SPI Cinemas Pvt Ltd No. 8, Thiru-vi-ka Road, Royappettah
Chennai 600 014. Phone 044-4392 0444
Meal for two: Rs 500
The first impression is of a clinical space. Then, the seduction starts. The glass and chrome decor with lime-green accents is set off by the dessert counter that has jewelled creations arranged neatly on rectangles of black, silver and citrus green. The staff, similarly accoutred, speak reverentially of Michael Besse, the creator of this tiny masterpiece devoted to chocolate: “He lives in France, but keeps coming here with new ideas.”
There are teas and tisanes, coffee and chocolate accompaniments. Creamy layers of chocolate ganache; light, dark, extra-strong, white, are layered onto thin slivers of cake, or onto a bed of crackling nut and chocolate, just like a Ferrero Rocher pastry.
It’s like a theme party thrown for grown-ups by Charlie and his chocolate factory mates. Children won’t like the creations sprayed with violent colours and fruity undertones. Besse’s “Mikata” uses pink figs combined with white chocolate sliced to show up the interior of the fruit as a tranche of Japanese Sushi. A Blueberry cheesecake number is served with a strip of dark jellied fruit that clings to the sides of the bowl like slug. The experiments with fruit juices reduced and made into ribbons are a bonus.
Then there are the chocolate roses, macaroons and cigars of crepes stuffed with chocolate and piled onto a plate to make a bonfire of instant gratification.
Is it too much of a good thing? Yes, but that is what makes the French so unpredictable. Besides which, the cool decor and soothing teas make Ecstasy a perfect rendezvous for seduction by chocolate.