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Feb 14, 2009 07:31 AM

moroco chocolat review (with pics!)

the interior of moroco chocolat looks like it was designed by someone who graduated from the bowmanville school of cliched design (with prop rentals from urban outfitters). it was TERRIBLE and tacky beyond all measure. purple, with grey accents, black and white highly lacquered crap everywhere - like a nouveau alice in wonderland's parisian boudoir (but someone who has clearly never been to paris) by way of versailles. it was horrendous. i mean, we can all agree that versailles is breathtaking, but it's not actually in good taste, per se. it's gaudy as all f**k. and the soundtrack was INSANE! they played all-4-one's "i swear" which would probably be fine (at a lower volume) - i get it...kind of po-mo pastiche. but then they followed it up with SARAH MCLACLHAN! at that point, the pastiche theory gets thrown out the window and you're dealing with someone manning the decks who just doesn't know better, or is a cultural r-tod.

i'm willing to overlook all that because there aren't that many places to go have a nice dessert in toronto. unfortunately, this place wasn't that hot. desserts were expensive...most hoveringi n the $14-16 range and for what you get, not worth it. big time beard fail.

i had the chocolate sticky toffee pudding, served with salted caramel and gingerbread stick. this was the size of a golf ball. i'm sorry, i know what the food costs are on pastry items and i know the rent is probably insane in yorkville, but that's not my problem, it's yours. GIVE ME SOMETHING WORTH FOURTEEN DOLLARS. the flavour was aight - sticky date cake was suitably tacky, but it committed the cardinal sin of sticky toffee puddings in that the thing WASN'T SOAKED THROUGH WITH THE CARAMEL SAUCE. so it was sticky on the outside but kind of dense and dry on the inside. the chocolate mousse accompaniment was a bit of an afterthought.

my partner had the brownie. this place also does that stupid thing where they give the menu items names that are embarrassing to say out loud in mixed company, when there are no children present. also, the names had no relationship to the actual items and featured inexplicable spelling. so the brownie is called "brownie and clyde" and there's a menu item called "kiss me kake" (a chocolate cake w/ cream cheese frosting) anyway, this was also MINISCULE. it was about the size of a wagon wheel snack cake. and was thin (you can see it's resting on blackberries). it was a fudgy, egg-heavy flourless chocolate cake. but as you can see, there's not a hell of a lot sitting on the plate.

i'm not the biggest fan of tromp l'oeil food. i don't generally find it that impressive. making food that's relatively malleable look like other stuff isn't all that impressive to me - it's a lot different in terms of skill set then when say, wylie dufresne makes a "fried egg" out of emulsified carrot juice and coconut. in the above example, you have a sponge cake "bun", a chocolate mousse "patty", lemon gelatin "mustard", shortbread cookie "fries", strawberry coulis "ketchup", and some green stuff that i didn't taste that's supposed to be "relish". in this case, making the food look like stuff seemed to have more to do with "what can we make this food look like?" as opposed to "what will actually taste good together and make sense from a textural/flavour standpoint?" this didn't taste that bad but it wasn't very wow. the cake overwhelmed the burger flavours and the lemon and chocolate didn't make sense. the lemon also ended up tasting kind of artificial and way too gummy - it was reminiscent of black forest cake with the fruitiness and the chocolate. incidentally, this is probably the best value for the buck as you get a crapload of shortbread cookies and the sponge cake bun is pretty substantial.

my friend got the trio of brulee's (chili chocolate, caramel ginger, and vanilla.) i didn't get to taste them but brulee is brulee and they looked alright from where i was. if this was $8-10, i'd think it was worth it, but it was also fourteen bones.

so finally, it's a waste of your time and money. don't go there. they also sell the MOST EXPENSIVE MACARONS EVER. and the MOST EXPENSIVE CANDIED ORANGE PEEL EVER. THE ORANGE PEEL IS THE PART YOU THROW AWAY. the stuff is nicely packaged and i get what they're going for...but you my friends, are no fauchon.

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  1. Absolutely excellent review. Pithy, amusing, and a little bitchy but with an ultimate focus on food and value.

    I was wondering about this place. Sounded too good to be true.

