Roger Chan's Vero Chocolate Lounge: Not your average Hong Kong candy store
A visit to Vero Chocolate Lounge can make you feel more discerning than the most tasteful of tai tais.
It isn't just that the place smells of a combination of top-grade cocoa and self-indulgence, but also because guests are encouraged to really enjoy their chocolates at the shop.
"Chocolate tastes best when it is fresh," says chocolate master Roger Chan, owner of Vero Chocolate Lounge. Thus, customers are encouraged to eat Vero's freshly made chocolates on the spot for an ultimate fresh-chocolate experience not found at other Hong Kong candy shops.
Chan produces all of his artisanal chocolates in-house at Vero's in Wanchai's Fenwick Pier shop, because chocolatiers who import their products from outside of Hong Kong lose all the freshness in their product.
Local taste for chocolate
Chan believes that Hong Kong people have great taste and will come to appreciate his dedication to local production.
"Hong Kong is the perfect place to start a luxury chocolate brand because of the picky eaters," Chan says. "We're really spoilt for choice here, we're exposed to multiple cultures and flavors, so we have a highly trained palate."
The chocolatier has captured the imagination of Hong Kong's epicurious with his surprisingly delicious marriage of unique yet diverse flavors with chocolate. Consider chan pei (dried mandarin peel), a common ingredient in southern Chinese cooking -- the pungent, tangy bitterness of the peel pairs particularly well with chocolate. Wasabi-flavored chocolate is another hit with Vero Chocolate Lounge fans.
Chan has also collaborated with chef Richard Ekkebus from Amber to create the whimsical cigar-coffee-Cognac chocolate, an après-dinner sweet for the boys.
And their latest? "For our autumn/winter collection we're doing a Parmesan cheese truffle, a French chestnut chocolate with rum-infused ganache, and Japanese Yuzu salt flavored chocolates, " said Vero's resident chocolate maestro chef Koo Ka Chun.
Editor's Note: This Christmas, the chocolatier is offering festive confections sure to grace the wish lists of classy ladies around town.
We love the three 'cocoa pod' chocolate sculptures, individually priced at HK$218. "The red 'Santa' cocoa pod' is made with moderately-flavored Ecuadorean chocolate. The lattice-cased 'candle' pod uses Dominican chocolate, which is prized for its pronounced bittersweet flavor," chef Koo told us. The third is made with intensely fruity chocolates from Venezuela.
"We'll also be doing chocolate baubles and a Christmas pudding truffle, using the traditional ingredients of whiskey, dried fruits, and cinnamon," said Koo. Vero's Christmas specials will hit the atelier's shelves on December 1.
Vero Chocolate Lounge. 1/F Fenwick Pier, 1 Lung King Street, Wanchai, tel. 2259 5882