Tuesday, 11 February 2014

JEAN-PAUL HÉVIN Tea Salon

So I went on my very first blogger blind date the other week! 

I met up with the lovely blogger Kim behind 'The Wander Years' from Chicago. She works in freelance film and photography (yeah, I know, how cool is her job..?!) and has just spent a year in Paris. She said she'd wear a flower in her hair and I said I would be holding a book. Haha. Just joking, there's none of that these days with the Internet. Blind dates (of all types) are never really blind if you have any opportunity to do some stalking light research beforehand.  

We met up at the Jean-Paul Hévin tea salon in the 1st arrondissement because I knew that there would always be room upstairs for a long chat (good thing we did because our blind date went very well and three hours later we were still chatting away!). 

The staff are lovely and don't rush you out the door. I always try and snag a window seat because I love sipping a hot chocolate at my own pace while gazing out the window, people watching on rue St Honoré from above. 



This year, award winning Jean-Paul Hévin celebrates 25 years in the business, carving out his name out to be one of France's leading chocolatiers.


JPH is known for his chocolates...

Think both classic and experimental cheese fillings. 


His chocolate creations..


His macarons..


His desserts... (the majority involving chocolate)



And, his hot chocolates...

Thirteen different types of hot chocolates were on offer ranging from the classic "Mélange" to the "grands crus" ie - "great growths" (think grand cru champagne) to the experimental combinations with oyster, ginger, green tea etc.  


Kim's classic hot chocolate
Kim ordered the classic hot chocolate and I finally plucked up the courage to order the chocolat chaud aux huitres, ie the oyster hot chocolate. Every other time I had been to JPH, I was tempted to try out this weird combination but always proceeded to chicken out, opting for one of the safer variations. 

This time, allez hop! I ordered it before I even had time to hesitate and even the waitress was surprised as she reconfirmed my order. 

Uh oh, that's not a good sign I thought to myself at that point in time..


I also chose 3 macarons in case I didn't like the oyster hot chocolate: crème brûlée, chocolat figue and mangue coriandre. My favourite hands down was the last one, mango and coriander. Things can get a bit too chocolaty chez JPH at times, so the fresh mango flavour was perfect to balance out your palate. 


My oyster hot chocolate..
So, what was the verdict? 

Well firstly, to give you some background, JPH is known for his respect for the purity of his chocolate. He oversees the entire process, visiting plantations in order to source organic, ethically produced cocoa beans. His hot chocolate philosophy works on the basis of a purer taste, less fat, less sugar, more cocoa. JPH's classic 'mélange' hot chocolate to me was smooth yet light, not too dense and not too sweet. Not like the thick decadent Angelina hot chocolate. For those who enjoy things in moderation, this hot chocolate would be perfect.

To accompany his daring oyster flavour combination, this degree of consistency and sweetness was well suited. At first when the hot chocolate touches your lips, you taste it and think: "wow that was very discreet, I can't even taste the oyster!". Pause for 15 seconds then BANG - the salty, seafood taste announces its shock entrance and your tastebuds are momentarily stunned. Confused, you reach for another sip to work out what is going on. 

I'm big on trying weird foods and flavour combinations (as one of my friends would tell me: "trust you to find the weirdest thing on the menu to order!") and I'm glad I tried the oyster hot chocolate. It works well with the not so sweet JPH hot chocolate, however I wouldn't say I'd be in a rush to try it again.

In any case, there are too many other flavours to try chez JPH anyway. Why have something twice when you can have something else different..?

JEAN-PAUL HÉVIN Tea Salon
231 rue St Honoré
75001
Métro Concorde or Tuilleries



13 comments:

  1. Great topic for a blog post, Nhan! Love to share the weird oyster hot chocolate with our family next time visiting Paris=)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! You must do, even if everyone just takes a sip from one. JPH is known for his other daring combinations like caviar, pepper, banana/chilli for the "well, why not..?" customers.

      Delete
  2. The pictures you took were so professional and well laid out ! You can be a great photographer, Nhan!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh! Thank you so much, it helps when I have beautiful things to take photos of haha..!

      Delete
  3. Nice description of the oyster(!!) hot chocolate. I can almost taste it :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha, thank you! It really does sneakily take you by surprise. Before you know it, it's taken over your taste buds and POW! ... then it's gone.

      Delete
  4. It certainly was a great date! ;) Merci encore for the suggestion to meet here.
    Interested in trying out some of the weirder flavors next time... :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Come back! I have more places on my list to visit..!

      Delete
  5. Trust you to find the weirdest thing on the menu - did you have a "I'm going to bring mum and dad here" moment as well??
    As always, your post made me feel as if I was there with you xxx P

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. YES! How did you know that my first thought would be "I'm so going to bring Mum and Dad here"..!? X

      Delete
  6. YES! How did you know that my first thought would be "I'm so going to bring Mum and Dad here"..!? X

    ReplyDelete
  7. So glad you tried the one I was most tempted by....I may still order it because like you, I like experiencing "strange" foods:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. AH! It's fantastic to know there's someone else tempted by strange foods like me, you should definitely order it, even if it's just for the sake of ordering something as weird as an oyster hot chocolate :)

      Delete