    Thanks for the review.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Fwagra

      To each his own.
      I took a group of 6 visitors there and we all loved the decor.
      We loved the service.
      We loved the chocolate fondue.
      Infact they wanted to return and have lunch there!!!

    2. informative review - ive been meaning to try this place, particularly the fondue.

      1. Thanks so much for this helpful review Vox. The menu on their website had me salivating and I had an inkling that their portions would be small. However, with your description, it seems their portion sizes aren't big enough to satiate a mouse and their astronomical costs, in the midst of a recession, are making me want to take a pass now. I'd rather save up for a tasty dessert spot that has reasonable prices and portion sizes

        1. i went with some friends a couple weeks back. definitely have issues with the place, but will say that the hot chocolate was really good. the dark version is thick and rich (very chocolatey), and the milk chocolate with chai version was thinner but still very tasty.

          i would definitely never recommend afternoon tea there. apparently you have to book in advance and they take your credit card because they have to pre-order in the food to make the afternoon tea tray, but they don't tell you all of this. one of the people in my party wasn't that hungry when we got there and was thinking to order just scones with tea and they said she couldn't. would have been nice to know all this ahead of time, they acted a bit put off about it. there were other issues with the hostess, unequal portions coming from the kitchen, though the server we had was as accommodating as she could be and i didn't have issues with her. totally didn't feel afternoon tea was worth my money. for that price, any of the hotel afternoon teas would have been better.

          overall, definitely not going back any time soon, though would contemplate it if i was really wanting the hot chocolate. the truffles were tasty too.

          1. I have to say, I agree with Vox's assessment, pretty much across the board.

            I described the decor as late century bordello, a line I'm almost positive I stole from someone else, but which fit perfectly.

            When I arrived -- bang on our reservation time -- the rest of my party had already been pressed to order, despite the fact that the restaurant was 90% empty. It then took about 10 minutes and several visits to our table for me to realize that the waiter was definitely never going to ask me if I wanted to order anything, so I ended up aggressively flagging him down.

            The food was ... okay. Some of it was very good, some of it was very not good. Some of it was average.

            I ordered the truffled mac & cheese ($17) as my entree and it was certainly rich and decadent, and they didn't skimp on the truffle flavor. Though, for $17, I thought they could have thrown a little more mac in there. I mean, I know pasta prices have nearly doubled in the last year, but a half cup of mac and cheese and some not-well-picked over spring mix of the sort you get from Costco topped with 1 and a half mushy cherry tomatoes is not a $17 dish, even with a dose of truffle oil.

            Add to that the $10 pot of tea, which was ridiculously inappropriate for one person, but obviously meant for one person, since it theoretically came with one macaron. In practice, it did not come with a macaron at all, at least not until we got the bill, were looking at the menu again and asked the waiter if our tea was supposed to come with a macaron, at which point he said 'Oh, did you want those?' With our $10 pot of tea that we could only drink one cup of because the tea leaves sat in the hot water getting bitter and undrinkable while we were drinking the first cup? Sure. I'll take my macaron with that. Thanks for not offering! The macaron was good. I like macarons, but I'm no connoisseur, so I can't say if it was great.

            Still, in the grand scheme of things, it's hard to complain about $10 tea. After all, the in-house filtered tap water was $5 a bottle.

            For dessert, I tried a bit of this and a bit of that, and ordered the Kiss Me Cake for myself, which was eh. The icing was kind of gummy and blah and the size of the cake was embarrassing given the $14 price. Also embarrassing was the price on the chocolate brownie of Brownie & Clyde, though it had the advantage of being very, very good, so you almost felt it was worth it. Not so the Burger & Fries, which were cute, but dull. Even the shortbread was boring, dry and flavorless and the raspberry sauce was flat and syrupy. I did like the pecan tart, but I though the funnel cake was greasy and ill-considered.

            When paying $55 for a very, very light meal (having had a large lunch, I believe I was actually hungrier when I left than I had been when I arrived), I expect to be blown away, but the winds of MoRoCo are more a chilly breeze than a sirocco.

            99 Yorkville Avenue, Toronto, ON M5R 3K3, CA