Friday, February 20, 2009

Kee's Chocolates

Kee's Chocolates
2 locations: SoHo (80 Thompson Street)
& Midtown (452 Fifth Avenue inside HSBC)

I ruined Kris' Valentine's Day surprise again this year when I guessed that he was getting me a sampling of Kee's chocolates. Good thing I figured it out in time to change the order to the flavors that I wanted.

Creme Brulee:
The flavor that Kee is most famous for. Been waiting forever to try because they're always sold out. Delicately flavored custard slowly oozed out of its dark chocolate shell into my happy little mouth. Perfect creme, but where was the brulee?

Black Sesame truffle:
Toasty, nutty, nice contrast of textures between the sesame seed shell and the melt-in-your-mouth dark chocolate center, one of my absolute favorites

Almond truffle:
Creamy white chocolate center rolled in perfectly toasted almonds, but a tad too sweet for me.

Blood Orange truffle:
Kris' favorite for the texture because he prefers a drier truffle center (vs. a gooey creamy center). Grand Marnier added a pleasant warmth, but I couldn't really tell that the flavor was supposed to be
blood orange compared to say, a regular navel orange.

Green Tea truffle:
White chocolate center infused with
matcha green tea was meltingly smooth and delicious. Amazing flavor reminiscent of authentic green tea ice cream.

Smoked Salt:
Dark chocolate was nice and bitter, but I barely tasted any salt. The smokiness was very subtle, I probably would not have detected it without knowing the name of the flavor.

Kaffir Lime:
The flavor comes from the
kaffir lime leaf, and not the actual fruit. Aromatic like a Thai green curry, but less citrusy than I expected, fresh with a hint of lemongrass. Very interesting indeed.

Kris also picked up the last two macaroons left in the case that day, raspberry and
soursap. These macaroons are not the coconut chewy kind I expected, but more like the colorful French variety which incorporates ground almonds. The macaroons were each filled with a delicious layer of chocolate ganache. The cookie part was soft and tasted freshly baked. Flavors were very subtle; Raspberry was a natural complement to the dark chocolate filling, but we found the soursap most interesting, the mild tropical flavor emerged only as a pleasant aftertaste. Very clever.

Cost: Chocolates are $2.35 each, macaroons $2.45 each, inclusive of tax.

The Verdict:
Definitely a splurge, but worth it to try unique flavors from one of NYC's best chocolatiers.

(photo: the tiny Kee's outlet located
in a HSBC bank in Midtown)