The Most Japanese Valentine's Chocolate You'll Find This Season
Delicate shapes and striking jewel tones, these Kyoto-inspired ultra-Japanese chocolates are on the top of my Valentine's wishlist.
- The Tokyo chocolatiers at Patisserie Lien 1928 have a history of making some pretty gorgeous sculptural pieces. Google the shop's name and you'll find ample evidence of their chocolate boxes of Christmas cake and bon bons, chocolate paper cranes, and much more. For Valentine's Day 2020, however, they're making some unique new creations with distinct Japanese flair.
While the chocolate is all totally fabulous in terms of appearance, the Japanese influence doesn't just stop there. The box above, for example (called "Kyo Miyako" or 京・みやこ, and clearly inspired by the ancient capital of Kyoto) comes as a set of five little bonbons in unique shapes and flavors. Mikan orange + yogurt, sake + black soybean, perilla leaf, apricot + praline, and matcha + sesame. If that list doesn't sound at least intriguing to you, you're eating way more interesting food than I am.
- These little truffles come in equally wild flavors, like cherry blossom pistachio and apricot black tea, but design-wise they've gone in a different direction. Which design do you prefer - the sculptural elegance of the Kyo Miyako chocolates, made to look like traditional Japanese wagashi sweets, or the simple patterning of these ones?
- Both the square chocolates above and these paper-wrapped bars come in a lovely patterned box decorated with a floral motif and... made of white chocolate. Back at it again with those chocolate boxes, huh Lien?
- For a more substantial dessert, they're also making a bitter chocolate gateau chocolat. In case you weren't satisfied with the architectural chocolate constructions, this cake is wrapped in a sheet of chocolate, designed as if it were traditional wrapping paper, sealed with a "miyabi" (雅) stamp declaring the cake's elegance. They suggest gifting it to a special someone - clearly someone with sophisticated taste in sweets.
- While the Japanese motif of these chocolates makes for beautiful and totally delicious-sounding chocolates, they might just be out of my budget, ranging from 2,200 yen for the box of five little chocolates to 4,400 yen for the bigger creations. If you want to go for it and pick some up yourself while you're in Japan, though, you can head to their shop inside the Hotel Gajoen Tokyo, or take a look at their webshop here. Please do let me know how they are! They're already a feast for the eyes, and I'd really like them to be a feast for the stomach as well.
Patisserie Lien 1928 (PATISSERIE「栞杏1928」)
1-8-1 Shimomeguro, Meguro City, Tokyo
Photos, product details sourced from Fashion Press.
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Between collaboration items and special-edition limited-time-only goods, Japan has some pretty interesting products, and if you're anything like me... well, you can't help but be interested!
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