I am an Australian freelance writer living in Adelaide.
Published November 28th 2011
Bracegirdle's House of Fine Chocolate is a place every chocolate lover should visit. Their motto is, 'Start the day with breakfast and maintain a healthy diet with a light lunch. But don't forget to leave room for a decadent dessert all made with Belgian chocolate.' I like it. I had walked past the cafe several times but I only find myself in Glenelg when the weather is warm so I had to make a conscious decision to go on my day off, warm weather or not.
My friend and I decided to try it out for lunch and a sweet treat. The menu is mouth-watering. You can share chocolate fondues with either fresh/dried fruit, lollies, marshmallows, nougat, honeycomb, licorice, meringues or Turkish delight to dip in melted chocolate (or all of these as found in the Chocolate Trio that is served with milk, dark and white melted chocolate). Breakfast options include omelettes, fruit salad, muesli, croissants or toast and light lunch meals including salad rolls, filled toasties, savoury scones and filos or soup.
We ordered salad rolls and frappes. I had the smoked salmon with cream cheese and pesto and a milk chocolate Peanut Butter frappe. My friend went for the turkey, cranberry sauce and cheese roll with a Mochachino frappe. The rolls were very disappointing. I guess you get what you pay for and $8.50 for a roll in a café is pretty cheap. The rolls were long hamburger rolls cut in half. There wasn't enough pesto, cream cheese or salmon in mine and it was stuffed full with that bitter, purple lettuce. My friend's turkey breast was slathered in cranberry sauce, the tomato slices cut very thick and she ended up pulling all the greenery out of hers.
The drinks were very satisfying though. Served in tall glasses and $8, they are good value. Peanut butter and chocolate is a delicious combination and chocolate shavings (like a Cadbury Flake broken up) filled the glass of milk and crushed ice. It was so thick I had to use the spoon for the first few sips as nothing would come up through the straw but once I reached the bottom, I found a yummy pit of chocolate at the bottom. I could taste the distinct Belgian chocolate taste. You could even choose if you wanted milk, dark or white chocolate in it.
Bracegirdle's succeeds in what the business is all about - chocolate. I wouldn't even bother venturing into the café brunch market but focus on it simply being a chocolate/dessert café if I were them. Their "chocolate meals" are too big to eat as a dessert after a meal. I would have loved to have tried their Belgian waffle or meringues topped with liquid chocolate, strawberries and vanilla ice cream or a slice of raspberry mud cake.
Instead, I used some much needed self control and selected just three chocolates to take home to try (from the cabinet of over fifty varieties). The white chocolate and strawberry cupcake had a gooey strawberry cream centre, the banana caramel cupcake was true to its name with a banana-flavoured caramel and the dark chocolate mint ball was made with peppermint essence, making it a bit too minty for my liking.
L-R: Dark chocolate mint ball, white chocolate and strawberry cupcake & banana caramel cupcake
Bracegirdle's also sells a selection of gifts from flavoured tea varieties, bags of chocolates, novelty ice cream scoops and even body chocolate with paint brushes. It is definitely a competitor to the Haigh's store down the road but I know I'll come here for an afternoon tea or dessert treat rather than a meal next time.