Kad Kokoa, one of Thailand’s very first chocolate makers, has opened an eponymous chocolate café that puts the spotlight on bean-to-bar chocolates and indulgent drinks whipped up using locally grown cacao beans. Kad Kakao started when the husband-and-wife team of Paniti and Nuttaya Junhasavasdikul found a piece of land with a few cacao trees during an expedition to northern Thailand and decided to purchase it. This soon became a full-on cacao farm, supplying cacao beans for the duo’s chocolate production. A teal-colored house in narrow Soi Narathiwas Ratchanakarin 17, built from wood taken from this cacao plantation, houses a small factory/kitchen where the Kad Kakao team makes chocolate bars from scratch. The front part of the house holds a shop that sells the single-origin chocolates made using beans from four provinces: Chiang Mai, Chanthaburi, Prachap Kirikhan and Chumpon. There are also limited-selection items infused with ingredients such as Shiraz, Chardonnay and other liquors. (They’re generous with free samples.) The main building houses the café where Kad Kokoa has teamed up with Bluekoff, Thailand’s leading coffee bean producer, to churn out wonderfully crafted chocolate and coffee drinks. Menu stand-outs include drinks made from 70-percent Chantaburi chocolate, such as the creamy and indulgent Vanilla Mousse, and Orange Blossom, a fruity drink that mixes the chocolate with sweet orange blossom water. These chocolate drinks pair nicely with desserts that also in
Three chocolate cafes in Bangkok proving locally-sourced cacao is on the rise
From Chiang Mai to Nakhon Si Thammarat, these are three Bangkok cafes using Thai cocao for their yummy chocolate menu
Sarath Nimlamai, Thailand's chief of chocolate, has opened a new café that pays tribute to the emerging Thailand-grown cacao. Prior to opening his hole-in-the wall café, the winner of Iron Chef Thailand 2015 and the former pastry chef at Pony Dining restaurant in Sydney, was delivering homemade chocolates from his home office Chocolate House, as well as conducting workshops and trainings for restaurants and choco enthusiasts. At his first retail outpost, Sarath churns out chocolate bonbons with fillings that pair local flavors with international influences. Particularly exotic is the confection filled with yuzu-ginger, pineapple, Malibu coconut liqueur, strawberries and figs—it’s like a cocktail encased in a chocolate shell (B350/6 pieces). Decadent pastries like Triple Chocolate (B190), which combines layers of dark, milk and white chocolate all in one bite, will please chocolate lovers thrice over. Hot on Instagram right now is the single-origin hot chocolate (B175) served in a pod made with cacao from Prachuap Kirikan. Pour hot chocolate into the cacao pod and a surprise (actually a marshmallow hidden within the chocolate casing) will pop right out. Sarath’s next project involves bean-to-bar chocolates in exotic flavors, and inspired by some of Bangkok’s most popular landmarks.