, for giving me the opportunity to be at the event and Anchal for not letting me feel alone! A big thank you to Pri from Burgundy and Pracheta from the Marriott for being gracious hosts. And last but not the least, to Chef Himanshu Taneja for answering all my questions very patiently along with a smile. 

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