Sunday, October 27, 2013

Royce store @ Palladium, Mumbai

Here's the deal about Royce chocolates in two words - effin overrated!

Back in July 2013 when the store first opened at the Palladium mall in Mumbai, there was so much media hype around it, one thought Royce was THE best brand of chocolate in the world. Article after article gushed about the exotic nature of the products until one wondered if one was really missing out on something extraordinary. I finally found the time to check out the Royce outlet last month.

The Mumbai shop, the 12th outpost of this Hokkaido-based brand, has opened under the aegis of Burgundy Hospitality, a new company founded by entrepreneurs Avani Raheja and Samir Gandhok. Tucked away on the ground level of the main hall, the Royce 'store' is really a large counter. However, it is brightly lit and tastefully decorated.

Almost entirely done in wood with red accents, the store is a warm little place. Product pictures line one wall, and boxes and display cases populate other areas. However, when I visited, there was very little stock and hence the products on display were few.

One of the interesting things that caught my eye on the main counter was this 'Chocolate Education Set'. It had real cocoa bean samples and a variety of pictures on the process of chocolate production in it, but the text was in Japanese. :-/ So yeah, interesting and quite useless.

Coming to products, I was most keen on trying the chocolate-coated potato chips, which is perhaps the most novel product of Royce's range. However, it was out of stock. So I turned my attention to Nama Chocolate - another extremely hyped product.

I did not, could not bring myself to buy a mere box of 195g for an eyewatering INR 995, but I did sample a teeniest bit of the chocolate at the store. And no, I wasn't impressed. The chocolate is subtle and has a pleasant texture, but it wasn't good enough for me to shell out those many bucks. Nope, Royce doesn't quite cut it for me.


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