(SPOT.ph) We believe few people walk the Earth without a love for chocolate. In a city where practically everybody has a sweet-tooth, passion for desserts is one of the strongest ties that bind us together. This list celebrates the fact that sometime in the last 10 years, Manila’s chocolate boom happened. And what the metro has available now, to the absolute delight of local chocophiles, is a wealth of premium, high-caliber chocolates comparable to the best of the world.
Now, allow us to engage you in an unabashed declaration of love for a food group that we obsess about. We gathered, tasted, and assessed different kinds of chocolate to create this list (hey, somebody had to do it). From the metro’s finest chocolate shops, we've chosen the best truffles, solid chocolate bars, and flavored pralines in both milk and dark chocolate varieties for your pleasure (and ours too). Think we forgot your favorite? Hit the comments section below and let us know!
10. Choclery’s Pralines (P50 each)
Available at Café Publico
2F Greenhills Promenade Mall, Greenhills, San Juan
We found these handcrafted artisan chocolates in a corner of a charming San Juan gelateria. Café Publico is home to Choclery, a local chocolate brand on the rise famous for high-quality chocolates in a slew of tantalizing flavors. Every piece of chocolate you’ll enjoy here is a labor of love—carefully crafted by hand in small batches, and never mass-produced.
Of their smash-hit offerings, we love the Manchego Cheese (P40) the most, a bite-sized indulgence with a rich ganache filling that rolls smoothly on your tongue. How it impresses you is all in the details, like the way its chocolate shell cracks perfectly when you bite into it, revealing a rush of ganache subtly flavored with the hard cheese. Not overpowering at all, this is an example of a chocolate pairing that doesn't try too hard—it just works.
Paulene Chocolats Suisses
9. Paulene Chocolats Suisses Chocolate Ganache (P495, box of 25)
Available at Chuck’s Deli, Serendra and Linden Suites, Ortigas
Tel Nos. 468-2905; 871-9989; (0922) 862-7894; (0922) 800-2459
We felt nothing less than absolute excitement when we stumbled upon Paulene Chocolats Suisses, which counts—or should count—heaven-sent ganache as a prized specialty. As one of the newcomers in the chocolate scene, this pretty little confectionery knows how to make a splash with attractive looks, but the chic packaging was not the only thing that caught our eye. If you like your chocolates rich and decadent, you'll be head over heels over Paulene's different types of ganache with flavors like Gianduja, Grand Cru, Orange Liqueur, Milk, Dark, and White.
What we really love about these is how ridiculously smooth they are. Every piece in this 5x5 masterpiece is a showcase of ultra smooth cacao perfection. It coats your tongue in a velvety bliss. At P495 for a box of 25, we say it’s worth the splurge.
The Pastry Boutique at Hyatt Hotel and Casino Manila
8. The Pastry Boutique’s Milk Chocolate Macadamia (P240)
GF Hyatt Hotel and Casino Manila, 1588 Pedro Gil corner M.H. Del Pilar
Tel. No. 247-8666
On a diet? Well, you might as well forget it when you have one of Hyatt's chocolate bars in front of you. Truth be told, Hyatt has always been known for their show-stopping desserts (remember The Fireplace's Chocolate Soup?), and their chocolates at The Pastry Boutique are no different. All the chocolates sold here are imported,tempered, and made in-house, using only the Swiss-made Felchlin in all its products. That means top quality cacao made from the world's finest beans.
Of the most popular chocolate bars this dessert mecca offers is the Milk Chocolate Macadamia, a divine concoction with a luxurious taste you can't argue with. They say the macadamia nut is the King of Nuts, and when you mix it with a creamy indulgence? That's when all restraint goes out the window. For serious chocolate lovers with cash to burn, The Pastry Boutique's Grand Cru varieties are also highly recommended.