I’m back! Again… I think I’ve finally got this work/life balance down. Well at least until the next big project or exam. For now, I can get back to focusing on food. I’ve been racking up the names of restaurants in Pretoria and Joburg to explore and now I can start tackling that list.
I had an exam last week Friday and all I could think about was the Hot Chocolate that waited for me after the exam. All I had to do was pass it and that Hot Chocolate would be mine. I amped myself up so much that I finished the exam in 22 minutes. Talk about some serious motivation! Then I was in the car and heading the Chocolat et Café, the first restaurant on my ever-growing list.
Chocolat et Café is located in Hazelwood, Pretoria. A trendy spot that just popped up overnight. Okay, not overnight, but one day there was nothing there and then a year later there were a ton of restaurants. The Café is nestled between Alfie’s and Culture Club, so if you’ve never been there before it takes a bit of searching to find it.
The Café is cute, with a ground floor section and a cosy upstairs section. Upstairs feels like a coffee shop due to the wood interior and couches. I could easily fall asleep there. The bottom is more vibey. We noticed that the staff weren’t upstairs or moving around the tables, so we let a waiter know we were taking a table and sat on the ground floor. I would have preferred if there was a waiter at the front ready to seat you. I always feel awkward having to walk to where all the waiters are congregated to ask for a table.
After we sat down, we waited for a menu. And waited and waited. Until a waiter popped by the table next to us and we managed to ask for menus, which is limited and a few menus are shared among many patrons. However, once we received the menus we understood why. Chocolat et Café’s menu changes daily, so you can sample something new everyday. I don’t mind this and I think it’s a great idea, except the menu didn’t have the one thing I came for: ginger bread Hot Chocolate. I was disappointed. I heard about the extensive variety of Hot Chocolates, but the menu only had their Old Fashion Hot Chocolate available.
To my delight, the waiter kindly asked me to wait while he checked with the kitchen about what could be done. He came back with a good comprise: adding ginger sprinkles to the Hot Chocolate. The Hot Chocolate was delicious and was simple: melted chocolate. I’ve had various Hot Chocolates but this was delightful. The drink was not sickenly sweet. It was was well-balanced. And the ginger sprinkles add a spicy depth. I loved it!
After the Hot Chocolates, we ordered the home-made Ice Tea, Belgium waffles and almond crusted chicken waffle. The Ice Tea was delicious, and refreshing after the Hot Chocolate. The waffles were also divine. The waffles were light and fluffy and was accompanied by a melted chocolate sauce, fresh cream, home-made Vanilla ice-cream and strawberries.
But the best dish we had was the almond crusted chicken waffle. Chicken and a waffle? Who would’ve thought it could work? It was scrumptious. The chicken was tender and crusted well with bread crumbs. Accompanying the chicken was caramalised onions, a balsamic reduction, and a type of Wasabi hummus. All the components complimented each other well. The balsamic reduction and hummus added spicy and sweet elements, while the almond flakes provided crunch.
After the initial awkwardness, I enjoyed my time at Chocolat et Café. The atmosphere is relaxed. The staff are friendly. And mostly importantly, the food is tasty.
I give Chocolate et Café 3 cupcakes.