French Master Chocolatier Christian Camprini has teamed up once again with Chef Hirokazu Satoh of Hyatt Regency Tokyo to come up with a special chocolate tasting menu this September and October. Having won the prestigious M.O.F award in 2004, Chef Camprini has wowed many Japanese ladies with his exquisite chocolate creations during his bi-annual chocolate collaborations with Hyatt Regency, as well as the annual Salon De Chocolat fair held at Isetan Shinjuku. Meanwhile, Chef Hirokazu Satoh is also a highly experienced pastry chef who used to train under Sadaharu Aoki, one of Japan's first internationally acclaimed pastry chefs, at both his Paris and Tokyo outlets.The menu is crafted in a thoughtful way that stimulate the tastebuds to the roots of the chocolate without over-complicating it. The theme for October is "Voyage En Terre Cacao" or simple voyage or journey to the land of cacao. Something that I was not prepared for, was a savory non-chocolate starter of fried leaf-shaped pasta and biscuit sticks in avocado dip. The crackers had toasty flavours and were very moreish.
Amuse Sale by Chef Hirokazu Satoh: Piqué et Croque a la Mexicane
Pre dessert by Chef Camprini : Tarte au Chocolat & Sorbet CacaoThe cacao sorbet that sat on a delicate chocolate plate was at its purest form, bitter and intense with no hints of sweetness. It was not intended to balance the chocolate tart, for the latter awakens one instantly not with sugar but a zingy blend of mango and passionfruit. One can appreciate the simplicity of this multi-textured chocolate tart, for such a gem is really rare to find.
Pre dessert : Sorbet Cacao
Pre dessert : Tarte au Chocolat
Main Course: Profiterole ChocolatThe meal hits the climax when the main course created by Chef Camprini. The cream puff rests alluringly on a bed of warm chocolate cream. But one must hold on to the fork until the warm orange sauce is poured over, turning the chocolate square into liquid form instantly.
Wait no further to slice through the cream puff, only to realize that the vanilla cream is in a semi-molten state and filled with mini cookie balls. This ability to not just play with the temperature of chocolate but to do it well is a testimony of the skills of a chocolatier who has devoted his life to work with the world's most temperamental ingredient.
Last but not least, for the Petit Fours, guests can choose 5 out of the 10 varieties. Most are traditional sweets with an inspired twist such as Caramel Mu Fleur du sel ( a salted caramel made with British Maldon Salt), Caramel Mu Chocolat made with 100% Manjari Cocoa, Chestnut Madeleine, a late summer Macaron made with semi-dried figs, soft nougat with whole hazelnuts from Sicily, a moist marron cake and a chocolate pepper truffle.
Things that stood out was Caisson -a yellow square with a beautiful floral imprint that looks tooth-achingly sweet but is not. It's a famous regional treat from Provence, France made with its locally produced almonds blended with orange and melon confiture. Another one was the bittersweet Gianduja Sable with milk chocolate and hazelnut praline filling which crumbles easily upon one bite.
Of course, all sweet things do not just end with coffee or tea. Though this set menu is only available till 31st October, the individual chocolate pastries created by Chef Camprini is available for takeaway at the Pastry Shop from November onwards. And if you really wish to have a taste of a star-studded dessert feast, look out for his return to Hyatt Regency next year ;)
Camprini Sweet Fair @ Hyatt Regency Toyko
Price: 3000 Yen (3 plate desserts and petit fours selection)Period: Till 31st October 2013 Weekdays 3.30pm-5.30pm except holidays
Location: Caffe at Hyatt Regency Tokyo (Nearest Station: Shinjuku)
2-7-2 Nishi-Shinjuku, Shinjuku-Ku
Tokyo, Japan, 160-0023
Special thanks to Hyatt Regency Tokyo