On winter mornings, when the cold seems to have pierced through to the bone, nothing quite compares to the balmy feeling of the sun’s warm glow on your back – except perhaps clutching a mug of hot chocolate. There is something in the nippy, mist-kissed air that invariably inspires a desperate craving for a sip of the beloved cocoa potion.
The Flour Works rustles up a beautiful cuppa – nice and warm, with a sprinkling of cinnamon and chilli powder for that extra kick. The sunshine filtering through the fluttering branches in the restaurant’s outdoor section act as the perfect foil for a steaming gulp. A brisk walk away from this leafy bistro is the vibrant Café 1730, which does a dark chocolate version of the brew. Redolent with lovely bittersweet overtones, it is the perfect thing to curl up with on a chilly afternoon.
Where Else Café literally serves you molten chocolate – rich, thick and as sinful as it gets. You have the option of topping it with a couple of squashy little marshmallows for a change in texture, which will almost certainly cause a sugar rush. This place clearly takes its hot chocolate seriously, for it also offers a ‘cocoa shot’, as well as a special white chocolate version on occasion, which is ingenious and absolutely decadent.
Dario’s in Lane 1, Koregaon Park, blends their hot chocolate with espresso coffee – think sweet with an aftertaste of nutty. Not to mention the combined aromas wafting out of the cup that induce a trance-like state. On the west side of town, Le Plaisir Patisserie & Bistro does a smooth and velvety spiced hot chocolate, which is like the romance of homesickness served in a cup.
We all like to make our coffees Irish once in a while, especially when the weather is that particularly biting kind of cold. A couple of establishments in the city have now gone ahead and put an intoxicating spin on hot chocolate as well. Krustys, for instance, adds a splash of heady brandy to create an adult version of your favourite hot beverage. Stone Water Grill, on its part, has gone all out and concocted a cocktail with hot cocoa, a dash of bacon fat (!), Frangelico (to add a tinge of hazelnut) and some Jim Beam bourbon. One swig of this, especially with that brilliant burning sensation it creates down your throat, should warm you right up.
Follow Mrunmayi @moonogamy
We at Eazydiner feel privileged to have worked with someone like Mrunmayi who was an independent writer with over five years of experience in arts and lifestyle journalism. She had worked with several print and online publications based out of Pune and Goa. In the realm of food, she had contributed reviews, topical stories and long features primarily to Pune Mirror, The Goan, Planet-Goa, and the website goa.me. A foodie with an eclectic taste, she enjoyed a well-prepared spread of English Breakfast as much as some fiery Kolhapuri mutton curry.