The “Chocolate Research Facility” may sound a bit too academic to be enjoyable… until you realize that you are the one doing the “research.”
The CRF is located in Singapore, which may be home to more foodies per capita than any other country on the planet. That makes it the perfect spot for a specialty shop that carries 100 flavors of chocolate treats.
Just like at ice cream king Baskin Robbins, some of the flavors — such as Cognac (for the adventurous) and strawberry yogurt (for the kids) — are on the menu year-round, while others appear only seasonally.
This summer, for instance, one of the specials is honey melon with cassia. Another is cardamom with almond.
The combination boutique and cafe is designed much like a laboratory. It’s so unusual that it acts like a magnet to passersby.
The pre-boxed chocolates also are hard to resist, due in no small part to their packaging. The boxes that house the CRF’s exotic series have animal skin graphics; those holding the alcoholic flavors have a neon lights design.
“We wanted to give the chocolates a half-serious, half-crazy personality,” says box designer Christopher Lee.
A modest assessment for a man who has helped elevate candy to an art form.