I fell in love with La Chocolaterie’s handmade deliciousness last year during a closed wine & cheese charity event at Richmond Centre. They had a small station there with about 8 different flavored chocolates and they were giving free samples of them to everyone. It was literally love at first bite! There were some flavors that you wouldn’t even dream of mixing with chocolate, but they make it work superbly! If you were there, you’d probably have seen me going around in circles and eating about 20 pieces of chocolate during the span of an hour. It was so good that I actually looked for their shop the very next day to bring some home with me!
It’s been a while since I was last there and the owner still remembers me! In the couple of months since I last visited, they have yet again created a dozen more crazy flavors like carrot, tomato, kiwi and even kale! I personally haven’t tried those flavors yet, so I can’t speak for them, but if you’re around the area, leave me a comment down there if you got a taste of it! 🙂 Despite all the new flavors, they still kept all the beloved traditional flavors that I got so addicted to!
Since the shop is inside the Izumiya (A Japanese supermarket chain), the front has a very simple facing and signage that’s very zen. It’s clean and sleek, and they let the wonderful colors of their tasty concoctions speak to the customers.
Another interesting thing about this place is that it’s run by power couple Kayoko Hamamoto and Takanori Chiwata, both chocolate researchers in Japan. Takanori had a hand in the invention of the popular Melty Kiss Chocolate by Meiji and Kayoko has perfected the blend and the optimum roasting technique for chocolate that allows it to be combined with any ingredient in the world.
You can learn more about the history of their growing business here: http://tkchocolate.com/about-us.htm
After spending about an hour making up my mind and countless samples later, I settled on getting 4 different flavors today. Japanese Citron, Strong Green Tea, Earl Grey and Cherry Blossom (which is a seasonal item for spring).
If you taste this chocolate, no matter what flavor you have, it melts in your mouth. It’s so pure and delicate, the way chocolates are supposed to taste like.
The Earl Grey is definitely for those who love the taste of the tea. I’ve seen it in bubble tea, in cakes and even mixed in to cream puffs, but this is the first time I’ve had it with chocolate. It’s not just a hint of earl grey but it’s like you taste both the tea and the cacao at the same time. Highly recommended for those who love earl grey (like me!)
The Strong Green Tea is probably one of the things you should get a taste of to experience authentic Japanese flavors. It’s definitely very rich, but a perfect mix of bittersweet. Compared to the earl grey, the green tea is more dominant than the cacao taste, but the distinctive flavor is what makes it so good. The Green Tea flavor is VERY strong, so if you’re not a big fan of green tea, I’d probably ask for a sample first. 🙂 I would say this is a bit of an acquired taste.
The Japanese Citron is my new favorite! This is the first time I’ve tried this and I’m totally in love with it! The citron is a citrus fruit that you can find in Japan and Korea. It has the tang of the lemon and the sweetness of the orange. Plus, it’s very fragrant. The chocolate tastes great with the right ratio of both flavors. There’s also some zest mixed in there which makes it even more flavorful.
The Cherry Blossom is of course the seasonal flavor so I had to try that! I haven’t tried eating cherry blossoms (I don’t even know if it’s edible) but the flavors of this chocolate is very fresh and in my head, very reminiscent of the cherry blossom. It’s sweeter than the other flavors and has the freshness comparable to strawberries with a hint of coconut. A very good and refreshing combination! I’d only wish they’d make it a permanent addition on the menu.
Overall, La Chocolaterie never fails to exceed my expectations! Maybe next time I’ll be brave enough to try the more interesting flavors especially since you get a 10% off coupon on your next purchase every time you shop! (Coupon expires after 30 days) The price is a little bit more on the expensive side but you get what you pay for! The 10 piece cups are $5 each and the 2 piece chocolates (like the cherry blossom one) are $1.50 each. They have other packages too and even gifts and party favors but you have to contact them to make arrangements and get a quote on the price. 🙂
160-7971 Alderbridge Way, Richmond BC V6X2A4