Chocolate, which originates from seeds that nestle in the pods of cacao trees, comes in different varieties, from dark, milk and white. These chocolates have varying ratios of cacao, cacao butter and milk. More recently, there has been much buzz over ruby chocolates, which are made from ruby cocoa beans and have a distinctive fruity flavour.
To mark World Chocolate Day, we highlight a variety of dining establishments to get your chocolate fix.
Violet Kwan, the founder of the legendary Lana Cake Shop, first learnt the now-famous recipe of the classic chocolate fudge cake from her sister-in-law Lani in 1964. Receiving nothing but praise for her fudge cake, Kwan initially sold the home-made cake from her Hillcrest Park home, but later decided to open up Lana Cake Shop in 1975 in the neighbouring Greenwood Avenue. Named after Lani, the shop continues to operate till today and has established a loyal and unwavering fanbase in the local community. However, the decision made by Kwan to step down from the business in 2016 left customers stricken with worry for the future of Lana Cake Shop. They breathed a sigh of relief when her son Jason Kwan chose to leave his banking career in Tokyo to take over the business last year, allowing his mother to enjoy her well-deserved retirement.
Since taking over, the younger Kwan has made distinct improvements to the signature fudge cake along with a makeover of the entire shop, presenting a contemporary atmosphere for customers to enjoy. However, the taste of the chocolate fudge cake still remains. The cake features a chiffon-like sponge covered with a glossy layer of luscious chocolate fudge.
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Originating in 1998, Awfully Chocolate had humble beginnings in Singapore. Starting as a cake shop in Katong, it has since grown into a chain of outlets islandwide and 11 outlets across China. Some of its popular desserts include the Chocolate Praline Cake and Chocolate Tiramisu, but the Hei Ice Cream and the All Chocolate Cake are definitely not to be missed. The Hei Ice Cream, which is produced from premium Belgian chocolate and fresh Dutch milk, has an interplay between the rich flavours of the chocolate and a creaminess imparted by the milk.
The All Chocolate Cake offers a distinct dark roast flavour in its soft and moist cake layers that are lightly sweetened, allowing the natural roast of the cocoa to stand out. Some of Awfully Chocolate’s 14 local outlets are cafés, allowing customers the option to enjoy their chocolate treats on the spot or to take them back home to share the goodness with family and friends.
3. The Dark Gallery
As the name suggests, The Dark Gallery is all about the bittersweet dark chocolate. With only a relatively short history compared to other well-established brands here, The Dark Gallery has been successful in making its mark on the local dessert scene. It has three outlets in Millenia Walk, Ngee Ann City and Funan Mall.
The home-grown eatery places an emphasis on precision and technique in the crafting of its chocolate desserts and beverages. One stand-out factor of The Dark Gallery is that it only uses single-origin dark chocolate couvertures including its signature 66% dark chocolate that runs on tap and is melted at precisely 40°C for the ideal texture and viscosity.
The Dark Gallery focuses particularly on single origin cocoa beans in the process of crafting its chocolate goodies. Among its various signature creations, such as The Chocolate Rhapsody, Frozen S’mores and The Ice Cream Waffle, the new Single Origin Pastries Platter is the dessert to look out for. It features four intricately crafted chocolate pastries with their respective origins from Sao Tome, Madagascar, Tanzania and Ghana from Africa. The platter also includes helpful tasting notes which reference the different flavours to their respective taste profiles.
4. The Courtyard, The Fullerton Hotel Singapore
Located in the atrium lobby of MICHELIN-listed The Fullerton Hotel Singapore, The Courtyard provides diners with a unique all-day dining experience. The accompaniment of mellow music from a harpist during afternoon tea on weekends and the groovy beats from the jazz quartet in the evenings offer a relaxing ambience for diners. The iconic chocolate buffet at The Courtyard is available every Saturday from 8pm to 11pm, with newest savoury additions, such as the Cocoa And Spice-rubbed Baby Back Pork Ribs and the Bittersweet Chocolate Arancinis, serving as a light meal before the array of desserts that follow.
The display of theatrics at the live nitro station adds on to the distinctive dining experience, with liquid nitrogen being used to instantly freeze liquid chocolate into flawlessly shaped chocolate balls. For the perfect ending to the chocolate experience, head over to the Dark Chocolate Fountain to dip food such as chocolate puffs, brownies and fruit into chocolate.
5. Laurent’s Cafe and Chocolate Bar
Laurent’s Café and Chocolate Bar, which first started out at Robertson Quay, quickly became famous for its delightful chocolate soufflé and hot chocolate. Following its immense success, founder Laurent Bernard opened two eponymous chocolatier retail outlets in Takashimaya Food Hall and in Collyer Quay. Bernard creatively makes chocolates with ingredients such as vintage whisky, tea and vanilla that is sourced from Tahiti.