Wednesday, June 28, 2006

In Case of Downtown Chocolate Emergency...

Maybe you get a massive chocolate craving "that time of the month" or maybe you're just a chocolate fiend in general, but sometimes, you might just find yourself desperately requiring a massive dose of chocolate to quiet the chocolate demons in your head. Or is that just me? Anyhow, here are a couple of options downtown.

All You Can Eat Chocolate Fondue at Capstone Tea House on Robson St.

First, Capstone Teahouse (1429 Robson St., just off Broughton St. 604-608-2866) not only has a variety of bubble teas and hot pots of non-bubble tea, they also have this all-you-can-eat chocolate fondue for $5.95 a person. It's nice and simple, and they will come around and ask you if you'd like more, and are quite happy to plunk down another platterful of little fruit chunks, pretzels, gummy bears, and mini marshmallows down in front of you, should you care to take their "all-you-can-eat" to heart. A couple of nice features of this place include a long counter at the windows equipped with plenty of power outlets for those laptoppy types, and some very attractive spoons and cup and saucer sets. Wow, a casual full-service dessert place that doesn't suck - much needed in the downtown core, in my opinion. They've recently started doing ice cream balls too, that you can add on to your chocolate fondue to dunk. Their hot black sesame bubble tea with pearls is shown in the background of the photo. It's yummy, and the sweetener sugar syrup is served on the side in a cute little glass flask so that you can sweeten it to your taste. It's a good thing my spoon-stealing friend doesn't live in Vancouver. Even I'm a little tempted with these babies. (I'll take a close-up photo next time and post it). There is a Denman St. locoation that I haven't had a chance to try, but it seems to look a little more cramped in there, from the window.

The Chocoholic Buffet at The Sutton Place Hotel's Fleuri Restaurant

If you're looking to really treat someone or yourself (hopefully both) to a decadent chocolate fix, maybe The Sutton Place Hotel's Chocoholic Buffet in their Fleuri Restaurant ($24 per person) might be to your liking. We arrived for the 6:00 - 8:30 pm seating (rather than 8:30 to 10 pm), and I think we were the first ones to dive in to the perfectly arranged buffet. Crime Lab Boy likened it to the joy of walking through fresh snow. The staff are pretty talented at making that buffet look fresh and inviting throughout the night though, so don't worry about timing. We made reservations ahead of time, and I would recommend that. The Chocoholic Buffet is offered Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. There wasn't any one dessert that really knocked my socks off. They're all pretty good, but I think it's really all about the decadence of the entire experience. The service was great, and they always seem to be able to make dining there feel like a special occassion. I went for one of the crepes too, made just for me by the crepe station person, and topped with some gelato from the freezer behind her. You might think that the excitement of all that chocolate in a buffet setting might somehow overpower the evening so that everything winds up being all about the chocolate, but I found that the buffet and coffees allowed for a very nice, leisurely evening of conversation and connection. In fact, for me, I think the consumption of chocolate greased the wheels of the conversation machine, much like the way that talking over glasses of red wine can. Remember not to overdo it, or you'll pay for it. Or, as with the wine, overdo it with gusto, and be prepared for the consequences, which might be worth it, for that brief luxurious moment of excess. Or not. That night, I hovered successfully in my little chocolate window of not too much, but enough to really enjoy it and get that delicious buzz. Oh, don't you get that food high too?

A Close Up Look at one of the Fleuri offerings.


too_much_thinking said...

That looks fantastic! The only question now is what should you have for dinner beforehand (if any at all)!

Dumpling-girl said...

I recommend a small handful of something very salty, to save room for the dessert...But Fleuri does have a very nice dinner menu if stomach capacity isn't usually limiting for you. :) Thanks for commenting, TMT!