The Kit Kats here are served with a theatrical display of dry ice and biscuit pieces that allow you to blow “smoke” out your nose.
If there’s one way to make a dining experience more exciting, it’s with the billowing gusts of cold air formed by liquid nitrogen, which has the power to instantly freeze everything in its path down to a cool -196 degrees Celsius (-320 degrees Fahrenheit). It’s been used by top Michelin-starred restaurants like Heston Blumenthal’s acclaimed Fat Duck in England, and now Nestlé Japan is using dry ice to bring a whole new sense of texture and excitement to eating chocolate on a hot summer’s day, at the special “Below Freezing Chocolatory” pop-up store in Tokyo.
The Kit Kat Chocolatory Wonderland event is being held on the grounds of the popular T-site in Daikanyama for a limited time, from 5 – 16 August.
When we stopped by in the middle of a hot day, we were expecting a long line of customers outside the door but thankfully we could walk right in, as the open-plan interior inside was spacious enough to accommodate a large number of people.
All the action was centred around a large counter in the middle, where Kit Kats were being made to order for each customer.
To place an order, customers are given a menu with a list of components to choose from: one base chocolate; three toppings; and one of two sauces.
▼ For one of our orders, we decided to go with a bitter chocolate base, along with marshmallow, popcorn, and pretzel toppings, and raspberry sauce.
▼ If you’re stuck for creative inspiration though, there are five suggested varieties to choose from.
After paying at the counter, where all Kit Kats are priced at 324 yen ($3.20) each, customers can watch their creations being made, with staff taking select ingredients from the attractive countertop display.
Each ingredient is placed on top of the single-finger chocolate bars in the distinctive Moleson style, a signature style of Kit Kat topped with dried fruits and nuts that can be bought exclusively at their Chocolatory stores.
Once the toppings have been placed on the chocolates, it’s time to freeze them with liquid nitrogen, which is poured directly on each serving, creating billowing clouds and drama that catches the attention of customers all around the store.
After the freezing process, the chocolates are drizzled in the sauce of your choice and are ready to be eaten.
The effects of the quick freezing method can be seen on the surface of the chocolate, as it takes on a beautiful, icy appearance.
Our other order, a passionfruit chocolate wafer topped with blueberries, macadamia nuts and miniature rose petals, had an equally frozen appearance.
The way the toppings are placed on the Kit Kat makes them perfect for enjoying in small bites. The combination of salty pretzels and popcorn, alongside the sweet, smooth marshmallow pieces, was a great accompaniment to the bitter dark chocolate. The raspberry sauce tasted delightfully fresh and tart, but despite all the flavour-filled extras, the real hero here was the Kit Kat itself. Known for having a crisp texture, the chocolate-covered wafers, which are often snapped in two in logos and ad campaigns, were even crispier when frozen with liquid nitrogen.
Not only were they surprisingly crispy, their rich, deep chocolate flavours permeated every bite. While it wasn’t easy to eat the chocolate without having pieces fall out onto the tray, each mouthful was bursting with fresh flavours. The passionfruit chocolate variety also packed a punch, adding an extra element of fruitiness to the creation, which, along with the sweet mango sauce, made this taste almost like a healthy dessert!
While enjoying the chocolates, the designated eating area behind the counter also has some interesting displays for customers.
There are signboards explaining how a Kit Kat chocolate is created from the humble cocoa bean.
Along with a message from renowned Japanese patissier Yasumasa Takagi, who oversees the country’s Chocolatory stores and is known for creating many of the brand’s most innovative new releases, including the spectacular baked Kit Kat back in 2014.
While you’re in the store, keep an eye out for their beautifully illustrated booklets, which are free for customers.
▼ And don’t forget to enjoy some free chocolate tasting!
▼ From 100 percent chocolate pieces, which have an earthy, savoury flavour…
▼ …Through to samples containing 66 percent cocoa, from countries like Ghana, Dominica and Madagascar…
▼…And then to couverture chocolate, which uses a high percentage of cocoa butter to bring out a beautifully creamy flavour and a shiny, crispy texture.
▼ Before leaving, there’s a retail corner to tempt your tastebuds.
And as one final treat for visitors, staff are ready to guide you to a special photo area, where you can take photos of yourself blowing “smoke” out your nose, as you bite into crunchy pieces of supercooled biscuits served straight out of a tub of liquid nitrogen.
If you’re looking for a place to stay cool this summer, this store will keep you happily entertained with plenty of unique chocolate experiences. It’s only available for a limited time though, so be sure to stop by before 16 August to join in all the fun!
Kit Kat Chocolatory Wonderland/キットカット ショコラトリー ワンダーランド
Addrress: Daikanyama T-SITE Garden Gallery, Tokyo-to, Shibuya-ku, Sarugakucho 16-15
Daikanyama T-SITE Garden Gallery, 東京都渋谷区猿楽町16-15
Hours: 11:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. (5 – 11 August and 14 – 15 August); 12:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. (12 – 13 August); 11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. (16 August)
Photos © RocketNews24
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