Expand your mind and be tempted by the delicate world of chocolate at the first ever boutique café in the Philippines, Maitre Chocolatier, which had the grand opening of its Ayala Center Cebu branch on November 22, 2010. It's a great place for all kinds of people who want to eat fabulous food, whether they happen to be chocoholics or not. When you say chocolate, you can immediately think of the mesmerizing quality of this substance.
The café's name comes from the French word maître. It literally means master and is also found in the phrase maître d'hôtel, which is what the head of the dining-room staff is called in some fancy restaurants. The word chocolatier is of course a word for one who makes or sells chocolate. Because of this word, people tend to think that Maitre Chocolatier is just a place for dessert. Fortunately, the café actually serves not just dessert, snacks and chocolate drinks but also appetizers, soups, salads, entrées, and even cocktails. All these are made with European chocolate and other imported ingredients.
The creative dishes served at the café are original creations of its chefs. You can't have them anyplace else, only at Maitre Chocolatier, which is truly a perfect place to indulge your chocolate fetish. The chocolate-infused creations that we at Everything Cebu were fortunate enough to experience during our visit are the following:
- Pumpkin Soup - pureed pumpkin complemented by creamy Villar Blanc chocolate
- Cream of Mushroom Soup - a simple but rich mushroom soup made more special with creamy Lindt white chocolate
- Garden Fresh Salad - a colorful mix of lettuce, tomatoes, blue cheese, and parmesan-crusted chicken tossed with vinaigrette that has white chocolate and orange
- King's Vineyard Salad - a fresh green salad with cucumber, black olives, grilled chicken, and a balsamic salad dressing with Lindt Excellence Dark Intense Orange in it
- Grilled Chicken Sandwich with Spicy Dark Chocolate - a light sandwich with tender grilled chicken, lettuce, cucumber, and onion balanced with some piquant Lindt Excellence Dark Chili
- Roast Beef Panini - strips of beef (coated with Lindt Excellence 70% Dark Chocolate) combined with carrots, zucchini, mozzarella, and white chocolate dressing and placed between slices of crisp Italian herbed bread
- Stir-fry Beef in Dark Chocolate - tender sirloin strips, bell pepper and mushroom coated with Frey Classic Noir chocolate, cooked in Worcestershire sauce and served over rice
- Death by Chocolate Martini - a mix of vanilla vodka and dark chocolate flame with a robust shot of Bacardi 151-proof rum
- Mystique Meadow - a crème de menthe cocktail with Frey White Chocolate
- Sweet Revenge Lindt Molten Lava Cake - a molten lava cake made with Lindt Excellence 70% Dark Chocolate and filled with a wickedly spicy yet sweet chocolate lava and served with vanilla ice cream
- Golden Euphoria Ferrero Hazelnut Crunch Cake - a tempting chocolate-hazelnut mousse on a velvety chocolate sponge cake topped with a Ferrero Rocher hazelnut confection
We were also privileged to taste-test a new kind of cookie that Maitre Chocolatier in Ayala Center Cebu may soon have as a part of its menu. Although we weren't able to try Maitre Chocolatier's pasta or pizza, these are two more kinds of chocolate-infused food you can find at this place.
You could try snacking on omelets, pancakes, crepes, French toast, waffles, scones, churros, or even nachos that all have a magical touch of chocolate. Vegetarians might like to try some adventurously sweet-and-salty slices of fried eggplant served with a dark chocolate sauce for dipping or the wholesome White Chocolate Vegetable Pizza, which has zucchini, tomato, onions, mozzarella and Villar Blanc on a croquante crust. The café makes chocolate for breakfast, lunch and dinner a definite possibility, if you are that devoted to eating chocolate.
You can check out the rest of the boutique café's menu on the Web site http://www.m-chocolatier.com/ though you may have to check with your local branch for a particular product's availability. Maitre Chocolatier also has a Facebook page.
This chic little spot with gourmet dishes and desserts is also a place where you can avail of European chocolates, gift baskets, chocolate bouquets, and the café's own home-baked goods. With its posh interiors, Maitre Chocolatier Boutique Café could easily be a romantic setting for a date with your special someone.
Maitre Chocolatier's first shop was in Makati, Manila, and it has a Davao branch too. The Cebu branch is located in Level 1 of The Terraces, Ayala Center Cebu (near Healthy Options). The place is open from Monday to Sunday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. You may call the shop at telephone numbers (032)238-7116 and (0922)885-4106 or send an e-mail to [email protected].