lady luck shone on us when we went to angelina’s for some mid-afternoon soiree with hot chocolate and pastries in tow. generally not a good idea if you have had a relatively heavy lunch because the hot chocolate (the main signature) here fills you up quite sufficiently. in fact, the preferred way to plan your meal will be to scrimp, share a crepe or grab a fruit salad for lunch and then head over to angelina’s for some indulgence.
anyways, lady luck was good, because when we approached angelina’s, we saw a queue that stretched all the way outside the restaurant into the drizzly parisien cold. no fun. nevertheless i joined the queue gamely, contemplating whether to just da-bao some pastries to satisfy the sweeth tooth craving. turns out, the maitre’d bustled out and asked for ‘quatre’ (four in french).. and to my amazement, no one before us was in a group of four.. so in the restaurant we went.
angelina’s is interesting. it’s definitely something for the tourist — because you see happy campers like us and other english speaker patrons going all trigger happy on the desserts with out cameras, but then you also see a significant parisien crowd coming here just for an afternoon hot chocolate or some french salad fare. its like the open secret of france. or perhaps the snooty french would beg to disagree. but anyways, its sited very conveniently opposite the jardin des tuileries along rue di rivoli (i.e. closeby to the louvre).
the interior reeks of old world indulgence and french exorbitance — beautifully furnished armchairs and tables bathed in a yellow hue thanks to the chandeliers, along with carpeted floors, paneled walls and victorian-style paintings complete the illusion. my only complaint is that this place could dial down a little on the heater — considering that most patrons here come for the hot chocolate which is unimaginably heaty, the slightly stuffy atmosphere of the place can be quite discomforting at times. or maybe it’s just the hot chocolate’s heatiness. =)
ok let’s get to the food: as you can see from the picture above, the hot chocolate comes in a jug (big jug above for two people), as well as cream and cold water (to temper the heatiness of the chocolate if one can’t take it). its called le chocolat a liancienne dit “l’africain” on the menu and costs 7.2 euro (c’mon.. you din’t expect this to be cheap did you?). mind you, this hot chocolate is the very definition of “gao-gao” — thick, creamy and indulgent in every respect, yet surprisingly not overly sweet nor overly jelak. in fact, besides the heatiness, this is a very pleasant experience all the way through completion! its not the dark chocolate kind of bitter (which i don’t like) but neither does it taste some cheapo melted cadbury milk chocolate. in essence, it just feels like experience, luxuriant, melted chocolate goodness.
we couldn’t resist getting the desserts which are both visually and gastronomically beautiful. a fair warning though, having desserts to go with the hot chocolate is really quite filling – you might seriously not feel like eating dinner after such a pigging out. but c’mon.. it’s really quite irresistible.
wah seh.. look at all those ingredients.. it already sounds so amazing. and to be honest, i found the dark chocolate and raspberry ganache combination to be irresistibly sexy and delicious with hints of dark raspberry sweetness amongst the semi-bitterness of the dark chocolate. the interior hid the bourbon vanilla and creme brulee which balanced out the semi-bitterness at the top, with the well-baked crust completing the trifecta of yumminess.
my colleagues tried other desserts that looked equally tempting. and err i was a little paiseh to ask to try.. say my boss’(!) dessert so yah.. just see ok?
mont blanc – angelina’s signature dessert – meringue, sweet whipped cream and chestnut puree vermicelle. methinks this is a really ugly dessert that looks like some shriveled brain but ah well, i suppose the taste is good. =)
olympe – candied violet-incrusted macaroon biscuit, strawberry-raspberry jelly, light violet mousse, fresh raspberries – an interesting thing about this dish is that my boss actually did ask me whether the gold foil could be eaten.. and i was really clueless about it so we asked the waitress. turns out it can be eaten.. but ehh i dont know what exactly it is made of. but my boss was duly impressed – ‘even the gold can be eaten‘
all in all, again another great dessert place thats worth a visit for the quintessential french confectionary experience. but watch the tummy and the throat. =)
angelina’s | 26 Rue de Rivoli | desserts, hot chocolate