10 Mar2010

Thomas Haas Chocolates

by Marketman

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With a large display window virtually “screaming” several positive quotes about the chocolates on offer, how could we not stop and check this out? I had NEVER heard of Thomas Haas Chocolates before, probably because I have never managed to visit the beautiful city of Vancouver despite several scheduled trips in the past. This particular shop was located at the Miramar shopping mall on Nathan Road in Hong Kong.

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We sampled a couple of their standard chocolate bars, some flavored with teas, others with nuts or caramel and crisps, and they seemed pretty good, so we bought a couple of bars for ourselves and pasalubongs for Canadian friends who might enjoy a mouth full of home…

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We didn’t try any of the handmade chocolates in the glass display case, which might have been a notch up in quality, but they seemed to have an interesting selection. We happened by the store just as it opened at 11am in the morning so we weren’t in peak chocolate consumption mode.

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Back at home, I have been nibbling on the caramel crisp bar and while I like it, I don’t think it’s as good as say chocolates from Vosges or similar flat bars from La Maison du Chocolat. I will say I think the way they section the bar in unusual shapes so they break off unevenly is somewhat clever… Perhaps a trip to their stores in Vancouver, which look very attractive in photos, will make me a convert.

 

COMMENTS:

  1. Bubut says:

    what a nice photo (1st) that would really capture the chocolate lovers. Thanks for sharing your trip to HK …

    Mar 10, 2010 | 8:57 am

     
  2. Lei says:

    we were there last week of Feb which was fortunate enough because the usual clearance/removal sale after every chinese new year was still ongoing.

    did you happen to see the chocolate sculptures at harbour city? i think it is in the gallery right along the harbour view. they organized a chocolate trail and the sculptures were good, one example was a life sized one(maybe even bigger) of a well-known chinese general done with a detailed hand. the artist that particular time/day was Jean-Paul Hévin. i really don’t know the guy but you can really see the amount of love put into the creations.

    Mar 10, 2010 | 9:42 am

     
  3. Marketman says:

    Lei, no, unfortunately I missed that exhibit.

    Mar 10, 2010 | 9:43 am

     
  4. fmed says:

    Vancouverite here.

    Thomas Haas does make very good chocolates (not the best in town, but certainly in the top 3-5 chocolatiers here). He is also famous for his Chocolate Sparkle cookies – so give it a shot if they sell it there in HK. Yet another item he is good at is the Double Baked Almond Croissants – it is excellent with and espresso drink.

    BTW Thomas used to be Daniel Boulud’s pastry chef at Daniel in NYC. Very good pedigree indeed and we are lucky he makes Vancouver home.

    Mar 10, 2010 | 10:04 am

     
  5. Mari says:

    MM, have you ever tried Royce chocolates? My cousin and his friends rave about it… just curious.

    Mar 10, 2010 | 11:03 am

     
  6. Mom-Friday says:

    MMmm…I remember this brand as a pasalubong from my aunt from Vancouver, the Chocolate Caramels are very good too. And another brand is Purdy’s, is also a favorite :)

    Mar 10, 2010 | 11:10 am

     
  7. faith says:

    Hi, Mari. :) Me and my family are just particularly crazy about the Royce’ Nama (champagne Royce’ Nama, *drools* hahaha) and the chocolate-covered potato chips.
    We’ve tried that standard Royce’ chocolate bars, if not exactly the best, but it’s certainly up there in ranking.

    Mar 10, 2010 | 3:53 pm

     
  8. Jack Congson says:

    Ganong Brothers Ltd., now on its 4th generation of family ownership, is Canada’s well known chocolate maker. It was established in 1873 and operates out of the small town of St. Stephens in New Brunswick. It employs a relatively small number of workers, about 400. New Brunswick is on our East Coast, facing the Atlantic Ocean.

