A lot of people would say that hot chocolate is the one true brew of the winters and I mean look at the happiness it brings to everyone just by existing. The idea of thick, melted chocolate topped with toasted marshmallows is such a compelling food fantasy that you can never get enough – or so I thought when I decided to embark on a mission to have 9 cups of hot chocolate in a day. For research purposes, obviously.
Here is my countdown to the BEST hot chocolate in Karachi!
9- ESQUIRES – BRUHHH?!
I do not like being mean about food but finding a good cup of hot chocolate is serious business. This was really powdery. Could have done with more chocolate, an actual hot chocolate recipe and maybe some thought on making it look slightly more inviting? A hot chocolate is supposed to be a hug in a cup – just saying.
Price: Rs 593 (including tax)
Taste: 1/5 Presentation: 1/5 Innovativeness 1/5 Value For Money 1/5
8- BUTLER’S – Staying Old School
This is the White Hot Chocolate at Butler’s. Butler’s used to be my go-to for a cup of rich and intense hot chocolate but with so much competition in the market, their offerings have kind of taken a back seat. This white chocolate was good – not great. It was milky and creamy. In case that’s what you like and if you want a break from the dark chocolate, this can be your option. The serving size is also good for the price.
I am giving it a point more for innovation for the flavours they have on the menu. There is a Cookie Hot Chocolate in the menu too. Their recipes have not changed however and we could use a new and improved 2020 version of Butler’s Hot Chocolate. 🙂
Price: 599 (including tax)
Taste: 2.5/5 Presentation: 1.5/5 Innovation: 2/5 Value For Money 3/5
7- CAFFE PRAHA – Doesn’t Disappoint
Caffe Praha is where you go to for lotus pancakes and french toasts. You expect them to do hot chocolate well and they deliver on that expectation. What’s good about hot chocolate at Praha? Serving size, presentation (it’s definitely instagrammable), taste – it’s not too milky, you definitely can taste the chocolate, the marshmallows on top help AND the variety of flavours they have on offer.
I have also tried their Caramel Hot Chocolate and it’s great – albeit sugar rush – inducing. Another flavour they have is Cinnamon Vanilla.
The taste does get monotonous after a while though because of the sweetness. It’s a good idea to order one for the table so you are not stuck trying to finish it all by yourself.
Price: 497 (including tax)
Taste: 3/5 Presentation: 3/5 Innovation: 2.5/5 Value For Money 3.5/5
6- ESPRESSO – Steady In The Race
Firstly, kudos to Espresso for trying to keep up with a trend. Usually, it has become known as a place that very rarely changes its menu so it’s kind of cool to see them introducing a winter special. They have really thought about the presentation and you have suddenly seen it popping up on everyone’s hot chocolate wish-list.
Taste-wise, it has all the ingredients of a good hot chocolate. Chocolate? Yes. A recipe that does not taste like you are having Ovaltine? Check. Toasted Marshmallows? Yessir.
The only thing that you definitely notice is that it is a little sweeter than what is commonly available and while you taste the chocolate, it does not have the bittersweet taste that you associate with a good dark chocolate – which is what I prefer.
Price: 550 (including tax)
Taste: 3/5 Presentation: 3.5/5 Innovation: 2.5/5 Value For Money 3.5/5
5- DELINA – Instagrammable AF
Delina really joined the hot chocolate race with a bang – From Candy Floss Hot Chocolate to Red Velvet and even Chai – all of their offerings are really unique. I have chosen the Red Velvet Hot Chocolate to be in the list – because just look at it.
The recipe actually makes use of white chocolate in this so it can be compared to Butler’s White chocolate variation maybe. Serving size is solid for the price. The taste is a little creamy and it’s like drinking a red velvet cupcake.
Their Candy Floss Hot Chocolate is more for people who like the classic version. It is not as thick so it’s easy to drink. The sugar in it comes from the candy floss which dissolves when chocolate is poured on it.
Full marks for presentation for sure.
Price: approx Rs 339 (including tax)
Taste: 3/5 Presentation: 5/5 Innovation: 4.5/5 Value For Money 4.5/5
4- TEST KITCHEN – One True Love
Everything at Test Kitchen is sheer perfection. Scones, breads, cheese – everything. This hot chocolate was sheer perfection too… except they changed the recipe? It’s now milky and is not as intense as it used to be. I hear that’s because they incorporated people’s feedback… Can people stop ruining good things already?
The recipe is still good though. If you have tried the earlier recipe, you will definitely miss it but if you can set that aside – this is definitely the hug in a mug you expect hot chocolate to be. Also, I think if you want the less milky variation, I’m sure they can bring it to you that way if you tell them while ordering.
Price: Approx. Rs 550 (including tax).
Taste: 4/5 Presentation: 3/5 (presentation is simple but it works with Test Kitchen’s aesthetic) Innovation: N/A (classic recipe) Value For Money 3/5 (serving size is smaller than others)
3- SOL Foods – Hot Chocolate Fantasy
This is like a wild card entry since SOL is primarily known for their burgers and beef. The presentation is super indulgent and not the usual marshmallows tucked over a cup of hot chocolate. The recipe is on-point. Again, a rich in chocolate concoction that you will enjoy with the rest of their food. A thumbs up.
Taste: 4/5 Presentation: 4/5 Innovation: 4/5 Value For Money 4/5
2- FLOC – Dark Knight
This is the hot dark chocolate concoction you are craving for this winter! They have improved the recipe from last year and it does show. This one is called the Devil’s Dark Chocolate and it is… The Devil Dark Chocolate.
Premium dark chocolate (tasted like Lindt), right balance between milk and sugar. The presentation could be improved just a tadddd bit – to make it really seem like a winner which it is.
Price: Rs 550 (including tax)
Taste: 4.5/5 Presentation: 3.5/5 Innovation: 4/5 (for the variety of flavours available) Value For Money 4/5
1- PESTO – Masterpiece
This is pure melted dark chocolate bless. It is the pick-me-up you need after a long, hard day. No frills, no fuss – just a solid recipe and priced quite less than the usual variety too. Oh and it’s sugar free, which enhances the flavour of the chocolate even more.
Price: Rs 423 (including tax)
Taste: 4.5/5 Presentation: 3.5/5 Innovation: 3.5/5 (for the fact that it tastes great while sugar-free) Value For Money 5/5 (great price)
What are your rankings, favourites, wish-list around hot chocolate this season? Tell me!
Happy drinking! x – GGE
(Disclaimer: The ratings and ranking is obviously subjective to my personal opinion and based on what was served to me when I ordered. Your experience could be different and preferences too! This article is not sponsored by anyone.)