Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Pavé Chocolates

Four friends with a common dream, to share their experience from all over the world and here it is, they put it into a cafe.

Pavé Chocolates

Baby blue walls and pink counters; these four owners emphasize strongly on every single detail of the shop. While the local carpenters aren't good with curves, the owners make it a point to import some of the cafe's furnishings.

A walkway from the toilet

Was told by the cafe chocolatier, Chef Nick Lam (who studied chocolate-making in Spain) to pop by after 3pm on weekends for Pave's freshly baked goods (e.g. Caneles Bordelais, Croissants, Pain au Chocolat and Scones (made with Le Gall Butter)). Note that these are only available on weekends.

Caneles Bordelais

And we were pleasantly surprised for this cafe uses premium ingredients. For instance, the crossiants ($3.50 each) and Pain au Chocolat are made with a 3 day fermentation using Echiré Butter. Though it may sound extremely expensive to some, this is one of our favourites and is highly recommended for its light, fluffy pastry. Caneles Bordelais, on the other hand has a crisp caramelized crust with a soft and tender custard center. We tried the ones from Canelé Pâtisserie Chocolaterie the next day and though the overall taste is pretty much similar, the crust of the latter is soft, not sure is it due to the humidity in Singapore. Anyway, for fresh Caneles Bordelais, drop by Pave, after 3pm on weekends and you can be assured to enjoy these French cakes straight off the oven.

Hot Chocolate

Hot Chocolate is highly recommended by Nick ($6.90 per cup, $12.90, $17.90 and $22.90 for a jug that can serve 2, 3 and 4 respectively) and we were amused by the Molinillo, a chocolate frothing stick imported from Mexico for whipping air into hot chocolate, giving it a rich and frothy texture. Moreover, this drink is made with 72% Venezuela Chocolate and is set for 5 to 6 hours before serving.

Pastry Chef Yen's cakes

Le Cordon Bleu-trained pastry chef Yen Kok presents her array of creations with the cafe's bestseller and signature, For Alice ($8.50). A cake made specially for the cafe's strawberry mentor. Consists of Dark Chocolate Mousse, Vanilla Creme Brulee and Willamette Raspberries.

For Alice

I subconsciously finished two-thirds of the cake while Yuan was busy with his photos. In short, love it for its smooth (52%) chocolate mousse with a slight tang from the raspberries. Yuan described this to be somewhat similar to eating a Black Forest cake: Fine chocolate shavings, raspberries and chocolate mousse, giving a nice blend of bittersweet and sour aftertaste.

For Alice II

Nutty Putty, a combination of Coconut Caramel, Peanut Praline and 'Dark' Milk Chocolate is another bestseller of the cafe but we have decided to give it a miss for the cafe's seasonal addition, Strawberry Shortcake (named as Wow! Ichigo 100%), made with a mixture of Korean strawberries and wild strawberries. This delightful treat is only going to be enough for one. Not only is the cream lightly whipped with 2 layers of cake sponge, the strawberries are so fresh and sweet. Splendid.

Strawberry Shortcake

Pave has very interesting flavours for their chocolates and the selection ranges from chocolate bars to chocolate pralines. Everything about this shop is so creative and one will definitely be amused by the names the owners have coined.

Chocolate sampler from Pavé

One of the owners, Joshua Choo generously served us a platter of chocolates for sampling and some of the ones that left an impression were the
- Cognac, a house blend of single plantation chocolates paired with 20 years aged Fins Bois cognac
- Brambles on Fire, which is to describe the presence of smokey raspberry
- Chocolate-coated Coffee Beans
- Chocolate-coated Blueberries
- Oooze for Sea-Salted Caramel lovers (mixed with Cocoa Crunch, encased in Dark Chocolate, drizzled with Cocoa Nibs)
- Mr Gobino, a classic favourite where Dark Chocolate is incoporated with in-house freshly roasted hazelnuts and sea salt
- Yen for those who have an adventurous tastebuds as this is a white truffle bonbon with earthy dark chocolate
- Heather Haggis which contains anti-oxidant honey from Scotland

From the description, one can expect surprises from each and personally we would described these to be unique and different from the regular chocolate bonbons. As a purist, we do have mixed feelings and naturally our favourite among the entire sampling platter would be Mr Gobino and Heather Haggis for a more neutral combination.

The cafe has a nice cosy level 2, allowing the diners to unwind and relax. Saturdays have never been so great to be able to talk to the owners and what makes it more perfect are the desserts and bakes Pave has put up.

Level 2 at Pavé Chocolates

From our understanding from Nick and Joshua, the ingredients are imported all by the owners and they are always looking for a tastier species of fruit, different plantation's chocolate or a terroir where the alcohol comes from.

Many thanks to Chef Nick for the invitation to drop by Pave. Also, not forgetting the warm hospitality of the owners, Chef Yen, Joshua and Sandora have showered us during our stay at Pave.

Pavé Chocolates
93 East Coast Road
Singapore 428792
Tel: 6342 0677

Operating hours:
12:30pm to 10:30pm (Tues to Sat)
Closed on Mondays

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P.S. Apologize for the incomplete listing of the pricing as Yuan has misplaced his receipt.


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