Room full of chocolates

November 13, 2016

The freshly opened TCR is a chocoholic’s dream-come-true

Room full of chocolates

What more could a chocolate fanatic want?

As the franchise of the very popular Australian chain -- The Chocolate Room -- opened its doors to Lahorites recently, a declared chocoholic like myself just had to be there.

Located on a corner of the ever busy Hussain Chowk, TCR had me imagining an irresistible menu, even before I entered the place. From shakes and toffees to drinks, I knew I’d be spoilt for choices.

To begin with, I found the staff incredibly sweet. They made sure I was comfortably seated.

I spotted a choco bubbling fountain, oozing out of the dark, velvety chocolate which had me drooling all over it.

Few bakery items including a freshly baked batch of brownies with the greater part of the counter were taken over by the candy/chocolate area. It was indeed a refreshing change from the staple coffee shops, now found in every nook and cranny of the city. For me, The Chocolate Room broke the status quo, with its savoury offerings -- a range of handmade chocolates, chocolate drinks and appetising fondues, crepes, and waffles.

The interior of the place was casual without being extravagant. Burgundy hued sofa seats went famously with the chocolate theme of the café. But the highlight was the mug wall where my eyes feasted on the layouts of the myriad chocolate mugs and beans.

I was told that the Lahore franchise is the first in Pakistan. "TCR is doing great business in India, Oman, Saudia Arabia and China, as we bring its first branch to Lahore," said Shoaib Hanif Chaudhry, the owner of the café.

He claimed that TCR’s handmade Belgium chocolates were the finest in the world. The coffee product is imported from Italy.

For me, The Chocolate Room broke the status quo, with its savoury offerings -- a range of handmade chocolates, chocolate drinks and appetising fondues, crepes, and waffles.

Without wasting any more time, I decided to make my pick from iced chocolate cocktails, frappe, soups, salads, burgers, seafood, pasta, desserts, crêpes, fondues, hot chocolates and a delightful range of coolers, shakes and mocktails.

For an ordinary soul, this might get too chocolaty, but I went for the rich, creamy thick milk chocolate made from French cocoa, an ideal hot drink for the chilly winters we are expecting this season.

Rubia 1

Hot chocolate comes in (my, my!) 24-odd flavours. I tried the hazelnut one which was covered in nougat caramel and had a creamy texture that just exploded in my mouth.

The option between a cuddle cup for Rs470 and warming mug for Rs530 didn’t sound too expensive either, so I gave it a go. The place also offers Raspberry, Nutella, Tiramisu and Vanilla. Apple cinnamon has a unique combo of poached apple infused with spiced cinnamons, peculiar yet hitting the right notes.

They also have an option for soya, skimmed, and low-fat milk for those watching their caloric intake.

Rubia 4

A piece of pure chocolate heaven is an assortment of milk shakes and not for once did I feel ashamed of indulging the tobby, kitty and snicko nut shake -- each priced at Rs545.

By this time I had been well fed but I didn’t want to skip the savouries section. So, a few items were rounded up. Jalapeño chicken, a grilled dish marinated in a spicy sauce, was my idea of sheer bliss after a hefty dose of chocolate madness.

The mushroom cheddar beef burger was not exactly what I wanted, so I ordered the grilled fish with lemon butter sauce. It was a perfect blend of spices, freshly served and left a great taste in the mouth.

Later, I decided to pick from a mountain of sweet goodies, settling for coffee and latte which were tempting enough.

The kids section has waffles, milkshakes served with ice cream and is reasonably priced. The menu is actually quite large for a café but I actually liked it that way.

Room full of chocolates