A stone throw away from Burwood train station, lies a Dessert Restaurant where chocolate lovers salivate and invention and innovation run amok. Some might know this place as The Choc Pot. The owners, similarly to Cuckoo Callay, have the kind of story that aspiring small business owners love to hear. Ash and Deej were high school sweethearts whose collective sacrifices led them on the path to realize their chocolate covered dream. Ash gave up a future career in medicine and Deej worked up to 95 hours a week juggling her full time role as a Strategy Manager for a bank while trying to get The Choc Pot off the ground. Together, they opened their first store in the Inner West.
Growing up as a kid, I would imagine serving up award winning desserts by scooping perfect balls of ice cream out of the tub, drizzling them in microwave warmed Ice Magic and topping them with whatever left over confectionery was around the house. This is completely the opposite of The Choc Pot strategy, where rather than taking the credit for merely assembling a collection of packaged products, everything but the ice cream is hand made from scratch and only premium ingredients such as Callebaut Belgian Chocolate are used.
At the time of my visit, I had just devoured a rather large lunch and had no room for dessert. Well, at least I thought I didn’t. My second stomach began to emerge as I walked through the door. The mesmerizing aromas of chocolate fondants magically made room within the seams of my bursting stomach. Then a browse of the menu created even more room.
When browsing menus, my strategy usually is to read the whole thing so I can see what’s on offer then decide. But this time, I opened the menu and decided straight away that the signature Choc Pot was going to be mine.
It’s only after we order do I discover how difficult my decision could have been. A helpful menu quickly becomes unhelpful when there are so many full page, well shot photos of Hot Fudge Brownie Sundaes, Nutty Choc Praline crepes and something aptly called the Super Terrific Happy Time (waffles with house made salted caramel and melted Belgian chocolate). Each dessert is also accompanied by suggestions for matching teas. Apart from the 14 teas on offer, the beverage section is equally unhelpful in decision making filled with tempting options like a White Choc Strawberry Smoothie, Choc Cookies ‘n Cream Milkshake and their specialty, Red Velvet Hot Chocolate. I breathe a sigh of relief at the dilemma I avoided.
The Choc Pot arrives smelling delicious and looking amazing. We break through the crust and find a pool of hot molten chocolate. Then I make 2 mistakes. Firstly, I realize the rich flavours would have be balanced out well with the scoop of vanilla ice cream I stubbornly declined while ordering. Secondly, I touch the bleeping hot jar that came out from the oven only seconds ago. I quickly forget about the pain and prescribe myself a big dose of chocolate medicine.
Another option to order is the popular and impressive looking Dessert of the Month. For the month of November, the featured dessert is the Pavlova Ice Cream Jar which gets ordered without a second thought.
This dessert hits a home run and gets devoured in record time! I actually thought it was better than their signature Choc Pot. But it was also cold and we didn’t need to wait for the chocolate to cool.
The dessert looked good on the poster but I thought it looked even better in real life! If Dessert of the Month is a great way to experiment and see what flavours and products customers respond to, I’d like to start a petition to get this on the menu as a permanent fixture. This would be my contribution back to the sweet tooth society as I’d never succeed as a Dessert Bar owner. I’d constantly get distracted by all the desserts and grow wider than the door frames eating all the stock. If you see a picture of Ash or Deej, you would never guess they owned a Dessert Bar. Both have slim figures, if you guys ever read this, please share your secret!
With strong desserts, business seems like it’s on the rise. Earlier in the year, they opened a second store in Chatswood and have plans to open up 2 more stores (CBD & Rosebery) by year’s end. Their slogan is “Live Cheeky” which I think their venues and desserts embody. If you feel like adding some cheeky in your life, drop in for some dessert or the gem of a Pavlova Ice Cream only available in November!
Check out their Facebook page for more pics.
Shop 7 / 1 Railway Parade, Burwood
Level 3, The District, Chatswood Interchange, 436 Victoria Ave, Chatswood
Written by Brian (@brhinos), Sydney