Review: Newly launched Zuci Chocolates is a one-stop-shop for sinful chocolates and artisanal bread
Zuci Chocolates on Road Number 45, Jubilee Hills is inviting for more reasons than one. Walls coated with dark red and brown with a slight hint of golden hue beckons you inside the dessert parlour. However, as you enter what grabs your attention immediately is the array of chocolates that make you feel like Charlie once he entered Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory.
The Roald Dahl fantasy aside, we want to tell those who come to this confectionary for the first time that you will certainly be spoilt for choices.
Aparna and Chaitanya Gorrepati, who helm this week-old outlet usher us in, and inform us that the name of this place is derived from Sanskrit word, shuchi that means pure. We soon find out that Aparna has been a chocolatier for more than a decade and a half, so she didn’t have to look too far for when she decided to open her own store. “I have trained in Belgium and France. Setting up this place has been on my mind for a while now,” said the Hyderabad-based entrepreneur, adding that she wanted to combine her love for artisanal chocolate in exotic flavours and the penchant for hosting people with this outlet. She tells us that, once someone walks in, the first question she or her team asks is about their palate. Depending on that, they are offered milk or dark variety, infused with spice, nuts and fruits.
We first decide to try the Coffee and Star Anise chocolate. The delicate balance of the latter goes well with the bitter tinge of the coffee. If you prefer something on the sweeter side, try their Coconut Truffle, with the flavour of desiccated coconut. The more experimental ones must try the Sesame Matcha, with the earthy taste of matcha which oozes out once you take a bite. But their Strawberry Lemon is a clear favourite — it leaves an enjoyable tart taste in the mouth. Something sinful on your mind? Try their Hazelnut Praline with French Biscuit.
Apart from chocolates, there is a section for handcrafted bread, freshly made in-house every day and ingredients are sourced carefully. From Sourdough to Focaccia and Baguette, you can take your pick and sample them at the store as well. These bread are all au naturel and preservative-free. We tried the Focaccia which the chef offered us, replete with herbs, sun-dried tomatoes and fried onions. It was soft and would make for a perfect evening snack just with a dash of olive oil. However, if you are here and have already had your fill of chocolates, don’t leave without trying your favourites from their elaborate confectionary counter with desserts like Cinnamon Sugar Doughnuts and Tiramisu Brioche where molten chocolate is infused through a dropper. We went for the rather rare Babka, the cake whose origins are like Central Europe and is quite popular in Poland. It combines the richness of hazelnut and chocolate, and when warmed slightly melts in your mouth and keeps you coming back for more.
Starts at Rs 75 per
piece of chocolate.
Photos: S Senbagapandiyan