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Laurent Bernard Chocolatier – Getting a True Appreciation of Chocolate from Chef Laurent

Lounging at Laurent Bernard Chocolatier Café at Robertson Quay is perhaps one of the best ways to spend a lazy Saturday afternoon. Step into the café and be greeted by the cool mint-leaf green and brown colours that elegantly define Laurent Bernard.

Laurent Bernard Chocolatier is a homegrown Singapore brand, which was established after Chef Laurent spent several years in Singapore as a hotel pastry chef. Reflecting on the chocolate landscape in Asia, Chef Laurent says that the market for chocolate is maturing as consumers have a more discerning palate and are willing to go in search for good quality chocolate. In fact, Singapore is becoming something of a hub for chocolate given the growing variety of chocolate brands found here.

The range of chocolate desserts and the thought put into Chef Laurent’s creations is testament to his commitment to raise the standard of chocolate appreciation in Singapore. It is no surprise then that Laurent Bernard Chocolatier was accorded “Singapore Tatler’s The Best of Singapore 2011” Award for Best Chocolates last year.

Of note is Laurent Bernard Chocolatier’s impressive range of single-origin bean hot chocolate drinks. Just like wine, cocoa beans have different flavours depending on the regions they grow in. So it is through his hot chocolate collection that Chef Laurent intends to bring his customers through a journey of experiencing the different flavours of cocoa bean. If you enjoy fine and subtle floral flavours with a tea-like fragrance, try the Gayas Equador hot chocolate, which is made from Equadorian beans. For something with a little spiciness, the Baiano Brazil hot chocolate is worth a shot, given its strong woody notes with hints of liquorice and ginger. Laurent Bernard’s range of hot chocolate is approximately $9 a cup.

While Laurent Bernard is popular for its classic French Chocolate Tart (a rich dark chocolate ganache over a biscuit shell), Laurent Bernard soufflés should definitely be on your list of things to try here. Whisked to perfection, the Guanaja Chocolate Soufflé juxtaposes a light and fluffy texture with a deeply intense cocoa flavour. We couldn’t ask for a better classic pairing of chocolate soufflé served with a raspberry sherbet. Another specialty dessert that is reserved for chocolate aficionados is Laurent Bernard’s Pure chocolate cake made from Chuao beans, which is a highly sought after cocoa bean variety from Venezuela because of its limited supply. Soufflés range from S$14 – S$18, while slices of cake are around S$8 – S$12.

Be sure to stop by Laurent Bernard Chocolatier’s praline room and be welcomed by an inviting whiff of cocoa upon entering. It is well worth the visit to pick out a box of pralines, as Laurent Bernard Chocolatier has a range of pralines with oriental flavours such as Yuzu, Jasmine and Shanghai (a mix of earl grey and Bergamot orange flavours). A box of 6 pralines is approximately S$23.