It was only a matter of split seconds. Outside, it was a cold, winter afternoon in Delhi and inside, it was warm, ambient, coast-like escape. Think Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in the middle of palm-lined and bright yellow Puducherry. We’re sure you must have narrowed down your options and almost figured what we’re talking about. After all this place has been a rage since its inception.
The capital city is now home to COLOCAL, a first-of-its-kind artisanal chocolate brand with its own chocolate factory. Located in the Dhan Mill compound, COLOCAL is the brainchild of Sheetal Saxena and Nishant Sinha, who promise that Delhi will witness chocolate in variants like never before. Right from bean to bar, all the magic happens at their outlet-cum-factory in Chhattarpur.
From sourcing the cacao locally—from Tamil Nadu and Kerala—to actually producing the chocolate bar (or for that matter chocolate in any form), theirs is an elaborate process that yields top-quality final products.
We had the chance to experience this Willy Wonka-world one afternoon and here is what we found.
What we loved
The quaint cafe is a straight up postcard-worthy, right from its tropical decor to the bright yellow walls and the physically distant seating. The spacious outlet admits enough sunlight during the day and turns into a cosy cafe with warm lighting as soon as the roof is thatched post sundown. We were also floored by the warm hospitality of both Sheetal and Nishant. The staff, as honest as they come, always have the best recommendations based on your preferences.
What you should not miss
The menu is largely European, with a lot of comfort food options. We got our hands on bruschetta—mushroom, avocado and chicken, each with balsamic drizzle—made of an in-house ciabatta that we could not get enough of. To our surprise, the variant with avocado stole the show. We moved on to Nishant’s recommendations next—the Quattro Formaggi pizza and the handmade Pesto Gnocchi and pumpkin puree pasta. While the pizza exemplified their in-house style, it was the handmade pasta that stole the show that afternoon, and tops our list of ‘must haves’.
For the ones with a sweet tooth, Sheetal’s personal recommendation is the twice-baked cake, which is just the perfect, sweet ending to a hearty meal.
What we would go back for
Their hot chocolate has taken the city by storm. And that’s exactly what we would go back for. Made from chocolate produced in their in-house factory on the first floor, their 55% Dark Chocolate—just the right amount of sweet and creamy—is a gateway to heaven. It also comes as a sweet treat, topped off with a marshmallow.
For those who don’t mind something a little different, get your hands on their raging Campfire Chocolate. With a smoky glass, this one is poured over a marshmallow right in front of you and also comes with two tiny samples of chocolate on the side.