Did you know that chocolate was first discovered by the ancient Maya who became so obsessed with the stuff that they used it in religious ceremonies, and even as currency? More than 3,000 years later and the sweet treat is just as valuable all over the world. In fact, the industry is currently worth around $ 38 billion in Japan — where the chocolate market is Asia’s largest. Compare that to a value of $ 15 million for online dating here and it just goes to show what we all know in our hearts: Chocolate is the only partner we need.
The “fourth” chocolate
In a piece of news that has set our hearts at Savvy Tokyo a flutter, a new type of eligible candy has appeared on the scene in the form of ruby chocolate. Launched in 2017, it’s made from the ruby cocoa bean, is pink in color and has a sweet-sour taste that sort of mimics berry-flavored chocolate. That’s all we know, though, as the production methods are a sworn secret by the Belgian-Swiss cocoa company that took a laborious 13 years to perfect it. It’s been dubbed the “fourth” chocolate, a luxury addition to the milk, dark and white lineup that we’ve come to love.
The world’s first Ruby Chocolate Afternoon Tea
Described as the most exciting thing to happen to chocolate in more than 80 years, the ruby chocolate phenomenon has landed in Tokyo — specifically at the ANA InterContinental Tokyo, who, from now until January 14, are serving the world’s first and only ruby chocolate afternoon tea. Available at the Atrium Lounge on the hotel’s second floor, the afternoon tea is the show stopping star of their Chocolate Sensations culinary festival, featuring workshops, seminars, pop-up stores and a 4.5-meter Tokyo Tower handcrafted from Ladurée chocolate macarons. Just because.
Thanks to ruby chocolate’s gorgeous pink hue, this afternoon tea is definitely one of the prettiest I’ve ever encountered.
The Ruby Chocolate Afternoon Tea Set contains 11 crimson-colored petits gateaux assortis (that’s French for “too-cute-to-eat-cakes”) that each incorporate ruby chocolate in one inventive way or another. On the side there are five savory bites, and of course, your choice of unlimited tea or coffee — the hojicha hot chocolate, a not-too-sweet blend of roasted tea, milk and cocoa created just for the Chocolate Sensations campaign, comes recommended.
For ¥6,400 you can work your way through ruby chocolate takes on classic British afternoon tea delights like the ruby chocolate lamington and ruby chocolate drizzled scones. A French influence is also there in the ruby chocolate feuillantine and bonbons, while there’s a cute nod to traditional Japanese sweets with the marshmallow artfully wrapped in a ruby chocolate leaf.
To enable customers to sample ruby chocolate in its purest form, there is also the ruby chocolate “bark”, a diamond-shaped chunk of ruby chocolate and a pair of ruby chocolate lips — as if the whole thing wasn’t Instagrammable enough already.
If I was being forced at gunpoint to pick a favorite (yep, they were all equally that good) it would be the ruby chocolate cream and raspberry cake. It was moist, rich and light at the same time, and if I were a restaurant critic I would probably say something fancy like “the raspberry expertly complimented the slightly tangy notes of the ruby chocolate.” But I’m not (yet), so I’ll just tell you that it was really that good and you should book your table asap to taste it while you can.
On the weekday that I was there, most of the tables were filled with groups of female friends though I did spot a couple of businessmen indulging in the tea set too. Weekends are more busy, and customers are limited to two hours. I’d definitely suggest reserving a table in advance.
Originally planned to last only until the end of the year, The Ruby Chocolate Afternoon Tea is such a hit that the ANA InterContinental have decided to extend its availability. Guests and customers can now experience the afternoon tea from now, through the holiday season and into the new year.
Now that’s true love.
Location: Atrium Lounge 2F, ANA InterContinental Tokyo, 1 Chome-12-33 Akasaka, Minato, Tokyo 107-0052
Availability period: From now – Jan 14
Times: Weekdays, 12 p.m. – 6 p.m.; Weekends and holidays 11a.m. – 1 p.m. / 1:30p.m. – 3:30p.m. / 4p.m. – 6p.m.
Price: ¥6,400. For customers who book through the website the price is reduced to ¥5,500 (weekdays) and ¥6,000 (weekends and holidays).
Reservations: Online or call 03-3505-1185 (9 a.m. – 7:30 p.m.)
The post Say Hello To The World’s First Ruby Chocolate Afternoon Tea In Tokyo appeared first on Savvy Tokyo.