date of visit: Saturday 20 July 2013
So, going out for dessert is now a ‘thing’. There are dessert bars all over Adelaide, or so it seems and while I have one friend who is a devotee of one of them, so far I’ve not yet done the dessert thing.
Generally, I am lazy. Once I am sitting comfortably, with a glass of wine in hand, I see no reason to traipse around and (perish the thought!) queue to eat dessert.
However, one friend was unable to make dinner at The Himalayan Kitchen due to his hockey match, but he would be able to make it out to North Adelaide for dessert. I vaguely remembered there being a churros place on Melbourne Street, and the internet obliged with the details. And twitter supplied me with the recommendation that I book (thanks D!).
Thank goodness I did book because Chocolate Taperia was packed: I guess there’s something about a freezing cold night that makes everyone think that stuffing themselves with fried pastry dipped in chocolate is a good idea. Due to a last minute addition we squeezed around our table even though the staff looked a little muddled.
Chocolate Taperia suffers from its apparent popularity. Far too many tables and chairs have been packed into a small venue. This means that not only are you squeezing past people to get to your seat, it also means that the ambience is best described as ‘deafeningly noisy’. God help you if you are on a romantic night out because by the time you’ve bellowed at the waiter who can’t hear you, you’ll be so hoarse you won’t even be capable of whispering sweet nothings.
It took a while for our order to be taken (the menu is very short – even our table of 9 took but minutes to decide) and we really couldn’t shake the nervous feeling that really, things were pretty chaotic.
Those nerves were unfounded – our orders came out swiftly and accurately. And while I’m really not sure about having so little space that waiters are forced to pass food across the heads of diners, my churros hit the nail on the head.
They were light, they were crisp, they weren’t oily, they were dredged in sugar (seriously, they ARE doughnuts – one of my mates complained about the amount of sugar!), and the dark chocolate sauce which I ordered was not too sweet at all.
A serve of churros is $9, with sauce an additional $2.50. And a serve is large (5 or 6 churros). There was no way I needed to eat that much and I was lucky that I could palm off the odd half here and there to various people around the table (all of whom, apparently, didn’t need to eat any more but didn’t need too much egging on either).
But is a tasty dessert enough to salvage that frenetic ambiance? For me? No. I don’t want to feel stressed about my table or my order, I don’t want food waving over my head. And just because a venue is dimly lit, it doesn’t make it romantic.
I know that plenty of people will love what Chocolate Taperia provides – but for us, it just missed the mark.