I think chocoholics and the naturally sweet toothed did a rapid retake when the words ‘Cape Town’s first chocolate café’ were announced. Yes, a chocolate café, where everything contains chocolate in one form or another.
Honest Chocolate had its humble beginning in a small shop in Wale Street, before a second shop opened at the Woodstock Exchange. Wale Street is now home to the deliciously decadent Chocolate Café. Hugged in a small-mosaicked courtyard with running fountain and overhead fairy lights, I feel a bit like a daring heroine in a Spanish novel – paired with my coconut milk, date and cocoa powder smoothie, it’s a sensory overload.
All chocolate is made using only the finest raw, unroasted organic cacao. For the health conscious, Honest Chocolate contains no added sugar, preservative and dairy – a much healthier (and tastier) alternative to your average Cadbury’s slab. The beans are sourced from a family run coop in Ecuador, and all chocolate is produced at the Exchange.
Browse the deli, lovingly stocked with macarons, chocolate tarts, dark bon bon surprises and oozing chocolate and macadamia nut brownies. Owners Anthony Gird and Michael De Klerk are as friendly as they are welcoming. Clearly proud of their new space (as they should be, it’s awesome), they’ve succeeded in giving the already spoilt Cape Town market something it doesn’t have.
We absolutely had to try the vegan chocolate cake (possibly the most luscious slice of cake I’ve had. Ever). To shake our tastebuds up, we ordered the nachos with chocolate guacamole. Odd in theory, perhaps, but in reality it’s a mix and match of texture and flavour that’re perfectly complementary.
The Parisian style tables inside, Cinderwood light fittings and moody interiors make both the inside and outside aesthetically pleasing – perfect for the design and chocolate conscious visitor. Feel very much part of the city, while being separate from its freneticism within the comforting Honest Chocolate doors.
PS. Visit the café after 5 pm for the Gin Bar in the courtyard. It’s a winner.
Photographs Bernard Myburgh Words Lisa Wallace