There’s no better pick-me-up on a gloomy day than a bar of chocolate – but how about taking a walk on the wild side with some more thrilling flavours than your standard Lindor?
If you fancy getting a little more creative with your cacao choices, we’ve rounded up some of the most unusual varieties of gourmet chocolate bar to try in Hong Kong. With dynamic flavours encompassing everything from fruits, flowers and spices to shrimp, booze and bacon, we’ve got unique chocolate bars by the shedload to excite and intrigue your tastebuds.
Chuao (it’s pronounced “chew-WOW” btw) are the first Venezuelan chocolatiers based in the United States, and are all about sparking joy through their artisanal Fair Trade-certified chocolate bars – with an emphasis on premium ingredients, sustainable farming and ethical practices.
Their flavour combinations offer playful riffs on all-American classics, which delight in nailing that perfect salty-sweet ratio. Our favourites? It’s a toss-up between Oh My S’Mores, featuring fluffy marshmallows and crushed honey graham crackers in creamy milk chocolate; Potato Chip, with crunchy sea salt-sprinkled potato crisps scattered in milk chocolate; and Baconluxious starring crispy bacon bites, sweet maple syrup and bonfire-smoked sea salt.
Available from City’Super
Proudly handmade right here in Hong Kong, Conspiracy Chocolate specialises in gourmet vegan dark chocolate, crafted from pure cacao beans sourced from a farm in the Vietnamese province of Dak Lak.
The bean-to-bar manufacturing process for each Conspiracy chocolate takes a painstaking five days – but the results are most definitely worth the wait, with an explosive flavour collection that should have something to satisfy every palate. Spice things up with their Sichuan Pepper or Fermented Ghost Pepper varieties, mellow out with their CBD bar, or enjoy a different kind of afternoon tea with their soothing Chai chocolate, which features a warming blend of cinnamon, cardamom, star anise, cloves, black pepper and ginger.
Singapore’s first bean-to-bar chocolatiers, Fossa are dedicated to creating beautifully nuanced chocolate that has greater flavour clarity, depth and intensity than your average supermarket snack. All their bars are made by hand in small batches with zero additives.
Expect award-winning one-of-a-kind flavours with a quirky Asian influence; their umami-rich Shrimp & Bonito and Sake Kasu varieties were inspired by a Tokyo field trip, while Salted Egg Cereal is their tribute to a Singaporean favourite hawker stall dish. They’ve also collaborated with local rare tea curators Pekoe & Imp for a poetic tea-infused collection that includes varieties like Drifting Snowflakes Jasmine Green Tea, Honey Orchid Dancong Oolong and (prize for best name) Duck Shit Dancong Tea.
Available from Sweet World
Fu Wan Chocolate
Overall winners of “best dark chocolate” at 2019’s International World Chocolate Awards, Fu Wan are a true born-and-bred Taiwan success story. Their cacao beans are grown in the Taiwanese region of Pingtung County, with all fermentation, drying, roasting and grinding taking place in Pingtung too – leading to one of the shortest food mileages in the chocolate world.
Their “tree-to-bar” chocolates come in an incredible array of flavours, with many that celebrate cherished Taiwanese ingredients – with the likes of red jade tea, magao (a special Taiwan mountain pepper), tie guan yin tea and even pink shrimp making their way into their innovative bars.
Fortnum & Mason
For chocolate with the royal seal of approval, look to quintessentially British department store Fortnum & Mason – they’ve held royal warrants for over 150 years, recognising them as official food suppliers to British royalty.
Their Chocolate Library collection has just the right sprinkling of English eccentricity; each bar is shaped like a book, complete with its own whimsical title and beautiful cover art. Their chocolate names are every bit as intriguing as the flavours, with “The Beast Comes At Midnight” representing dark chocolate and chilli, “Pilots Fly In Pink Skies” titling white chocolate filled with strawberries and black pepper, and “Lavender: A Girl In The Wild” embodying their fabulously fragrant lavender-infused milk chocolate bar.
Available from Fortnum & Mason
This Scottish chocolatier refers to their artisanal chocolates as “where creativity and cocoa collide”, with a far-ranging collection of innovative flavours – all wrapped in vibrant paper packaging, designed by a hand-picked selection of independent artists.
Their single-origin, ethically-traded chocolate is sourced from Columbia, with daringly distinctive flavours that include Rhubarb & Ginger, Gin & Tonic, Cold Brew Coffee (in collaboration with an Edinburgh-based roaster), and Earl Grey Tea… and we’re crossing our fingers that their most unique flavour, Haggis Spice, will make it to Hong Kong eventually.
Available from Sweet World
La Maison du Chocolat
Enjoy a decadent bite of joie de vivre with the Hedonist bars from luxury chocolate boutique La Maison du Chocolat – regarded as the first Parisian house dedicated to “designer chocolate”.
A departure from their more classic varieties, their hand-crafted Hedonist collection features an exciting range of tastes and textures, anchored by premium sustainably-sourced cacao beans that can be traced right down to the plantation. Flavours with the perfect dash of je ne sais quoi include Blanc Frissonant, featuring creamy white chocolate scattered with airy puffed rice; Passion Vibrante, showcasing tropical passionfruit paired with slivers of crispy crèpe wafers; and Cavale Fruit Secs, a nut nirvana covered in chopped hazelnuts, almonds and pistachios.
Available from La Maison du Chocolat