04 Feb2005

Few things make my pulse quicken more than the arrival of a present that is almost certainly some sinfully excessive food item. choc1 Some of the best presents I have received in the food category bring back vivid, highly positive memories — a hunk of kobe beef delivered in a mini-bayong, several large wheels of triple cream cheeses, succulent veal chops hand carried from a New York butcher, jars of damson plum jam, a magnum of fine Bordeaux and, of course, boxes of fine chocolate (a kilo of Valrhona at one Christmas dinner!). After dinner this evening, the cook walked into the dining room with a very recognizable brown shopping bag and says “oh, I forgot, Mrs. X sent some chocolate…” Yahoo! What better way to end the meal than with a bite (or several bites) of chocolate from La Maison du Chocolat.

I first tasted a La Maison du Chocolat treat at their tiny shop off of Madison Avenue in the late 1980’s. Their chocolate was flown in from Paris twice a week and even though the prices could give nosebleeds, their chocolate tasted spectacular. In the late 80’s, on a trip to Paris, I walked up and down the Faubourg St. Honore until I found the main store, a brown and white temple to cacao. Cool white marble counters were stacked high with dozens of different styles of chocolate and the aroma was memorable. So I have a 20-odd year history with this fine confection. I may be just a tad biased.

But superior quality stands out and La Maison du Chocolat has excelled for the past twenty years. Available at shops in Paris, London, New York and Tokyo, this chocolate is the ultimate pabilin (item you ask some hapless or willing traveller to cart back with them). This evening’s box housed the best candied citrus peel dipped in dark chocolate. Absolutely delicious. Thank you, thank you, Mrs. X. Other standouts include their truffles, ganaches, pralines, etc. Trust me, it’s worth every euro.

A second favorite and far more reasonably priced chocolate is Royce, choc3 a Japanese chocolate that has extraordinarily high cocoa butter content that makes the stuff literally melt on your tongue. The tiny boxes come with about 30 squares of super rich tasting chocolate and they have several flavors such as champagne, milk, bitter, etc. Recently featured in a column by Reggie Aspiras in the Inquirer, this chocolate is available in Hong Kong (near City Super food markets), Singapore and Japan. At just US$9.50 for a small box, it is a relatively affordable chocolate. But don’t buy too many boxes as they require refrigeration and tend to harden after a few weeks. They should be eaten fresh. choc4

While Royce chocolates are extremely smooth and very rich, I still prefer La Maison du Chocolat for their intensely chocolately taste. If you happen to be at one of their Parisian locations, try one of their large chocolate macaroons with a cup of hot chocolate, I know you will leave their shop in a very good mood.

 

COMMENTS:

  1. Riyaz says:

    Just reading this I feel like I am putting on weight! Makes one go out and get some chocolate.

    Have to agree with you on Royce chocolates – they are sinfully good.

    Only limited experience with La Maison but what little I have had I must say if is very good!

    Feb 8, 2005 | 10:26 pm

     
  2. vedakarlo says:

    The pictures througout your site are terrific. Site is vastly improved. You are on your way to a million hits.
    Went to La Maison on Madison Ave. today. My suki is now managing the London store.

    Feb 28, 2005 | 7:14 am

     
  3. Mariano B. Garchitorena says:

    Try our Chocolate Nights Weekend Buffet at The Peninsula Manila Lobby, Friday & Saturday nights, 8:30 p.m. to 12 midnight. We have a pretty good selection of our signature truffles (handmade by our hearing-impaired chocolate ladies), soups, souffles, fondue, cakes, ice creams, etc.

    Apr 19, 2005 | 10:29 am

     
  4. Joey says:

    I love La Maison du Chocolat! I was wandering your site aimlessly when I chanced upon this entry. I almost fell of my chair because I had just been thinking of them. They make the best chocolate truffles and I would bleed through my nose a thousand time to have them.

    Apr 22, 2005 | 8:20 pm

     
  5. Marketman says:

    I love them too. Once walked 30-40 minutes up a street in Paris looking for the main branch. It is superb chocolate. their large chocolate macaroons are delicious too. But at four euro each they are an extravagant hit of sugar!

    Apr 25, 2005 | 4:54 am

     
  6. alicia says:

    love both La Maison du Chocolat and Royce too. Next time you are in Paris try Pierre Herme (if you haven’t already) Fantastic! and Caffarel also available in Hong Kong (Seibu food hall GREAT and in Singapore as well. the ones in the blue and white wrappers are yum too!

