Chocolate has long been associated with desserts and sweets, but its origins are decidedly and deliciously savory. Bitter fermented beverages made from cacao beans date back to 350 BC in Mesoamerica where it was believed to have magical properties. Cacao beans were considered so precious that they have been used as currency.
Chocolate’s sweetened variants came about due to European influence. Its unsweetened form was unappreciated by Europeans but once mixed with honey or sugar, it quickly grew in popularity which spread from Spain to rest of the continent.
The Industrial Revolution brought with machines and processes that sped up the production of this sweet confection and now, chocolate is a multi-billion industry.
Maitre Chocolatier (translates roughly to “master of chocolate making or selling”)is the first boutique chocolate cafe in the country wherein chocolate is creatively incorporated, not only in desserts and drinks, but also in salads, soups and entrees.
I was treated to a pre-birthday lunch here (such a suitable choice for a chocoholic like me). We split orders of the following chocolate creations:
- Ham and Egg Sandwich with White Chocolate (Php136). The classic sandwich was given a chocolatey twist by adding creamy white chocolate to soft-boiled egg, mashed potato, smoked ham, lettuce leaves and cucumber slices between wheat bread slices. We found the smoked ham a bit tough to bite through, but the chocolate added some depth to the ham’s flavor which is further complemented by the freshness of the veggie ingredients.
- Linguini in Pesto Sauce with Parm-Crusted Chicken (Php258). Al dente pasta noodles in pesto sauce made with fresh herbs and spices are accompanied by parmesan-crusted chicken strips to be dipped in a special white chocolate sauce. The portions are of good size and the chicken complemented the pasta quite well. I found the white chocolate sauce a little too sweet but could be improved with the addition a more mustard-y or citrus-y flavor.
- Sweet Ebony – Lindt Dark Chocolate Mousse Cake (Php182). Definitely the highlight of the meal! Dark chocolate mousse layered on top of a moist and airy chocolate sponge cake, finished of with a generous swirl of whipped cream and piece of dark chocolate.
During an earlier visit to this joint, I was also able to sample the Golden Euphoria – Ferrero Hazelnut Crunch Cake (Php218). A velvety chocolate sponge layered under a chocolate hazelnut mousse and topped with a Ferrero Hazelnut ball.
Maitre Chocolatier is truly a haven for chocoholics due to the variety of chocolate infused food offerings and their quite reasonable pricing. However, the place could use a bit more style in its interiors. While the big windows let in a lot of natural light during daytime, it detracts from the cozy and intimate atmosphere I’ve come to expect from cafes (it also ruins photo opps for those seated near the windows). A room scent that smells of hot chocolate wouldn’t hurt either; the sense of smell is a powerful come-on when it comes to food, after all. (Note: I’m not trying to be a know-it-all when it comes to store design; I’m just already imagining my perfect chocolate sanctuary, so please bear with me, hehehe!). The store could also benefit from sprucing up the display of the chocolates on sale to add a premium feel of the resto. (By the way, check out the chocolate bars they usually have at 50% off. Don’t pass up the chance to bring home some imported chocolate treats to your loved ones at half the price!)
Still, I think I will be finding my way here quite often in the future, given my predilection for chocolate treats.
This branch is located in the foodie-friendly Tomas Morato area, at the corner of Scout Bayoran Street, South Triangle, Quezon City.
Its other branch in Metro Manila is located along Jupiter Street, Bel-Air, Makati.