Luxury chocolates from… yes, Japan!
KUALA LUMPUR, July 27 — The Royce’ Petite Truffle was velvety, moist and delicate, the Au Lait was delightfully smooth and creamy while the Green Tea hit the palate first, before I got a mellow, silky mouthfeel. These divine chocolates from Royce’ are an exquisite treat.
I’m sitting at Starbucks, near the Royce’ outlet in Bangsar Village, and I’m offered little squares of different chocolates to taste by the people from Succeo Retail Berhad, which imports the chocolates from Sapporo in Hokkaido.
This northernmost island in Japan is known for its high quality and wonderful milk, cream and butter. This cream is used in the making of these dark chocolates
Royce’ chocolates have secured a place among the top three brands of premium chocolates available here, though production only started in Sapporo in 1983.
The very fine Royce’ Nama chocolates are the best sellers in Japan. There is a new flavour every month. There are also liquor-free Ghana Bitter, Ecuador Sweet, Mild Cacao, Mild Milk and Mild White.
The ones with liquor include Au Lait, Matcha, White, Champagne and Bitter. The Bitter one is a sublime semi-sweet bitter chocolate paired with Hennessy VSOP, giving it a long, heady finish in the mouth.
“Nama” means fresh and to make sure the chocolates stay in tip top condition, they are sold in cooler bags with dry ice. Royce’ has a green policy — bring the bag back for recycling, and you will be given RM5 to RM10. The bag is cleaned and re-used.
In the wider range of Royce’ chocolates are the Nutty Bar & Fruit Bar, the Petite Truffle, Potechi Crunch, Marshmallow Chocolate, Popcorn Chocolate and Potatochip Chocolate, among the more unusual ones.
Sweet chocolate and salty potato chips are an unlikely but scrumptious combination. Crunchy, ridged potato chips are coated on one side with chocolate, achieving a perfect balance of contrasting taste and texture. There are three flavours — Original, Fromage Blanc and Caramel. The Original chocolate flavour is the most popular.
The Royce’ shop in Bangsar Village had run out of this flavour the day I was there. I tried the Caramel instead. These crispy, crunchy caramel chips have a lovely, buttery vanilla flavour, its sweetness harmonized with a touch of salt. They are so addictive – you can't stop at one chip or two or three!
You get piquant strawberries and other fruit bits in the Fruit Bar. The Nutty Bar has lots of crunch from the almond, cashewnut, pecan, hazelnut and macadamia in it. It’s almost a health food.
The Potechi Crunch is a mouthful of crunchy cornflakes and chocolate.
The thin Baton Cookies are also irresistible. The Hazelnut and Cacaonibs cookie crumbles deliciously at the bite, and you get the buttery, chocolatey and nutty flavours and texture.
Royce’ outlets are in Isetan in KLCC Suria, Bangsar Village, Tropicana City Mall, Empire Shopping Gallery and BIG in Publika, Solaris Dutamas. Another Royce' outlet is opening in the Gardens, Mid Valley soon.
Most of the chocolates are priced at RM45 a box – the Nama range, Potatochip, Baton Cookies, Potechi Crunch and Nutty Bar & Fruit Bar.
You can also get a basket of Royce’ chocolates assembled as a gift. The hampers range in price from RM250 to RM500. For instance, the Temptation hamper at RM300 contains Baton cookies, Coconut & Hazelnut, Criollo Chocolate Milk, Potechi Crunch, and R Chocolat Gianduja, depending on stock availability.
Apart from the outlets, you can also order the chocolates through Succeo Retail Sdn Bhd, Tel: 03-5623 8997.