Upon entering Mavi Artisan Chocolates and Gourmet Desserts in Xintiandi, I immediately felt like a kid in a candy shop. The decor was so warm and inviting and yes, I saw chocolates everywhere! You all know by now that Ellen and I have a huge sweet tooth. Mavi was a lovely little space where I could totally see us enjoying afternoon tea. I think they read my mind, because I was instantly offered a cup of green tea by Shabana, one of the co-founders. While chatting with her, I learned that she used to be a lawyer back in England. One more thing to bond over in addition to our love for dessert!
The first thing I always like to try is a patisserie’s trademark dessert, their pride and joy if you will. Here at Mavi, it was the Signature Crown Cake, a rich chocolate mousse cake with a dulce leche Valrhona chocolate center on an almond financier base, covered in red chocolate glaze and topped with a playful chocolate crown design. The verdict? Well, it tasted just as majestic as it sounds. As a lover of marzipan and red velvet, my favorite parts were the dense almond cake base and the amazing red glazing. Shabana called out the pastry chef himself, Sam, who told me that the glaze was his own special mixture that contained chocolate, as opposed to just water and gelatin. No wonder it tasted so decadent!
Shabana must have caught me eyeing their case of chocolates, because she treated me to a “Lady of Night” Jasmine Tea truffle. Besides having an awesome name, this piece of chocolate tasted so buttery yet so refreshing at the same time. So fresh and so clean, clean… Um, never knew I’d be singing that song about a truffle. Apparently they grind tea leaves into the chocolate; they pride themselves on using whole ingredients as opposed to just flavorings. Mavi is also known for producing high-grade luxury chocolate, with ingredients imported from France. In the chocolate display, I noticed some “Knock Out” Tequila truffles and “Island Delight” Coconut truffles that were dressed up for Christmas. Gotta love alcohol AND the taste of holiday spirit in my sweets!
My sweet tooth was having a field day, because next I had a raspberry chocolate macaron. That’s because Sam emerged and told me this was no average macaron. I’ve probably ingested thousands of them by now (Thanks, Miette Patisserie and Bottegga Louie), so I was game. Apparently, Sam makes Mavi’s macarons in the classic French style but with a little surprise in the middle. I recommend you try it yourself to find out! He also never puts the macarons out in the display case as to ensure quality; they’re made fresh and kept in a strict temperature-regulated device so I had to stare longingly at my plate for a few minutes before eating it at the perfect temperature. So much care into one little macaron!
I was so full, I had to take my chocolate chip cookie and lollichoc to go. Their peanut chocolate chip cookie was very crunchy and went well with coffee the next day. The lollichoc is a full-chocolate lollipop with an impressive rice paper design made by an artist in India. Seriously too cute not to take home. The design I selected was a panda, since this collection was made for “Children’s Day.” And at that moment, I might as well have been the greedy little kid eating everything in the candy shop.
I could tell everything at Mavi was made with a lot of heart, especially since they are open to customization! Even as I was there, a customer was describing exactly how she wanted her Hello Kitty cake to be made. I may just have to ask Mavi to make a special black sesame dessert for us!
Mavi / Zizhong Road, Shanghai