Cheeky chocolate, North Strathfield

21 October 2011
by Phuoc

When a new dessert cafe opens and has it’s menu designed by Adriano Zumbo, I knew I had to check it out. Will it live up to the hype of having being associated with Zumbo? Cheeky Chocolate is a dessert cafe located in North Strathfield that has been open for about 3 months now. It is an ideal place for catching up with friends over indulgent desserts.

I came here one rainy night with a couple of girlfriends for a catch up. As we walked in, we were impressed with the elaborate decor. Chandeliers hang from the ceiling, big plush leather and velvet chairs are scattered throughout the room and a shiny cabinet display of desserts beckon us over.

With so many desserts on offer in the cabinet, as well as the several tempting special desserts on the menu such as chocolate fondant, chocolate creme brulee, crepes etc, choosing something to have was indeed a little difficult. Also on offer were cocktails for those who feel the need to indulge in alcoholic substances.

After much deliberation, I chose the mango and sesame entremet ($11). In true zumbo fashion, it looks sleek and whacky; for some reason it reminds me of a robot. I dived into the cake and as per usual an explosion of flavours and textures hit my tastebuds. With a lusciously smooth mango gel, crunchy sesame nougatine, creamy rice pudding and mango cream cheese mousse, this dessert was definitely worth braving the rain for.

All went well until I bit into something metallic… It turns out that there was a piece of foil inside the cake. I had brought this to the attention of one of the staff, who seemed very apologetic at the time but when we went up to pay it was like she had forgotten the entire incident by asking “how was everything?” I understand it was an accident, these things happen, but I guess if you are going to have Adriano Zumbo’s name associated to the cafe then high expectations are only expected.

My friend had a banana, passionfruit and caramel macaron ($3) to go with her soy mocha. We noticed that the macaron was quite small, there was an unevenness with the shells and it was a little on the dry side but the flavour was nice. When we got to the counter to pay, we had a look over the macarons again and noticed that they were of different sizes, and that they gave her the smallest one there! She felt a little jipped that she received the smallest macaron for what she had paid.

Overall, the desserts live up to the craziness of Zumbo’s desserts. However, the prices are more than what you would normally pay for at Adriano Zumbo, even the coffees were expensive; from memory they were priced from ~$5, given that they were for a regular Toby’s Estate coffee. Service is so-so, you really need to catch the attention of the waitstaff sometimes. It’s a shame that this cafe was a hit-and-miss for us this night. However it is still early days, I just hope they can iron out some of these issues as it could be a promising place for dessert and coffee (or even cocktails).

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19 Comments

  1. Tina @ bitemeshowme

    What a shame about the inconsistency of the macarons..

  2. Miss Piggy

    I love the decor here – so fancy! That said, this is about the third incident I’ve heard of recently about people finding “stuff” in the Zumbo desserts…not good.

  3. chocolatesuze

    aw shame about the foil but that dessert sure does look purdy!

  4. Jacq

    Sounds like a great little place but shame about the bad experience you had. Hopefully things will improve after they’ve been open for a little longer!

  5. nic@diningwithastud

    Oh wow the foil isnt good! Other than that, it looks sooooo awesome! That ruined it a little though 🙁

  6. Sara (Belly Rumbles)

    I think it can be a bummer when we have expectations about and establishment that has been hyped and then we get hit with a whammy of a “metallic” incident, the fact they ignored it is not great. Beside that, I agree that your robot, I mean your delicious morsel, looks like a robot, hmmm come to think about it, maybe that is why the aluminium? ;p

  7. Phuoc

    Tina: Yes, a shame indeed 🙁

    Miss Piggy: Me too, the decor is so chic. Oh, I wonder what else was found in these desserts

    Chocolatesuze: Infact, all of the desserts looked pretty

    Jacq: Me too, I wouldn’t mind going back but I’m not in a rush

    Nic: I hope things get better for them soon as it a nice place

    Sara: Too funny! But yes, high expectations can often ruin the experience if things don’t live up to it, especially if Adriano Zumbo is involved.

  8. betty

    wow thats un-impressive :s
    but i love the name of the joint

  9. Phuoc

    Betty: They are still new so there’s still room for improvement I guess

  10. Rita (mademoiselle délicieuse)

    Was wondering what the products were like here! Surprised to hear they’re more expensive than at Zumbo’s – perhaps something to do with the sit-down table service?

  11. Apple@Polkadotsandchopsticks

    That’s a pity. I agree, having Adriano Zumbo’s name associated with the cafe the standards should have been spectacular.
    On the plus, that mango dessert does Look amazing!

  12. Phuoc

    Rita: Yeah but when Zumbo had the old cafe, he didn’t charge extra for table service if you brought the cakes over to have. From memory I remember there were desserts made to order at the cafe but they weren’t as expensive as the ones that are made to order at Cheeky Chocolate.

    Apple: I hope that was a risk they were prepared for, having Adriano Zumbo’s name associated with the cafe would automatically put pressure on them to perform.

  13. catty

    I’m a sucker for dessert so my standards arent that high when it comes to dessert places lol. anywhere that sells anything sweet will do!!!! that mango and sesame dessert looks pretty good!

  14. excusemewaiter

    oh you’re lucky to have gotten a table! the last time i went they were packed out and we had to get takeaway. that mango cake looks heavenly too.

  15. Phuoc

    Catty: Don’t get me wrong, I love my desserts too and would pay almost anything for them; only if it’s worth it. I think it was that I had high expectations because it was Adriano Zumbo-associated

    Excusemewaiter: That’s a bummer, are the prices cheaper if you take-away?

  16. Vivian - vxdollface

    :O foil?! hmm I’ve been but it wasn’t as good as expected with the Zumbo name backing it :/

  17. Phuoc

    Vivian: Glad to hear that I’m not the only one who thought it was so-so.

  18. Jenny

    I’ve heard that this place was only so-so… let’s hope that they take a note from Zumbo and improve it!

  19. Phuoc

    Jenny: Me too

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