Nayuta Chocolatasia @ Isetan The Japan Store, Bukit Bintang
October 21, 2017
By Aiman Azri
With the catchphrase 'For Asians, By Asians,' this new chocolate boutique-cafe relies primarily on cacao beans from Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam, turned into treats that are made in Malaysia under Japanese auspices.
'Nayuta' is Sanskrit, roughly translating to infinity, while 'Chocolatasia' is an amalgamation of Chocolate and Asia. That spells out what Nayuta Chocolatasia hopes to offer - seemingly limitless possibilities of Asian-inflected chocolates, sold starting this week at Kuala Lumpur's ISETAN The Japan Store.
Nayuta's delicacies are developed by confectioner-chef Shunsuke Saegusa, who has devoted his past 14 years to the bean-to-bar craft. The chocolate here is single-origin, largely created with cacao sourced from our country's Koh Cocoa Farm in Pahang (which has produced cacao for over three decades), Bali's Kerta Semaya Samaniya Cooperative, Davao's Plantacion de Sikwate Cacao and Ben Tre's Puratos Grand-place Vietnam.
Choose from 70% bitter chocolate, 60% milk chocolate, and 40% milk+ tablets, offered plain or in flavours like mango, coconut or cashew. Or bonbons in flavours that span tropical fruits like pineapple or passion fruit as well as Japanese flavours like matcha, sakura and yuzu. Plus, other offerings like chocolate financiers, bars and beverages.
Representatives of Isetan Mitsukoshi, which oversees this enterprise, say this concept caters "more toward the Asian palate, with milky chocolates" that convey soft textures, in contrast to European preferences for "bitterness ... and complexity."
The fun is in finding the right kind of chocolate for you - perhaps, say, a Vietnamese varietal, a touch fruity, with a lingering aftertaste that beckons you for another nibble.
Nayuta Chocolatasia's Malaysian outpost is its first in the world; next up, Japan in 2018. Our visit here was at a launching ceremony with media in attendance.
Ground Floor, Isetan The Japan Store, Jalan Sultan Ismail, Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur. Open 11amâ€“9pm.
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