Fabelle: Luxury chocolate brand opens its door in the city
There is a saying that ‘diamonds are a girl’s best friend’ but for me, it has always been chocolates. I can eat, dream, walk, and sleep chocolate. Unlike Anindya, who wants to have kosha mangsho on his death bed, I probably would like to have an exotic rich chocolate dessert on my death bed. So you can imagine my thrill and exhilaration when I heard that a super luxury chocolate brand has opened its door in the city. Yes, it’s Fabelle, The chocolate boutique at ITC Sonar Kolkata.
It’s a small boutique right next to Eden Pavilion. Soon after the opening, we got an opportunity to do a story on Fabelle on Eazydiner. Excitedly we went and the first whiff of cocoa as you enter the store just took me to heaven. We started with a quick chat with Mr. G.K.Suresh – Vice president New Category development ITC Limited, where we learnt about the story of Fabelle. After a successful launch in ITC Gardenia Bengaluru in April 2016, ITC Sonar proudly became its second home. It is nothing short of path-breaking in the history of chocolates in India. India has till date seen only the regular retail chocolates, some in the form of imported chocolates and some unbranded or local homemade chocolate stores. The western world has seen its fair share of luxury chocolates and their stores/ boutiques from Lindt to Godiva to Max Brenner. India truly never had one. After about a decade of brainstorming and research, ITC has given its gift to the country in the form of handcrafted luxury chocolate brand- Fabelle. The chocolate beans are sourced from some of the best cocoa growing regions like Madagascar, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Venezuela, Dominican Republic and Sao Tome, ending up with superior quality chocolates.
Chef Sagorika took us through the array of chocolates displayed which can be tasted there are well as bought from the store. These were boxed chocolates. There is a saying that a balanced diet is a chocolate in both hands and rightly so, Chef Sagorika asked us to keep the calorie thought outside the door and then enjoy the chocolates in all its glory. Fabelle Ganache or simply put, melt in the mouth chocolate pieces dusted with cocoa are available in two forms, rich dark chocolate and creamy milk chocolate. The rich dark chocolate ganache is made from the finest Ghana cocoa and is bitter at its best coupled with the sweetness and the melt in the mouth factor the minute it hits the palette. And believe me; I finished a box of Ganache in two days, after showing a lot of resilience. And since then I get cravings for the ganaches almost every night.
Then there are special nature inspired chocolates called Fabelle Elements. These are pralines in boxes of five or ten chocolates- inspired from earth, fire, air, water and wood. Each one has a different look, flavour and texture. The earth praline very interestingly looks like a rubble of earth and is a dark chocolate pod filled with dark mousse. The fire element is actually quite fiery with the addition of ancho chili to the white mousse inside a dark chocolate shell. The Fabelle As you like it version of boxed chocolates include chocolate cups in both dark and white chocolate with any combination of filling and topping which are done on site. One could pick from seven filling like milk choco creme, berry preserve, caramel etc to ten different topping like choco curves, butterscotch nibs, French sea salt crystals etc; giving it a possibility of a thousand different combination.
Then came the desserts. And whoa! Each one was artistically created with the finest of the ingredients and was superbly balanced dishes. Fabelle Chocolate dreams, Fabelle Signature Chocolate Entremets and Fabelle Signature Desserts are prepared within the boutique on order and the chef has the liberty to tweak the flavours to some extent as per his or her choice or rather understanding of chocolates. It is almost like adding more or less spice and seasoning to any food.
The final thrill was with the Fabelle Signatures. We had three of them and each one had some theatre to it. Needless to say that they were all perfectly balanced dishes which were elegantly plated in front of your eyes. My favourite was the Salted caramel ganache. Salted caramel ganache had 64% Ghana cocoa in the form of tempered chocolate with some salted caramel in the bottom, mousse, an amazing coconut sorbet on the side to clear the palette every time and exotic fresh fruits like dragon fruits and kiwi to cut through the sweetness. With every bite, my eyes would close as the salted caramel would hit my palette along with the velvety dark chocolate. And then bits of the fruit dotted with some berry coulis gave the tang and finally the coconut sorbet cleared the palette and I was ready for the next bite.
Anindya’s favourite was the chocolate flower which was completely theatrical in its execution as well as taste. This one had a centre of 70% dark chocolate mousse of Saint Domingue origin with a Turkish pistachio biscuit at the bottom, raspberry confit and the chocolate flower unfurls at the table with the pouring of warm orange infused white chocolate cream. It was a marriage of decadent flavours and was truly and utterly a divine dessert.
The Fabelle story is a celebration of chocolate in its purest form and Kolkata is lucky to be a part of it. It is premium and expensive; however true chocolate lovers would not mind spending that much for quality. There are various pricing points and they range from Rs. 100 for a single chocolate cup creation to Rs. 400 for a box of 5 pralines to a maximum of Rs. 575 for a plated dessert and Rs. 1000 for a box of 12 chocolate cup creations.
Note: I tried, tried really hard to keep this as small as possible, within 600 words. I failed. I had so much to express.