Food & Drink | DESSERT WATCH

With Le Chocolat, Alain Ducasse expands into the Japanese dessert market

by Patrick St. Michel

Contributing Writer

The latest addition to Alain Ducasse’s food empire also happens to be a first. Le Chocolat Alain Ducasse opens up in Nihonbashi on March 26 (Mon.), and marks the first outpost of the French-born chef’s chocolate operation outside his home country.

Besides selling Le Chocolat’s signature bonbons and chocolate tablets — available in a variety of flavors, the beans roasted and shipped from Paris — the Nihonbashi store offers a “salon” space allowing visitors to watch as the store’s inventory is made. It’s also an area where customers can sit down and enjoy chocolate, including a variety of limited-edition, Japan-only creations.

Among Le Chocolat’s speciliaties is the Barre Croquante (¥1,500), which presents a nice mix of sweet and bitter and ends up being light enough to not leave one feeling completely stuffed.

Same goes for the mille-feuille (¥1,700). It’s promoted as a version of the French pastry that you cut from the top rather than from the side, but either way you slice it, expect an airy and crispy texture rounded out by a subtle sweetness.

With treats worthy of a slow eat, Le Chocolat is less of a chocolate store and more of a destination to take a break in the afternoon or after work.