Who here loves chocolate? Well, duh. That was an easy one.
But if you love chocolate, then you will really love Vientiane's first (and only) chocolate shop! How do we not have one of these already? Evidently we've been sidetracked by all the French pastries and croissants.
Don't worry, Parfums Chocolat has a few pastries up their sleeves too (like this lovely eclair I just had to take home), in their shop and cafe in Ban Dongpalane.
Parfums Chocolats is the brainchild of owners Vincent and Christine, who want to share their passion for quality chocolate, made in the traditional French style.
They've brought onboard French chef Sebastien, from Paris, who arrived in Vientiane 8 months ago. Alongside Sebastien is his partner, Ambre, who is now running front of house at the shop.
The shop itself is unfortunately rather dark, which is perhaps only a problem if you want to take photos! But it would be great to knock out a wall and let in some natural light to really "see" the amazing products on offer.
The chocolate itself isn't made in Laos, rather they buy it in by the kilo from France, Belgium and South America. It looks something like this...
Then the chocolate making process gets underway. Parfums Chocolats only use natural cocoa butter, instead of the cheaper palm oil, which is often used by commercial chocolate makers.
Their premium chocolates are little squares of chocolate ganache (made with chocolate and cream) with different flavours - passionfruit, coffee, sea salt, vanilla, etc. You can buy them individually or in a box. They are just delicious.
There are also plain dark, milk and white chocolate bars, and bars sprinkled with chopped fruit and nuts. You can buy them separately or in packs. (You know what I bought!).
Other treats include dark chocolate mendiants - little discs of chocolate dotted with Sacha Inchi (the "Inca peanut" and possible superfood). There's also hot chocolate made with real chocolate (of course), macarons, and gelato.
They also sell Maï Savanh Lao Sacha Inchi butter, which is Fair Trade, natural, vegan, organic and made in Laos!
And of course, what French shop would be complete without some heavenly pastries?
Above the shop is a small dining space to relax with your pastry and hot chocolate, or perhaps a more traditional coffee. It's a nice and inviting space despite the lack of natural light with bright cushions, decor and a big mirror.
Parfums Chocolats is still young on the Vientiane scene but I hope to see their quality products more widely available soon.
Is your curiosity (and tastebuds) piqued? Check out this short video on Parfums Chocolats created by local French vlogger, Gilbert Sin Barrier.
Parfums Chocolats is in Dongpalane village, down a paved lane that's between Timeline cafe and Nomads cafe. There is street parking. Open 7.30am-6.30pm.