    Jun 9, 2005 | 11:08 am

     
  7. wen says:

    I’d really like to try La Maison du Chocolat!!! So, I’m thinking of asking my friend from New Jersey to get me some of these great chocos from Madison Ave. to bring to Manila in during her visit here. Any tips/ landmarks on how to locate the store in Madison Ave.? More Power! Wen

    Jul 7, 2005 | 1:43 pm

     
  8. Marketman says:

    Wen, it’s on Madison between 78th and 79th streets in Manhattan. It’s on the “west” side of the street. If you are going to prevail upon your friend to go all the way to the store, make sure they try a large chocolate macaroon for themselves. Eat it right there, it won’t keep. I think the best day to shop for fresh chocolate is Friday as the shipment from Paris arrives Thursday nights. The chocolate macaroon is about $4.50 + tax, but you only live once, right?

    Jul 7, 2005 | 4:30 pm

     
  9. Vanessa says:

    Agree with you on La Maison. I used to frequent the branch on Piccadilly Circus in London and even did one of their chocolate tasting nights – essentially a talk on how chocolate is made interspersed with chocolate tasting and ending with a ganache demo. It was the best! My other favorite from London is Rococo – which, if I’m not mistaken, is a British brand. Definitely a close second. I brought La Maison back to Manila including bags of truffles for friends and made the mistake of leaving them in the open. A day later, all I had was bags of chocolate chunks – it melted! I’m going to have to try to do better with the Jacques Torres I plan to bring back from my next trip. Any other chocolate suggestions?

    Jul 21, 2005 | 2:31 am

     
  10. Marketman says:

    Vanessa, the Jacques Torres chocolate was no where near the quality o La Maison or even Royce. There are other artisanal belgian, swiss and french chocolates I am sure that are brilliant as well.

    Jul 25, 2005 | 6:42 am

     
  11. edee says:

    I’ve only tried La Maison chocolate truffles once, I chanced upon them at Harrods and ever since I’ve been dreaming about them. All other chocolate truffles I’ve tasted after La Maison pale in comparison, but they’re definitely not cheap !

    Aug 5, 2005 | 9:48 pm

     
  12. ShoppaHolique says:

    Does anyone know where I can get Royce and See’s chocolates in Singapore? I doubt they have LMdC there…

    Nov 14, 2005 | 2:00 am

     
  13. Marketman says:

    You can get Royce at the mall that Carrefour is in at Suntec City. They have a shop in the lobby. Not sure where you can get See’s and there is no LMdC in Singapore…

    Nov 14, 2005 | 7:19 am

     
  14. ShoppaHolique says:

    thanks a lot marketman!!!

    Nov 15, 2005 | 11:40 pm

     
  15. ms_arnie says:

    Royce is located at Ground floor, Tower 3 @ Suntec City. Same floor as Ben & Jerry’s ice cream & Carrefour. A box of Royce Au Lait is around S$12.30.

    Taste really great, how I wish I bought more than one box.

    Dec 6, 2005 | 1:17 pm

     
  16. ShoppaHolique says:

    Half a dozen boxes and packs of chocolate-almonds werent enough for my family alone! And now that I’ll ushering 2006 in hk, I feel like a “makulit” kid for asking again, where do I find Royce in hk? If possible LMdC too…

    Dec 19, 2005 | 1:46 am

     
  17. pecorino says:

    Love Royce. I used to make it a point to buy it in Singapore. But now it’s available here in Bangkok. At the Emporium mall, 5th floor Food Hall. It’s double the price though at around 500 baht (USD 14) for a small box compared to Singapore’s S$12.30 (USD 7).

    Feb 6, 2007 | 11:02 pm

     
  18. RGM says:

    Marketman,

    I would like to start off this comment by saying that I started surfing around 11PM, and went to your site not long after. It is now 4AM! I SO LOVE YOUR SITE! It’s my new addiction! :D

    I’ve heard of La Maison du Chocolat, and I’ve heard that it is simply divine! I would like to try it when I go to Paris (I hope it is soon) and reading food books also opened my mind to other must-try french chocolate brands. They are Jean-Paul Hevin (their chocolate macarons de paris won this official french competition for the best macaroons!), Pierre Herme (an institution), and Debauve et Gallais (the chocolatier of Marie Antoinette – go to their website, if you think La Maison du Chocolat makes expensive chocolates, you might have a coronary looking at their prices!).

