If you see a new restaurant or a cafe that looks amaze, and you really want to try it, do. As soon as possible. Don’t wait a few years to get around to it. Because when you do it might completely suck and then you’ve wasted a few years waiting for the right time to treat yourself.
Yes, this really can happen. Today proved that completely.
I have been walking past Alison Nelson’s Chocolate Bar for the last few years. Self preservation has always kept me as far away from it as possible. I mean, a whole cafe dedicated to chocolate?! Amaze and sooooo dangerous.
This weekend I was however the Queen of PMSFTW (fuck the world!) and happily waltzed in there. I knew it was going to be bad. I knew my diet would take a (further) hit. I simply didn’t care. The lure of the sweet goodness and the excessively comfortable looking chairs was just too strong. No girl could have resisted. Well, no girl like me anyway.
I took my place to sit and wait for The Boy, and gazed greedily at the sumptuous sounding delights on offer. I was quite amazed to see that they had actual real food on the menu, but happily ignored it all.
I ordered a bottle of water (Aqua Panna – result!) but decided to be good and wait until The Boy arrived and share something with him. Then I saw that there was a banana split and knew that there would be no sharing as I am not wasting a good chocolate experience on nasty bananas. It’s his absolute favourite so I set about reading the rest of the menu to find my treat.
Problem 1 arose when I wanted to order the White Chocolate Fudge Cookies. For some reason I couldn’t have them because the contain nuts. Why wasn’t this listed on the menu? Why would someone ruin decent fudgey cookies with nuts… hidden ones at that? I don’t understand. Grr. At least they knew and I didn’t have an allergy issue. So disappointing though.
After a while, I felt bad sitting there with just my water, and decided that I would have a nice “small” treat while I waited, and then when he arrived, I would have a proper cake. Sound logic, I know. I really can’t figure out why I need Slimming World, much!!
The Chocolate Toffee Brownie Bites sounded like the perfect idea, and at AED 35 you couldn’t really argue about the price. And then they arrived…..
The brownies were muffin shapes because they were muffins. Basically, a small cake. That’s not a brownie. They were also dry and tasted like they were a package mix. Not good.
The only thing “toffee” about the sauce was the colour. The flavour I couldn’t have worked out if I was doing a blind tasting. It was a sweet sauce. Could have been chocolate. Could have been caramel. Could have been toffee. Could have even been coffee. There was no bold flavour to tell you what you were eating.
Don’t get me wrong, I ate them. They were sugary, warm and gooey. I just was hugely disappointed.
Talking of disappointment – their hot chocolate is absolutely nothing to write home about either.
I started out ordering a Peppermint Liquid Chocolate. How amazing does that sound?! At AED 23 it’s cheaper than Starbucks too. Amaze! WRONG. It was really not good. Firstly, it wasn’t peppermint flavour at all but rather black mint. It was also so over powering that you couldn’t taste the chocolate behind it at all.
Turns out that was probably a blessing in disguise. Once they had switched me to a plain hot chocolate then I could actually taste it. Not what I would expect at a chocolate bar at all. It managed to be both powdery and watery at the same time. It was just ghastly. A mark of that is that I drank all of maybe a quarter of it. The Boy had a taste and still there was more than half a cup left.
I was also very right about The Boy’s order. He went for the Caramalized Banana Split. He also ordered extra banana. Strange child.
The sauce was again the nondescript sauce that I had over my “brownies”. He confirmed that it was indeed flavourless. Then, the bananas were fresh and not actually caramalised – either the original or the extra order. It was just again a huge let down. It sounded so lovely and then you got a bowl of fresh banana slices, bland ice cream and gooey sugar sauce. Just no.
So the highlights of The Chocolate Bar are the staff who are very kind until the manager gives them a complete bollocking for no reason whatsoever aside from me not liking my hot chocolate which is not the servers fault (he was a ‘charmer’ – all teeth like a wolf. I feel bad for people working for him.), and the very comfortable chairs which could do with a good clean because people wearing new jeans etc. mark white leather upholstery. Oh, and the Aqua Panna water which is one of my favourite brands.
Would I go back and try something else? Not a chance in hell. 3 items ordered and all a huge disappointment.
I don’t know who Alison Nelson is, but she needs to seriously look at her brand and have an overhaul. They make money I would assume because of it’s location and because it’s a good touristy thing to do. I would highly doubt they ever have repeat custom.
Here is it’s logo so you know which to avoid: