Last week, I got an email invite to try Xocolat. I’ve been to Xocolat in Serendra several times before but I’ve always been curious of the branch in Loyola Heights. I immediately called Patricia Avecilla, Xocolat’s Marketing Manager, and confirmed my attendance. Since it was a dinner for two, I invited my good friend Phoebe to go with me. It didn’t take too much convincing since she’s a chocoholic.
Location and Ambiance
Call me an eager beaver for arriving an hour early. I thought I would get lost or get stuck in traffic but the drive to Katipunan Avenue was hassle-free that day. I was able to find Casa Xocolat fairly easily since I’m familiar with Katipunan, having spent several years haunting the eats there during my U.P. days. Parking was a breeze and after depositing my bag on an empty table, I spent the time soaking up the cozy atmosphere and taking photos.
The owners rented an old house and transformed it into a restaurant, hence the name Casa Xocolat. The casa is large and sparsely furnished but cozy. A lot of students from nearby campuses frequent the place. I noticed that customers prefer the outdoor dining area maybe because of the dim lights.
Everyone in the staff was friendly to us. While waiting for Patricia and Phoebe, I was even served beverage without me asking. I don’t know if service is as fast for diners in the outdoor area but most of the staff are inside while I was there.
I was served Croquettas (P115) while waiting for the girls. I ordered this potato dish before and it’s one of my favorites. The potato balls come with 2 dipping sauces: ragu and chorisquso (cheese with chorizo bits). Guess which one is my favorite!
Although Xocolat is known as a dessert place, people shouldn’t ignore the meals they offer. I got to try the Pork Belly (P185) which is among the new dishes they are offering.
The crispy pork belly comes with an interesting sauce, cacao with bagoong! It is also served with rice, potato gratin, and crispy kangkong. The belly is tender and the bagoong sauce plays with the palate. If I remember correctly, there were only 3 matchbox-sized slices of the belly so the serving size might be too small for someone with a bit appetite. That means that there’s more space for dessert though.
This Red Cake (P105) is the traditional red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting. It was good but I wish there were more cream cheese frosting.
I was expecting Xocolat Fries (P95) to be sweet but it wasn’t! The fries have cacao and tsokolate drippings so the taste is a tad bitter. It comes with aioli dip which is honey mustard if I’m not mistaken. The taste is quite interesting but for me, desserts should be sweet. This would be a good appetizer though.
The Banana Xoconut Fritters (P115) is Xocolat’s rendition of the humble turon. It’s pretty good but perhaps I should have tasted it without the ice cream. Not bad at all though.
The Molten Flourless Xocolat (P225) is just my type of dessert. You have to perform a mini ritual while eating this. First get a bit of chocolate, then whipped cream, add ice cream, drizzle some fudge, then insert all of them in your mouth. Fantastic! This is my favorite dessert that night.
Casa Xocolat is a great place to unwind and enjoy good food. According to Patricia, it closes at 11 PM but when there are still a good number of people inside, they can close at 12 midnight. For students who want to study in a quiet setting, Xocolat might not be the perfect place for that especially later at the night when more people come in. I want to frequent the place and take my friends with me. I already have plans of playing a game of Monopoly with friends there. I’ll probably do that next month. It’s that kind of place where you can just kick of your shoes and talk the night away…which is what happened when Patricia, Phoebe and I realized it was already 11 PM.
172 B. Gonzales Street, Loyola Heights, Quezon City