Sitting in a corner just beyond the reception area of the So Sofitel,Bangkok is a small chillout spot with chocolatiers working away behind a glass screen. This is Chocolab, a dessert bar and one that’s beginning to put its stamp on Bangkok’s food scene. Popular Bangkok blogger Mark Wiens paid a visit not long before our trip and loved it so being guests in the hotel, we had to try it.
On our visit and throughout the duration of our stay Chocolab wasn’t particularly busy. With the wealth of food choices in the city that’s perhaps understandable or maybe there’s a dedicated ‘dessert time’? Either way we got a seat no problem and as always in Thailand, the service comes with a smile.
The menu reads like a magazine dedicated to their finest works in both chocolate and cakes with some savoury options such as paninis.We opted for a chocoburger at 250 Baht (£5.65) and a chocolab cracking ball at 350 Baht (£7.91) along with a couple of frappes, one vanilla and one passionfruit. Both at 180 Baht (£4.06).
It’s definitely the kind of place to treat like a starbucks. Take a laptop, order a coffee and take advantage of the free wifi whilst eating something sweet. Lucky for us we didn’t have laptops with us as the chocoburger landed on the table…and it was huge! A round wedges of caramelised brioche, similar to french toast topped with a chocolate fondant, tempered chocolate dome filled with ice cream and surrounded by whipped cream and caramel. The sphere soon followed complete with an edible chocolate hammer on a beautiful stone plate.
The sphere was a lot of fun. Picking up the hammer to crack your way into the dome unveiling the ice cream and raspberry inside makes for an exciting start. The flavours though are very well judged. The freshness of the fruit tones down the richness of the ice cream, chocolate and caramel perfectly. It’s a decent size as well in comparison to the burger.
Speaking of the burger it’s the kind of dessert that sets you well on the road to diabetes. All things good are on this plate, like a who’s who of favourite dessert components, brioche tick, chocolate tick, fondant tick. All together? Not for one person, it’s simply too much and too rich. We ended up sharing the ‘burger’ as it was just sugar overload. I could feel my teeth dissolving as the bites went down but it really is an indulgence with the stand out element undoubtedly the brioche. We must do that sometime back at home.
The drinks, which we somehow found room for, are very good also. Almost ice cream like in texture and the flavours stand out. The passion fruit frappe was a little sickly after a while but the vanilla you really could drink all day, much lighter by comparison.
The total bill came to 960 Baht (£21.70) and given that this is high class chocolate in a smart setting that’s good value wherever you come from. The chocolab also offer classes on dessert making with sessions in the morning and afternoons costing 800 Baht (£18) per person and covering two recipes a time across a two hour session.
We really enjoyed chocolab and whenever we next appear in Bangkok we will definitely drop by for our sweet fix. If a chilled out dessert experience in a classy setting is your thing then chocolab fits the bill.There’s even an ice cream bar outside to cool you down on those sweaty Bangkok days. For burgers though, we’ll stick to Mcdonalds…
Opening times: Daily 7am-8pm