Pierre Marcolini

I’d never heard of Pierre Marcolini before last week… but all this changed when I was researching the food (and chocolates) of Belgium. I came across and article which said that he was one of best chocolatiers in the world, which obviously meant I immediately put it on my “to eat” list. 😀 According to his website, his main store was in Place du Sablon… so I marked it on my map, as I already knew that I had to try his chocolates.

Imagine my delight when I went to Place du Sablon, and not only saw the Pierre Marcolini store, but also a Godiva store (one of the few stores which sold Chocolixir – their chocolate drink), and a Nehaus store. Pure bliss for a chocolate lover such as myself! Needless to say, I consumed a LOT of chocolate in the 3 days I spent in Brussels and Bruges, and this does not include the chocolates I brought back to London! (Photos to come in a later post)

Pierre Marcolini not only makes chocolates, but also a whole range of other items such as macarons, biscuits and mini-gateauxs (I doubt this is the right term to describe them). Unfortunately, photos are not allowed in his stores, so all I have are photos of the window displays…

Lighter-than-air marshmallows (on the R), and fruit cubes (on the L). I did not try the fruit cubes, but the marshmallows were delightfully light – I tried the pistachio flavoured one and it was nutty with a hint of lemon. Unfortunately they are only sold in boxes of 35, which was dissapointing as I would have bought a smaller box had it been available.

A larger version of one of his mini-gateaux cakes

The mini-gateaux cakes I bought 😀

This was my favourite of the three – a chocolate based gateaux covered in a raspberry infused ganache. I’m afraid I can’t describe this in any more detail, as this was all the information I got from the man at the store… All I can say is that it was delicious, and the colour of this does make it rather attractive!

Java – a coffee based gateaux, with a dark and milk chocolate sabayon beneath all that orangey-ness. 😛 If I remember correctly, there was also a thin layer of biscuit (feuilletine perhaps?) in it which added a good contrast of textures. And again, this was very good.

Envol – dark chocolate sabayon and a layer of orange flavoured creme brulee, topped with a dark chocolate ganache. This was also good, but I found it slightly less interesting compared to the other two. Needless to say, I still enjoyed it!


I also tried his macarons as they looked too good to resist. He makes them in 5 flavours – pistachio (green), coffee (brown), vanilla (white), chocolate (red) and caramel (yellow). Having tried Pierre Herme and Laduree macarons in the past, I must say that Pierre Marcolini’s macarons are pretty good, especially the pistachio and chocolate flavoured ones. Texture wise, I found his macarons slightly on the soft side, and I must say I prefer the texture of Pierre Herme’s as there is slightly more ‘crunch’ when you bite into them. Pierre Herme also has a better range of macaron flavours.

Didn’t stop us from getting more macarons the next day though…

It took self control to stop eating the half eaten macaron so I could photograph it!

I also bought a tasting box of Marcolini chocolates, which I shall blog about in a future post as I’ve already gone slightly overboard with the photos. To those who have tasted his creations, I would be interested to know what you think of them. 🙂

Pierre Marcolini
Rue des Minimes, 1
Place du Grand Sablon
1000 Bruxelles

Minamoto Kitchoan, London

I first discovered this lovely little Japanese store a year ago, and have been in love with the store ever since. The store describes itself as a Japanese confectionery store which sells “wagashi” – which are traditional confectioneries served during tea ceremonies. Wikipedia has more information on wagashi here, if you’re interested.

One of the reasons I am fascinated by wagashi is the fact that so much thought and effort is put into each piece, from the actual food item down to its packaging. I have a weakness for anything that is packaged beautifully, which is not always a good thing when you’re in such a store! 😛

When you first walk into this store, you will realise almost instantly that each type of wagashi is represented by a “model” wagashi, once again beautifully presented. It’s a nice touch as you get a rough idea of what to expect inside the individual packages.

Kuzukiri – Japanese jelly made using high quality arrowroot. 2 flavours: Brown sugar (comes with brown sugar syrup), and green tea (with green tea syrup). The store says that the jelly should be mixed with the syrup, and enjoyed cold.

Oribenishiki – chesnuts and sweet red bean paste wrapped in a Japanese crepe

Sherbet – 3 flavours: mascat, white peach and grape. It can be enjoyed in two ways – either pop it into the fridge to enjoy a cold jelly, or into the freezer to enjoy a sherbet.

Sakuranbo – Japanese cherry covered with lightly sweetened jelly, packaged in spring colours. (I’ve tried this in the past and it’s delightfully light, with just the right amount of fruitiness)

Mochi – black sesame flavour, with red bean filling

Kasutera – green tea flavour (also available in chocolate and vanilla)

The kasutera pictured above is one of my favourite cakes. It’s essentially a Japanese sponge cake made from sweet rice. The texture of this cake is dreamy, as it is very light and airy… which means that one can easily consume quite a few slices of the cake in one sitting. 😀

However, all nice things come at a price. The wagashi sold here range from approximately £2-£5 per item (they can also be bought in box sets), whilst a “log” of  kasutera (~15 thin slices) costs £14. Some of the other cakes cost up to £25. Having said that, the wagashi is definitely worth a try, and I cannot recommend it highly enough.

Minamoto Kitchoan (London Branch)
44 Piccadilly, London W1J ODS
Tel:  44 (207) 437-3135

Opening hours: Sun-Fri 10am-7pm, Sat 10am-8pm

Note: There are also branches in Tokyo, Taipei, Singapore, Hong Kong, Bangkok, New York and San Jose.