Two notes before we get started on this review:
1. Remember to forgive the quality of the pictures – they’re taken on a phone. (Unless someone wants to play Santa and send me a nice handheld digi camera.)
2. I’m a chocolate addict.
The Theobrama Chocolate Lounge is one of those places you look at and think, “It would be very naughty of me to go in there…” That’s exactly what I thought in the months the place was open and I would walk by. However, after mentioning the place to my husband, we decided that, for the good of the people and in the name of research, we just had to check it out.
With hardwood floors and sleek design focusing on clean lines and earthy colours, Theobrama gives you the feeling of walking into a classy lounge without being intimidating to the average person off the street. Even if you are feeling a little intimidating, you are likely to see a pram or three around the place letting you know that it’s family friendly.
If you like to chat and/or read while you’re enjoying your café fair, then you will enjoy the comfortable dark chairs (to go with the dark wood tables) which are perfect for longer stays.
Overall, it’s a nice lounge-type area with space well-used. It does start feeling a little squished when it gets very busy, but there are always tables just outside if you don’t like being around that many people.
Choc Display 1
With dozens of quality chocolates – from chocolate cigars to the traditional individual gourmet chocolates (pictured below) – Theobrama is the stuff of dreams for chocolate lovers and the stuff of nightmares for anyone allergic to chocolate.
Choc Display 2
The staff have always been nice and smiling (why wouldn’t you be when you were working in a chocolate café?), but you shouldn’t expect to hold a long conversation with them. The place is usually fairly busy and they have a lot to do. Even so, they make you feel welcome.
Of course, I may be a chocolate addict, but we can’t review a café without mentioning the coffee.
The coffee is lovely, full flavoured and not watery or bitter. Experience has taught that you have to specify exactly what you want with a long, strong macchiato (so you don’t end up with a long or short black), but it’s worth the specification here. For coffee lovers, it’ll likely be a hard tossup between a nice cup of coffee and something chocolatey.
Chocolate and coffee. Does it get any better?
I recommend the dark Belgian (always go Belgian – it’s worth it) chocolate mocha frappe and my husband recommends (after the coffee) the hot chili chocolate in a mug, which is an experience in itself…
Hot Chilli Choc
Down to the line of chocolate dribbled down the side of the mug, the hot chocolate (or chili chocolate) is one of the few things in the world that looks just as good as it does on the advertisements. Definitely go for a mug, though, so you get the experience of the small candle underneath to keep it warm.
My reader rating for Theobrama is easily a novel, as you can easily seat yourself away from the entrance and hustle n’ bustle of the shops nearby. The view out the windows isn’t exactly inspiring, but we’re talking reading here, not birdwatching.
I could happily spend hours in this place, but for the sake of my waistline, I’ll make it a treat kind of place only.
Definitely check it out.
PS. They do offer gift certificates. Ahem.
Theobrama Chocolate Lounge
171 – 175 Maroondah Hwy
Ringwood, VIC 3134