    Also, I would like to ask where I can buy Royce Chocolates. Your description of the product, plus the well-worded comments here really made me drool! Do you know where to buy it in the New York or San Fran? I’m Filipino btw, but the US is just more accesible for pabilins! :D

    Thanks so much Marketman for this blog! It is now one of my blog staples. :D

    May 13, 2007 | 4:13 am

     
  19. Marketman says:

    RGM, thanks for staying on site for 5 hours! As far as I know, the Royce is available in Japan, HK and Singapore…not sure if it has hit the U.S. yet. I heard a while back that someone was bringing it into Manila so I suppose in a few months we will have local access to it!

    May 13, 2007 | 5:44 am

     
  20. RGM says:

    Thanks MM! Shucks, I hope that pushes through! :D Thanks for the info, and more power!

    May 14, 2007 | 12:46 am

     
  21. rick says:

    can I buy royce chocolate in seattle wa or online and where.

    Sep 5, 2007 | 11:03 am

     
  22. artisan chocolatier says:

    La Maison is truly the chocolatier’s chocolatier. The smoothness of his ganache and the intensity of his flavors are consistent throughout his entire line from one batch to the next.

    Oct 20, 2007 | 12:15 pm

     
  23. brigette says:

    i know of a person who sells royce here. reasonably priced. her parent’s business is based in japan so their sattelite office ships it here. i ordered from her last christmas, but i just don’t know this year. and i hate her for making me such an addict! she told me also na you can order naman online from the royce website. i tried but i just know how to eat japanese chocolates, not understand nihonggo. hahaha!

    Oct 24, 2007 | 4:57 am

     
  24. daddyroots says:

    Hiya all…I am a new chocoholic. Just returned from Kuala Lumpur and had some delicious Royce at Isetan-KLCC. I am now surfing the web to look for a supplier….so Ms. Bridgette, can you please pass along the info where I can order from this lady in the US? Much apprecialove!!!!!

    Nov 2, 2007 | 3:02 pm

     
  25. tm says:

    do you know if they sell any of these chocolates in sydney australia?

    Nov 14, 2007 | 1:00 pm

     
  26. Fay Apostol says:

    I am now travelling in Japan, and now here in Nagasaki. Where can I get Royce chocolate for my girlfriend? We will also be in KObe, China and Hongkong soon but the problem is I will still go to Alaska and Vancouver and will be home in the Philippines by May. Would the chocolates still taste as good? I want to surprise her with one. What would you advise? She is crazy over Royce.

    Mar 28, 2008 | 10:02 am

     
  27. Marketman says:

    Fay, I wouldn’t advise it if the recipient isn’t going to get it for two month or so… the oils in Royce separate particularly if you are going to carry it from place to place, stick it in a fridge, out again and back into the cold…

    Mar 28, 2008 | 11:20 am

     
  28. gsx says:

    rois available at Konbini Japanase store along connecticut st. in greenhills

    Jul 14, 2008 | 12:03 pm

     
  29. Liz@sg says:

    hi gsx, glad to hear that it is now available in the manila, how much are they selling it there?

    Aug 31, 2008 | 12:39 pm

     
  30. Girija Menon says:

    Are these chocolates ROYCE and MAISON DU CHOCOLAT found in Kuala Lumpur yet?
    Or in India for that matter?
    Need someone to do the business development for you perhaps?
    Ready to discuss, can speak French, English, BM, and some Indian dialects

    Sep 2, 2008 | 8:59 pm

     
  31. rommel says:

    hi! i am in manila. would you happen to know where i can buy la maison or royce chocolates here?

    thanks!

    Oct 11, 2008 | 9:33 am

     
  32. jhe says:

    hello! if anyone happens to be from the south (alabang area) i can get royce for you. i’ve got excess supply. just send me a note at jherocel@hotmail.com. thanks

    Dec 17, 2008 | 1:44 am

     
  33. evil & demented little cooker girl says:

    i love royce’s! my mom always buy whenever she’s in HK!
    my brother can eat everything there! haha
    :)
    literally, melts in our mouth!
    :)

    Dec 19, 2008 | 7:17 am

     
  34. jenny says:

    just for your information, you can get royce at takashimaya at near cold storage supermarket. now the price is $15 singapore. taste real good! and it’s really worth it.

    Apr 26, 2009 | 11:53 pm

     
  35. Kathy says:

    If anyone learns of a place that sells Royce in the U.S., please share the info on here.

    Jul 10, 2009 | 9:46 pm

     
  36. stella widjaja says:

    i need to find royce choc in sydney, please help me?

    Sep 23, 2009 | 2:33 pm

     
 

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