Finally fulfilling a six-year-old dream and crossing something off the bucket list… this issue, we present Choccywoccydoodah’s Covent Garden café in all its indulgent splendour…
It was back in 2012 when my sister showed be a TV show about a shop in Brighton, that designed and sculpted unbelievable cakes out of chocolate. The shop (and the show) were both called Choccywoccydoodah, the brain-child of Christine Taylor and Christine Garrett. Ever since then, I have been determined to visit and sample a little taste of the sumptuousness. They have celebrity clientèle, so they can’t be bad, right?
Every visit to their Brighton shop leaves me disappointed – not for any reason they can help, just that they’re always full when I go! But knowing that they had recently taken up residence in Covent Garden, and knowing I would be in the area for another event, I thought I would seize the opportunity. Fahim Ali joined me.
The London shop sits about ten minutes out from Covent Garden’s main plaza. You’d be forgiven for missing it if you don’t know what you’re looking for or don’t have Google Maps up – the exterior isn’t as bold as its reputation would suggest.
With an upstairs shop floor that’s quite small, it was a pleasant surprise to see the Bar du Chocolat below to be so spacious. Even when you think they’ve run out of space, keep looking and you find an extra room behind some curtains. A little snug annexe-type room that held three or four additional tables and chairs (including a chaise-longue).
We were immediately welcomed by two very lovely waitresses, one of whom took us through both menus – drinks and food. While there are some traditional hot and cold drink options, why you would turn down something chocolatey is beyond me. Fahim deliberated and changed his mind a couple of times, before settling on a dark chocolate hot chocolate (see pictured above). Complete with marshmallows; simply divine looking.
I, on the other hand, could not resist something colder, and fell in love with one of their ice cream milkshakes – a white chocolate and strawberry ice cream milkshake (see pictured). I know — oh my God, the calories and the cholesterol. Do you really think somewhere like Choccywoccydoodah is the best place to visit if you’re on a diet? The milkshake was so creamy and sweet, but not at all sickly. Trust me, after you’re done with it, you just want to eat more chocolate.
Which is exactly what we did. Cake is what Choccywoccydoodah do best, though a selection of other sweet treats are available to order, such as tiffins and chocolate dipping pots (in short, extravagant fondues). I couldn’t say I had visited Choccy and not tried a slice of cake, so I ordered a piece of their White Chocolate Truffle Cake (see pictured), with molten chocolate, vanilla ice cream and raspberry coulis.
First of all, the hunk of cake you get is massive. I asked for two forks so Fahim could get a few mouthfuls in as well, but we around half each and left the place absolutely stuffed. It’s very easy to pick up and eat, but the sponge was not dry in any way. I hate the word “moist”, but it’s a pretty accurate description of this cake’s texture. Again, not too rich – a perfect chocolatey flavour. A thick layer of solid milk chocolate coated the sides, which was a pleasant added bonus. The one disappointing thing? Only a thin line of white chocolate truffle ganache running between cake layers.
Now for a company of its reputation and clientèle – and in London, no less – you would think we paid through the nose for this little indulgence. It was actually just over £15 for all of that. Incomparable quality and value, plus such jolly, friendly service. I did remark to the waitresses that to work at Choccy must be the best job in the world. They readily confirmed that.