As a huge chocolate addict, I can't describe how excited I was when I heard that ROYCE' opened its sixth USA retail store in Chicago at the end of last month. I finally got to go last weekend. FYI: the shop is located in the Nordstrom on Michigan Avenue; I had a hard time finding it.
The shop itself is not that big, but it has a wide variety of products. I looked over the shopping catalog, and the store has almost everything. The way that the products are positioned makes the store look like a small chocolate museum.
When you go to ROYCE', ask for free samples and try as many flavors as you can. There are some combinations that go beyond your imagination like the dark chocolate mixed with Hennessy that I tried.
Here's what I'd recommend.
The No. 1 Seller: Nama Chocolate
So what exactly is Nama Chocolate? I was just as confused as you are when I first heard of this name. In short, what distinguishes it from the normal kind of chocolate is that it doubles the amount of ganache and cream used, which gives the chocolate extra creaminess. I highly recommend you read the official explanation of Nama on ROYCE' website.
The texture of the chocolate has a lot to do with its ingredients, as I mentioned earlier. The first bite gave me an almost fudge-like texture, and it became very silky as soon as it started melting in my mouth. The velvety smoothness is different from the silkiness of truffles and chocolate bars due to the additional ganache.
My personal favorite remains the classic milk chocolate, but if you're a huge matcha or dark chocolate fan, the Nama is a 10/10 choice.
The Perfect Combination of Sweet and Salty: Chocolate-Covered Potato Chips
If you're an adventurous foodie, try this out. Yes, I found the concept of chocolate-covered potato chips strange as well, but it's surprisingly normal.
I tried the Mild Bitter flavor. The chocolate coating is, of course, high quality. I didn't really taste the potato chip because the texture is more like thick fried potato crackers, so you shouldn't be worried about a conflict between the sweet and savory flavors.
It's a decent and creative product, though I wasn't a huge fan upon first try. However, I did get addicted after I bought one box and finished it in one setting. If you like trying out something new and weird, definitely go for it.
For Green Tea Lovers
You're lucky if you love green tea because ROYCE' has a section dedicated solely to green tea-flavored products. Other than Green Tea Nama, you can also find absolutely great Green Tea Chocolate Covered Almonds, Green Tea Praline Truffles, Green Tea Chocolate Wafers and so on. For matcha addicts, ROYCE' is your home for chocolate.
Get the chocolate bars, chocolate wafers, chocolate-covered popcorn, chocolate- and coffee-coated marshmallows, etc. There are so many kinds that I had such a hard time picking what I wanted to take back home. However, considering the prices, I personally do not recommend indulging too much each time.
For all chocoholics, next time you want to go decadent, forget about Hershey kisses or Godiva's chocolate-covered strawberries for a while; I can promise you that you're going to fall in love.