Thursday, January 7, 2010

Chocolate: A Degustation

"A day without chocolate is a day without sunshine.
Life without chocolate is like a beach without water."

Copyright The Chocolate Room IndiaMy intimate relationship with chocolate is no secret to anyone who can claim even a nodding acquaintance with me. So it should come as no surprise that I treated the news of a full chocolate menu café like it was the Second Coming, Nirvana by mouth.

In grand style, all the youngsters (yes, I did get counted as that) headed out one fine, hot, sunny afternoon to The Chocolate Room in the Navrangpura section of Ahmedabad city. There was loud talking and louder laughter in the car with the promise of riches to come and pleasures to behold.

Copyright The Chocolate Room IndiaWith pithy advice, such as "If calories are an issue, store your chocolate on top of the fridge. Calories are afraid of heights, and they will jump out of the chocolate to protect themselves," The Chocolate Room styles itself as a hip cultural bastion of the yuppies and upwardly mobile middle class, not to mention, all tourists.

Copyright The Chocolate Room IndiaCopyright The Chocolate Room IndiaThis boutique café's menu is a veritable choco-haven. With entrées such as chocktails (the non-alcoholic versions though, since Gujarat is a dry state), chocolate pizzas, coffee-chocolate drinks handmade by baristas, pastries, fruit-dipped slices of paradise, pancakes, and crepes, you could visit there for breakfast and stay through the dessert course post-dinner.

Copyright The Chocolate Room IndiaTo fulfil the promise of their mission of "Creating a New Chocolate Culture In India," they offer chocolate appreciation evenings. Yes, really. Unfortunately, nothing was scheduled while I was there, but here's what such an evening would entail: As well as finding about the types of chocolate and its history, you can enjoy a demonstration of the Maître Chocolatiers' craft, a chocolate tasting, and shopping discounts. Chocolate tastings are in the form of hot chocolate, fondue, hand-crafted Belgian pieces, and a finale of a slice of cake.

"I have this theory that chocolate slows down the aging process...
It may not be true, but do I dare take the chance?"
—Vikas & Kumar, Founders of The Chocolate Room India

Have you had an ambrosial exprience like this one? If not, this may be one of the top reasons to visit India, the Taj Mahal coming in second.


Amanda McCabe/Amanda Carmack/Laurel McKee said...

I wanna go there! It looks like the perfect restaurant. :) (I think every town should have a chocolate cafe...)

Keira Soleore said...

You'd think this is a case of "Elementary, my dear Watson," isn't it? Perhaps we should start a petition that our civil rights are being violated because we don't have a chocolate cafe in our respective towns.

Anna Campbell said...

Wow, Keira, that looks amazing. Not QUITE up to the Taj Mahal, snort, but close! Love those cute sayings. Sydney has gone mad on chocolate cafes too. There are a couple of Lindt cafes (their hot chocolates are to die for as is the ice-cream!), at least one Guylian one I know of and Max Brenner, the Israeli chocolate mogul (now that's something you don't say every day!) is in a few locations too. All absolutely delicious. When Annie West and I get together down there, we go to at least one and have an absolute wallow!

Keira Soleore said...

Wow, Fo. Looks like Seattle's coffee culture just ain't conducive to a chocolate culture getting a toe hold. Tea drinkers are all ahead of us: Aus, India, Israel. Hmm.

Max Brenner! I'd think I'd died and gone to heaven at that point. He's The God of Chocolate.

(India needs to add a new god to their list of 330 million gods: God of Chocolate.)