    Mar 10, 2010 | 6:27 pm

     
  9. Divina says:

    Did you say Thomas Haas? I was excited, I thought they are now available here. :) He’s one of the chefs that I want to work for when I was staying in Vancouver. Hope to have a taste of his chocolates again soon.

    Mar 10, 2010 | 8:33 pm

     
  10. Pilar says:

    MM, the basement of Times Square in Causeway Bay carries Royce chocolate. love it! :-)

    Mar 10, 2010 | 11:15 pm

     
  11. mei kwei says:

    thanks MM. wish i could get a sampling of these. never tried it before but have tried la maison du chocolat as it is near my workplace in ny – love it. guess it will be a mission for me to try it. just had neuhaus the other night – also good. but then again am dying to have choc nut. just thinking in my mind what if choc nut is reinvented to have a design just like the designer chocolates. wouldnt it be awesome.

    Mar 10, 2010 | 11:53 pm

     
  12. betty q. says:

    When you make the Chocolate Sparkle cookies, it is best eaten warm…but not eaten immediately, it tends to form a crust though the center is still chewy. NOw, here is what I do, and I think you will like it, MM and Artisan….I came to this by accident and did not want to waste the leftover cookie dough esp. when I used Valrhona! I crumbled the cookies and smushed them and formed them into balls! ….tempered chocolates and dipped them! It was more addicting that way!….much like a soft brownie!

    I made another batch of Chocolate Sparkle but decreased the amount of bittersweet chocolate and…divided the dough into thirds and added Bailey”s to one, Frangelico, and kept the third one plain.

    Hay, Artisan…it is soooooooooooooooooooo good!

    Mar 11, 2010 | 12:49 am

     
  13. betty q. says:

    Ok..AHA moment here! AC…how about subbing ground PILI nut instead of almond meal. But I am sure you know that it is oily so might need to ground it up with some of the sugar.

    I forgot, that cookie balls is enough to give anyone a chocolate overload. So, I used milk chocolate to coat the balls.

    Mar 11, 2010 | 2:37 am

     
  14. Anton says:

    Royce Chocolates are available at Rockwell, if I am not mistaken. There are many chocolatiers here in HK. La Maison du Chocolat is so good. Their macaroons are divine.

    Mar 11, 2010 | 9:01 am

     
  15. Artisan Chocolatier says:

    BettyQ…your post #12 describes the process so well, that I can taste all the flavors you describe, and my mouth is watering!!!!! …..hahahaha

    Mar 11, 2010 | 10:11 am

     
  16. kitchen says:

    For Me Babbi Chocolates are the best, really different from Royce’

    Mar 11, 2010 | 2:24 pm

     
  17. Brian Asis says:

    I love Thomas Haas’ picture with his hands covered in chocolate. I just wish I was there in HK so I could buy all those delicious chocolates!

    I wanted to be a chocolatier and just started making truffles :D I did try some truffles that are available in malls or hotels here in the Philippines, I have yet to try Royce and the ones being sold at Shangrila Hotel Edsa.

    Mar 12, 2010 | 12:54 am

     
  18. Bel says:

    I tried a box of Royce’s (how do you use an apostrophe with a name that ends with an apostrophe like Royce’?) bitter chocolate staff (that were Andes mint-shaped pieces rather than staff-shaped; I wonder if ‘staff’ is choc nomenclature). The staves (they’re not people so I guess I stick to this plural form) were good, and I loved their texture. I also like the fact that Royce’ staff (the people now) packaged the box with some ice in a neat foil wrap to ensure it didn’t melt on my way home. They let you try samples which is why I ended up buying a product worth more than P500 with no apprehension. Not cheap, but they’re more affordable than Leonidas. There’s also Cacao (at Megamall, don’t know where else they can be found), which sells imported chocolate but a smaller, and I think local, operation. I am searching for premium Philippine chocolate/cocoa. A friend in NY managed to buy good Phil chocolate at a trade fair but was told it was a one-time batch.

    Mar 18, 2010 | 9:53 am

     
 

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