Monday, January 12, 2009

Theobroma, Kagurazaka

Well, it's been simply ages since I've been to a good museum, and when presented with the opportunity to visit Theobroma's "Museum of Chocolate" gelateria in Kagurazaka, it seemed like an obvious thing to do. Scratch any lunch plans, let's have ice cream instead...

This is on a quiet side street in Kagurazaka, but a notable one because it houses this little complex, which also contains the fairly well-known French place La Tourelle (associated with La Tour in Ginza; not highly recommended based on my single trip there ~3 years ago, but that's not a strong recomendation in one direction or the other), another little French place called 'Pile ou Face', a Kansai-style sushi place, and some other stores.

There's not much eat-in space in the cafe; it's very dark, and taken up mainly with the gelato coolers and the chocolate and cake display cases. We ordered up gelatos as pictured - on the left caramel-ginger and chocolate-hazelnut (Gianduja; sorta weak nutella), on the right pistachio and chocolate (Y735 eat-in). These were excellent - I hesitate to use technical descriptive words, but sometimes you eat something that captures the essence of the technical term, and these had 'creamy mouthfeel'. The caramel-ginger was the flavor winner, but the gianduja and pistachio were also very good, albeit more subtle. Chocolate was good, not great, and the chocolate squares stuck in the top were a sign of things to come - at the same time poorly-textured and flavorless.

Cleverly thinking ahead, we took home some signature chocolates for dinner. The picture to the left contains (clockwise from top left, seriously!) pepper, tomato, basil and red pepper. For all of these, the filling flavor was excessively mild, in fact hard to find at times if you were me. The shells and filling also seemed less than fresh. The best of the 4 on the fresh 'n' creamy scale was the red pepper (Azteca), but this suffered from the chocolate being very poorly integrated with the pepper - like a big blast of cayenne on top of a decent chocolate.

The gelato is thus recommended, but for the chocolates, I'd go back to Debailleul.

I see that Seat has beaten me here...

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