When it comes to cocoa drink, I used to go for the iced chocolate, as I like it cold. It was only recently that I realized cocoa is best taken hot when you get the real taste of it without being diluted by the ice. It happened when I tried the hot chocolate from Au Chocolate, I fell in love with the rich chocolatey taste which is like having a melted chocolate drink. It was simply … heavenly! I tried making hot chocolate at home and yet I can’t reproduce that rich and creamy taste though I added quite a lot of cocoa powder. Was it because I didn’t add cream? The drink was chocolatey enough but there were small chunks of powder and I suspect there wasn’t enough water to dissolve it. I have to find the right recipe for a cocoa drink made in heaven. At the same time I decided to go on a quest to taste-test the hot chocolate out there.
The signature hot chocolate drink from Au Chocolate is THE cocoa drink. It comes with marshmallows which, after melted in the drink, adds a velvety texture to it. It’s smooth, rich, and after a sip, you feel like “ahh, I’m in nirvana!” My only request is for it to be a little less sweet.
The hot chocolate from Paul comes a close second. It also has a rich chocolatey taste, but without the marshmallow it doesn’t have the oomph factor. Another grouse I have with it is that the take-away cup is way too small.
Starbucks is associated with coffee, but it has other drinks which are pretty good. Like during summer (basically between June to September), it offers ice blended green tea latte with red bean, which I ‘m not sure if it’s available anywhere else, but it’s one of my favorites. I’m definitely one of the top customers of this beverage. But back to the main subject, Starbucks also has pretty good chocolate drink. I used to order the iced chocolate, but after I started on this quest, I tried the hot chocolate, and thought it can give Paul a run for it’s money.
There is this cafe/kiosk called “Snuggs” at the basement of Chevron House which serves the usual coffee, tea, sandwiches and light pastries. Hot chocolate is also on the menu. I hardly get anything from this cafe but thought I would try the cocoa. It is not too bad for a small outfit, at least better than this other equally small cafe on the second floor of Arcade “Sincerely Yours” or something. I had the chocolate muffin and the cocoa, both of which are really disappointing. The teeny muffin is more than S$4, and the hot chocolate tastes like chocolate-flavored milk, like the one from Jones at Dempsey.
About Jones, when I had the Chocolate drink at the Dempsey outlet, I couldn’t believe that such an established restaurant could serve such crappy drink.
It was as if they added in a token spoonful of cocoa and called it “hot chocolate”. I have also tried the same drink at the Mandarin Gallery outlet and it’s slightly better (more cocoa was added) but nothing compared to even Starbucks. Even the added marshmallow can’t save it. In fact you get a better drink at Providore, a breakfast joint located on the second floor of Mandarin Gallery.
Another so-called famed restaurant that has horrible hot chocolate drink is “Jamie’s Kitchen” at Vivocity. This is opened by the celebrity chef, Jamie Oliver. We didn’t have a full course meal there and instead, I had a dessert and the cocoa drink while my husband had coffee. But judging from the quality of the lemon meringue pie and the cocoa, we aren’t going back. The meringue had an eggy taste and pie itself was so tart! The pastry wasn’t even firm. As for the cocoa, I suspect they must have given me UHT chocolate milk or something; it tastes as bad as that. It says something about the restaurant that it can’t even get food like this right. Seriously the restaurant or for that matter, Jamie Oliver, is over-hyped.
Costa Coffee chain (from the UK) is expanding like crazy in Singapore. Needless to say, I had to try the hot cocoa. It’s not too bad; I like it that it’s not too sweet but it’s also not chocolatey nor rich enough.
Da Paulo is an established F&B group in Singapore, which serves rather decent food. When I first tried the hot chocolate, it was pretty good, like Paul though a little less whipped cream would be better. But the second time I tried it, quality dropped, and it was like having milk with cocoa powder and whipped cream. I decided to give it another chance, and this time it was better, but didn’t measure up to that first time. So it seems like the quality is inconsistent, depending on the mood of the staff preparing the drink I guess.
So while I search for the perfect recipe for hot chocolate, making it may not be as simple as it looks.