Travel: Our Macau/Hong Kong Getaway (6D/6N)!

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Saturday, January 5, 2013

ROYCE' Chocolate - Criollo, Nuts & Nama!

Before we say anything else, let us wish you, our dear reader, Happy New Year for 2013 and hope that it brings you even more good tidings in the months ahead! On our part, we shall try our best to continue doing what we have loved doing for the last 2 years - sharing about food! It's been a pleasure having all our readers along this journey thus far. Stay tuned and see what it's in store in 2013. ;)

If anyone offered you chocolates and told you it was made in Japan, what would you think? =P

Admittedly, we have always associated top quality chocolate products with Switzerland or Belgium or other European countries that have world renowned chocolate brands. But that perception is changing now that we are more exposed to quality products from other countries, like ROYCE' from Japan.

Compared to other chocolatiers that have decades of history behind them, Royce' is relatively young since it was only founded in Sapporo, Japan in 1983. But since then Royce' has branched out to many other countries, including Malaysia in 2005. Thanks to the good people at Royce', we got to sample just a few of the many options on offer. =D

Above is a box of Criollo Chocolate (RM38 for 24pcs). Criollo Chocolate is special because it features 100% rare cacao beans from Sur del Lago in Venezuela. The area is one of the oldest cacao-growing places in the world, thanks to it's optimal temperature and weather that make it perfect for cacao production.

Each box of Criollo Chocolate has 24 square pieces, shaped in bite-sized chunks that are perfect for sharing.  Packaging at Royce' is stylish and elegant, the kind you wouldn't mind giving away as a gift. =)

As for the taste, all we can say is if you're a milk chocolate fan, then you'll definitely like this! It's very smooth, with a notable taste of rich quality that not all common chocolates possess. The aftertaste is surprisingly refreshing and not cloying in the very least, leaving us with the feeling of 'just-one-more' all the time. =D

While I'm a milk chocolate fan, Wendy prefers to have some texture inside her chocolate. If you're like her, then you need to give the Nutty Bar Chocolate (RM45 for 10 pcs) a try! While most chocolates just have 1 or 2 types of nuts inside, the Nutty Bar Chocolate has a lot more; there's almonds, cashews, pecans, and macadamias with a hint of crispy almond puffs and crunchy cookies! It's enough to make us go nuts about nuts. =D

Each Nutty Bar is individually wrapped, making it easy to distribute amongst friends as well. Though once you've had a taste of it we're not sure if you'll still want to share. =P

To be honest, if you asked us to pick out all the different nuts in the chocolate bar, we won't be able to do it! But still, the combination of all those nuts, plentiful as it may sound, doesn't overload the bar with nuts. The milk chocolate's base flavour is a fragrant hazelnut, and it ties every flavour well together to form a perfect chocolate bar with a pleasant nutty aroma and crunch, just like a bar of Crunch or Crispy, except much, much, muuuuch better. =D

Our final sample is one of the highlights at Royce' - Nama Chocolate! The above is in Green Tea (Maccha) flavour, hence the green box. Other flavours are also available, ranging from those with liquor: Bitter, Champagne, Au Lait and Maccha, and those without: Mild Cacao, Ghana Bitter and Ecuador Sweet!

Such delicate ingredients it contains, that it must be kept refrigerated at all times. Even after purchase from the shop, it will be wrapped in a cooler bag to preserve the cool temperature. It's really chocolate at it's best! =D

When you open up the box, there are layers of thoughtful packaging to ensure all stays fresh. We particularly liked the plastic tray cover to ensure no other pungent smells from spices or fruits in our refrigerator got in. There's even a spatula provided, to help you pick up the fragile pieces.

Nama Chocolate is special because it contains fresh cream from the Hokkaido region in Japan. It's so delicate that, after picking it up a piece,  you will find it slowly melting from contact with the heat from your fingers. The result is chocolate that is much smoother in texture than any regular chocolate. Some flavours, like the ones mentioned above, contain small amounts of liquor which further enhance the taste. There are also different flavours for customers looking for non-alcoholic options.

And if you think it's all just a gimmick, we're very confident you'll change your mind at the first bite! The texture lives up to it's billing as extremely smooth with the addition of fresh cream. The green tea gives it a slightly bittersweet taste, but that doesn't stop us from reaching for another piece. At a price tag of only RM45, we think this is something definitely worth a try at least once. We for one will certainly be back to try the Champagne one next! =D

Our next target: to try Royce's chocolate covered potato chips once in our lifetimes!

So while Royce' may still be new to many Malaysians, we can certainly vouch for it's quality and taste. Whether buying it as a gift or for your own consumption, we think Royce' is a good choice for all occasions. =) Perhaps as a gift for the upcoming Chinese New Year?

Full set of photos found at our Facebook ROYCE' Chocolate album.

ROYCE' Chocolates (website here) can be found at the below locations in Klang Valley:

ROYCE' @ ISETAN Kuala Lumpur
Concourse Floor, Suria KLCC
50088 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Tel: +603 2382 7777

ROYCE' Tropicana City Mall
G-45, Tropicana City Mall,
No. 3, Jalan SS 20/27,
47400 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Tel: +603 7726 8819

ROYCE' Bangsar Village
G3A & G3B, Ground Floor, Bangsar Village 1,
No.1, Jalan Telawi Satu, Bangsar Baru,
59100 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: +603 2282 5052

ROYCE' Empire Gallery
G12A, Ground Floor, Empire Subang,
Jalan SS16/1, 47500 Subang Jaya, Selangor
Tel: +603 5631 0121

ROYCE' The Gardens
(outside of Cold Storage, photos above are of this branch)
LG-K25A, The Gardens, Mid Valley City,
Lingkaran Syed Putra, 59200, Kuala Lumpur
Tel: +603 2201 5877

ROYCE' @ Ben's Independent Grocer
Lot No. 1A, 83-95, Level UG1,
[email protected] Dutamas, Jalan Dutamas 1,
50480, Kuala Lumpur
Tel: +603 6209 1700

Note: Product lineup varies shop by shop

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