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Published August 23rd 2016
Is this the only dessert bar in the northern suburbs?
It was a cold wet wintry night and we needed some winter warming. There is only so long you can sit home for over a long cold winter. What better way to catch up with friends than to indulge in some cheerful hot chocolate and a treat to warm the soul.
These hand made chocolates are on offer if you want a tiny sweet treat, or five. Image by Out and About.
Indulge in Chocolate is a coffee shop by day and a dessert bar at night, nestled in the shopping area at Mawson Lakes. It is located next door to Target. I found it difficult to locate in the dark as there is no lit up signage outside on the shop front, yet once sitting inside I found it far too bright. They need to lower the lights for evening to perhaps make the ambience more indulging and intimate.
Mawson Lakes would not usually be a suburb I would even consider to go out with friends. This is an area with medium density housing and with a university campus, but by night the students have gone and an influx of nearby suburbanites arrive. My friends and I came from different directions and met here. I think everyone who was in the café that night came from elsewhere. It's the kind of place you would go out of your way for. Once past the Prospect area, Adelaide's north is extremely lacking in night cafes such as this. Most basic coffee pit stops would be to cater to day only shoppers, located in shopping malls at Salisbury and Elizabeth.
Patrons enjoying their just desserts. Image by Out and About.
Luckily we arrived by 7pm on a Friday night, because soon after every table was taken. I can imagine it would be very busy on a Saturday when the northern residents are searching for entertainment. There are tables for two and four and for groups, there are two tables that seat six people. Along one wall is a full-length bench seat which is underutilised. There needs to be a long table here so at least six people can sit on the bench side. Perhaps a skinny 10 seater table that would suit groups or could be shared would do here. Outside, there are two tables with benches that would fit 6-8 people. These are only suitable on a summer night. Tables can be booked but you would need to arrive on time.
There are menus on the table to scrutinise, yet the gluten free options were not marked on here, so I had to leave my friends to enquire. You need to order at the counter anyway, so while I was asking what every single cake was, people were queuing up behind me. It would be so much easier if there were little signs in front of each cake to say what they were. Also, the gluten free cakes need to be marked as such. The girl who served me had no idea which were gluten free and all staff really need to know what they are selling.
Longing for summer to come, I opted for the strawberry sundae. This is GF vanilla ice-cream which was topped with small diced GF chocolate brownie. You can choose from three Belgian chocolate toppings, so I had white chocolate which was drizzled over the top of my one sliced up strawberry. The choc topping had set like concrete and was hard to break through to get to the ice-cream, but I battled on and devoured the lot. The ice- cream was very ordinary; not a good quality creamy one. These sundae glass dishes need to be served on a plate so you can rest your spoon, which is the correct way to serve dessert glasses.
I thought the sundae to be skimpy on the strawberry side. I saw many of these go out on order and they would not have used a whole punnet on the night. On other sundaes I noticed a big pile of cream on top and mine did not have any. So after paying just under $10, I felt somewhat gypped and child-like when I said to my friend, "hey I didn't get any cream like her". I reckon I could make a better sundae than this. It needed strawberry sauce and consistency of desserts needs improving here. The brownie cake was delicious and not too sweet.
Our party each had a different dessert. These were a cream sponge, the chocolate tart, and a truffle. Everyone praised their choices and said they would return. Other menu delights include waffles, pancakes and a big and pricey selection of fondue platters which can be ordered for a romantic duo. There is a good assortment of cakes in the cabinet. The only comment I have is that there are not enough gluten free options. There are many cafes and dessert bars around town that do GF waffles and stock a good variety of cakes. Also, there needs to be some sugar-free desserts to cater to diabetics and maybe a dairy free option. Cafes these days really need to be inclusive in their menus to cater to all. Hot beverages are served in glass mugs and certainly look inviting and hit the spot on a winter's night. Cold drinks include bottled juices, milkshakes, frappes and soda.
By the time we were nearing the end of our indulgence, the place was full to capacity and new arrivals were looking for seats. The noise level was beyond intimate. We were now almost yelling at each other. I was grateful there was no music playing to compete for hearing space. It would be difficult to come here for an intimate date. Perhaps the whispering of sweet nothings in ears could be done afterwards with a stroll around the lake just across the road.
The dessert bar has a warm interior of chocolate brown. Image by Out and About.
Overall this is a lovely little dessert bar with a crowd who show they like the place. The male and female staff wear their own clothes. A cheerful polo T-shirt with shop logo would tie them all together. This would be a lovely venue on a warm summer's night, and to take a gentle walk after indulging in chocolate. This is a great venue for a special birthday afternoon tea or simply for catch-ups with friends. The café has ample parking at night in the Target carpark and is well serviced by public transport, via the Mawson Lakes Interchange with train and buses. It is a little too far to walk to the shopping area. Within a minute or so, bus numbers 225 and 441 will meet you once alighting the train and drop you near the carpark.
The obscure sign is painted on the glass window. Image by Out and About.