For me, it was the hot chocolate served at Angelina in Paris. My good friend told me that I HAD to try it because it was "the best hot chocolate in Paris" and to this day, I'm thankful that Jeffrey and I made the effort to find and drop by this parisian restaurant for breakfast one rainy weekday morning.
The interior of the shop looks a little like the bigger version of the TWG outlet located in Ion shopping centre. Surprisingly, there were quite a number of patrons though it was still pretty early.
The table setting was wonderfully complete: there were cups on saucers, butter knives, sachets of sugar, butter and jam on a platter and glasses for fruit juice.
Breakfast set for one includes: a plate of danish pastries (bread bun, croissant, sultana, chocolate croissant) as featured above, a small jug of hot chocolate and a glass of fruit juice. The pastries were freshly baked and they were really tasty. Somehow the sweetness wasn't overwhelming and the pastries didn't taste too buttery either.
Unlike most cafes and restaurants that hot chocolate by the cup, Angelina serves their hot chocolate in jugs so that we can control the whipped cream: hot chocolate ratio. To date, I have never seen any other hot chocolate drink that looks like Angelina's. Instead of the usual milo-y texture and look, Angelina's hot chocolate tastes more like melted chocolate. It is thick, milky, warm and it has a richness that makes you feel like your world is temporarily complete. I literally felt as if I ascended the high heaven of all sweet things and experienced a moment of pure, gastronomical bliss. It was truly magical.
The whipped cream that you can add onto your hot chocolate.
Whipped cream on hot chocolate.
Although I would love to dine at Angelina's again, the reality is that I probably won't be going back to Paris any time soon, so I have to shelve my desire for their luxurious hot chocolate till my next visit. It's going to be a long long time before I get to taste Mr-willy-wonka's-chocolate-river-kind of hot chocolate again.
Or maybe not.
Recently, I discovered that Angelina has opened a second outlet in Bangkok! =) I was determined to pamper my taste buds all over again!
The Angelina outlet at Central Chidlom shopping centre in Bangkok was, in contrast to the Angelina in Paris, relatively empty. Perhaps it is because we visited it during dinner time instead of breakfast? Or perhaps it's because the prices here are comparatively higher than other places? It didn't matter, we were dead set on trying their hot chocolate and we got ourselves a table.
Our pretty old-looking menu, which makes me wonder when this outlet was set up. They included Thai food in this menu too so people can have a complete meal there.
As we already had our dinner, we opted for two desserts and a jug of hot chocolate. This is their version of tiramisu, which was surprisingly nice. I always thought that tiramisu was more of an Italian dessert but this version was pretty good =)
This dessert is called Mont Blanc and it is listed as their signature dessert dish. Apparently it was imported all the way from France and it is one of their 'must try' dishes. It is essentially whipped cream covered with chestnut puree so it is soft and creamy. Personally, I don't really like it that much because I'm not a big fan of chestnut puree or meringue but I guess it's not a dish that many will dislike.
We waited quite a long time for our hot chocolate and we were elated when it was finally served. Unlike the hot chocolate we had in Paris, this hot chocolate was in a darker shade of brown and it didn't look as tempting. When I poured the hot chocolate into our cups, I noticed that the viscosity was not even and I started to think that this may not taste like what I previously had. Nevertheless, I still hoped that looks were deceiving and that my hot chocolate would taste as fabulous as it did the last time... but it was not to be. Not only did this hot chocolate taste less milky, it carried with it a bitter taste. I'm not sure why it was bitter but my guess is that the hot chocolate was exposed to high heat (because they wanted to serve us quickly) and hence the base got burnt in the process. It was an utter disappointment and it left both of us feeling rather deflated =(
Well at least now we know that there is only one place that serves THE best hot chocolate and we look forward to tasting it again.