“A chocolate in the mouth is better than two on a plate.”
Drum roll please… and the winner is… Choco la, located at the PVR Priya Cinema Complex in Vasant Vihar, New Delhi.
Actually, this may be the only place in all of India that serves the kind of hot chocolate I am talking about – single origin hot chocolate made from cacao sourced from different parts of the world. This is not your Nestles Quick, Bournvita, Hershey’s or any other mix-heaping-teaspoons-with-milk-and-stir drinks that you serve to kids. Nor is it like the fancier cocoa powders you get from choclatiers (e.g. Valrhona or Ghirardelli) in Europe or the United States. This is the hot chocolate that makes Paris a food lover’s mecca; not hot cocoa.
The “Tanzania” served at Choco la is just under par with the Chocolat Africain served at Angelina’s in Paris. Just under par because Angelina’s hot chocolate is thicker (and served with a pitcher of water because you need it to chase down the chocolate) than the hot chocolate served at Choco la. These hot chocolates are so thick that you need a spoon to get the last drollops. The “Tanzania” is the most “bitter”, dark hot chocolate of the three served at Choco la, with a cocoa content of 73%. The Tanzania “combines subtle fruitiness with a richly varied assortment of aromas and a remarkably fine hint of vanilla.” The sweetest hot chocolate served is the Papua, “a milk chocolate with a varied palette of lemon, caramel, walnut, rounded off with a hint of Tahitian vanilla”, and the other is the Sao Thome (Indian spelling here), a dark chocolate with a cocoa content of 70%. Choco la’s chocolate is sourced from Barry Callebaut of Belgium.
Choco la also sells regular hot chocolates (Italian, Viennese, Spicy Chocolate, Hazelnut, Agasajo*), handmade truffles and chocolates, as well as ice cream, cakes, baguettes, and other baked goods. Choco la also serves some amazing food: all-day breakfast (amazing eggs benedict – Anupa – this one’s for you), soups, salads, sandwiches, “nibbles”, “small bites” and “bigger bites”, including pastas and a veg burger with potato wedges. (Highly recommend the potato wedges!)
If anyone knows of any other places in India where you can get single origin hot chocolate, please let me know. I’d be only too happy to conduct a taste test.
* A special mention for the Agasajo-style hot chocolate based on a Spanish recipe – dark chocolate with cinnamon, rosewater and saffron.
“Save Earth. It’s the only planet with chocolate.”