The Olympics did a lot for East London, made it fresher and cleaner and attracted more people with spending money in their pockets to live there. I suppose whether you think that’s positive might depend on your perspective. The upside for chocolate lovers is that more people with money means more reason to open specialist food shops, including – hurrah – a chocolate shop and dessert lounge.
At the end of 2013 Ali took over an old bathroom store just off Whitechapel high street and brought in the purple paint and some diner-style booths to match, not to mention the mood lighting. Unlike most of the chocolate shops west of here, which are highly polished, there is definitely an urban edge as implied by the name.
See a little mini video of the inside here: http://instagram.com/p/jwe6LuBE1L/
Whilst there is a decent-sized selection of fresh chocolates and truffles made by Ali with Belgian chocolate, the focus here is more on dining in with a menu of hot chocolates that extends to 33 varieties, including ginger (using grated ginger), salted caramel, blueberry, chilli and coconut. There’s also a selection of homemade desserts and cakes and freshly made waffles.
Ali has spent the last few years travelling and created this space as a combination of places he loved and experimenting with foods he enjoyed as well. As a self-taught chocolatier and baker, I expect you’ll see lots of interesting developments from Ali as his business grows.
Those of you who don’t like to consume milk will be in for a treat with his super indulgent hot chocolate made with coconut milk. Mine was made with a 64% Peruvian chocolate. I only meant to try it… And then it was all gone!