Saturday, January 30, 2016

Hot Chocolate Festival 2016 - hot chocolate crawl

Just got back from a hot chocolate crawl downtown where we tried four locations:

Thierry Chocolaterie Patisserie Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato Thierry - "Milk & Coffee" - 39% Valrhona “Andoa” milk chocolate.
Served with coffee flavoured whipped cream with dark chocolate semifredo made of 63%  “Illanka” Peruvian chocolate langue de chat

  • Price came to $10.45 after tax! If you focus on just the hot chocolate, then it definitely is pricey -- remember that you are paying for the whipped cream and biscuit as well.
  •  It's January 30th, so when I asked the person behind the macarons, I was quoted the "Dark & Saffron" drinking chocolate (the correct one according to the schedule; could not see the schedule anywhere in store). But when I ordered the hot chocolate festival's hot chocolate, they gave me this "milk and chocolate" concoction instead, which was supposed to have had its last day on January-29th.
  • Drink was not hot!
  • Flavour was tame and the drink felt on the thin side.
2016-Jan-30 Hot Chocolate Festival - Thierry

2016-Jan-30 Thierry

Bel Cafe - Rosewood Hotel Georgia Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato Bel Cafe - "The Onyx" - 70% Valrhona Guanaja, chocolate crème chantilly and caramelized cocoa nib.
Served with a dark chocolate truffle.

  • Another thin-tasting and lukewarm drink. Nothing particularly interesting about this hot chocolate. Maybe try stirring in the cream.
  • Pretty lukewarm "hot" chocolate.
  • TIP: If it's too busy, try taking it into the Hotel Georgia lobby and find quieter (and more comfortable) seating there.
2016-Jan-30 Hot Chocolate Festival - Bel Cafe - Onyx

Mink - #43 – “It's a Clusterfluff” - Valrhona Caramelia 36% milk chocolate hot chocolate with torched marshmallow. Served with a sparkle stick.
  • Sparkle stick served separately. Would have been nice if it somehow sat on top of the hot chocolate but it's too short and in any case, I wouldn't want reside in my drink.
  • Pretty lukewarm "hot chocolate".
  • Sweetened with a slight caramel (?) flavour? Otherwise nothing striking.
#44 – “The Voices in my Head Tell me this ain't no B.S.” - Organic butternut squash and almond milk with 70% dark chocolate hot chocolate. Served with a smoked oyster.
  • You definitely taste the squash, but my personal feeling is it didn't go well as a hot chocolate flavour.
  • Pretty lukewarm "hot chocolate".
2016-Jan-30 Hot Chocolate Festival - Mink - "It's a Clusterfluff"

Bella Gelateria Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato Bella Gelateria (Coal Harbour) – "Before 9" - We infuse our milk with a peppermint mint and then use Michel Cluziel’s Milk with Vanuari Dark 63% Vanuari chocolate with it’s honey, berry and vanilla notes. (Available in almond or dairy milk.) Served with a housemade rice crispy bar drizzled with peppermint chocolate.
  • Definitely tasted like an "After Eight" chocolate mint, but the mintiness wasn't as strong.
  • For the first time since the hot chocolate crawl, we actually got a hot drink! Also, all the hot chocolates here weren't as thin-tasting as the previous locations visited and mentioned above.
Bella Gelateria (Coal Harbour) – “The Mottolino” - Made with brandy, rum, vanilla egg we add a hint of espresso from local roasters Milano. Steeped with Michel Cluziel’s Kayambe Dark 72% chocolate with it’s aromatic intensity of woody, almost liquorice notes and strong cocoa flavours. Topped with fresh whip cream and a sprinkle of cocoa powder. Served with our house made Italian dark rum biscotti.
  • If you smell this drink you get a bit of alcohol aroma, but it didn't really come through for me either in the hot chocolate or the biscotti.
Bella Gelateria (Coal Harbour) – “Black Magic” - Organic black sesame seeds we turn into a paste in our gelato lab and then add Michel Cluizel’s Vanuari Dark 63% Vanuari chocolate with it’s honey, berry and vanilla notes. Topped with fresh matcha whip cream and roasted black sesame seeds.
  • Just got a sample of this (for free!). Stir it each time before drinking because otherwise the ground-up sees start to settle on the bottom.
  • Very strong black sesame seed flavour, almost overpowering the chocolate entirely.
Bella Gelateria (Coal Harbour) – “Bx3” (Banana Bread & Booze) - We caramelize organic bananas in Grand Marnier, add a touch of Creme De Banana liqueur, White Rum and nutmeg. Using Michel Cluizel’s Kayambe chocolate, this time the 45% chocolate, it adds hints of brown sugar and salted butter. Served with a slice of that amazing Banana Bread with every order.
  • Good and very prominent banana flavour in the hot chocolate, and on the sweeter side.
  • Where's my banana flavour in the banana bread?

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