Monday, March 17, 2014

Le Chocolat De H X Paul Bassett : Chocolate Man Meets Coffee Roaster

I was once asked why Hironobu Tsujiguchi's face is everywhere in Tokyo, from TV to department stores to train stations. Well, he is a famous celebrity chef, perhaps not so well known overseas but very high profile within the domestic scenes. One of his shops besides Mont St Clair is Le Chocolat De H at Roppongi Hills, which has unfortunately shut down since last year. So I searched and found out that he had reopened the same shop but in a form of collaboration cafe with world champion barista Paul Bassett from Australia.
Since pancake is the food of the moment 2013/2014, the most sellable item is none other than the Chocolate Pancake (800 yen/1200 yen for set with drink) served with whipped cream, caramelized bananas and raspberry sauce. But for chocoholics, it is not a crime to have chocolate sauce instead of maple syrup. The pancakes contain chocolate chips but they are rather dry. For those who prefer non-chocolate pancakes, there is the Ricotta Cheese version with Maple Sauce. 
Hot chocolate drinks are usually winter limited edition items and the Chocolate Chaud here is no exception. Though the dark chocolate is thicker than Jean Paul Hevin's, the meager portion can only fill up 2 small cups.

Besides the Shinjuku outlet, this is the only place in Tokyo where one can enjoy Paul Bassett's coffee. Out of the many coffee options, Lungo (600 yen), a blend of hot water and double espresso similar to Americano, is sadly not the killer cup of coffee for the folks, who expressed that any kopi at our local kopitiam can easily edge out this cup of black coffee.
Similar, the cappucino (650 yen) was nothing distinctive, except being good as an obligatory drink to pair with the food. 

All is not lost with the pastries for we discovered a decadent banana tart that is probably one of the best in town. This tropical confection has a charm that lies in its flavours, not its looks if you compare this to other prettier cakes in the display shelves. Thin crunchy tart shell that fills up with sticky banana jam, golden crumbs and crowned with a slice of banana.

From the savoury, the Bacon and Buffalo's Mozzarella sandwich (950 yen) is quite tasty and substantial. It might be a cafe but attention is paid even to the ingredients-- both specially ordered from Aso Farm. The food menu is not extensive. But it is not necessary for the cafe to have plenty of food options since the star is coffee and chocolate.

Le Chocolat de H-Paul Bassett
Shibuya Hikarie ShinQs B2F, 2-21-1 Shibuya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Access: Shibuya Station, Exit 15 
Visit here for official website 
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