How many times have you said ‘ooh, we’ll just look at the dessert menu’ and instantly been seduced into sweet heaven? Because if you’re anything like me, it’s so hard to resist the call of that gooey chocolate torte and you might want to keep reading.
Haute Dolci is a dessert sensation that puts savoury on the back burner to concentrate on the best part of any meal: the treats. Yes, you understand correctly: that’s an entire restaurant dedicated entirely to pancake stacks, milkshakes piled high with towers of whipped cream and fluffy waffles with toppings aplenty. And the most dangerous part of all? The branch I visited is based in the Coliseum Shopping Park, just five minutes walk from my office. The great location also means that you can easily get to Haute Dolci from the Wirral, Liverpool, North Wales and the surrounding areas of Cheshire – it’s worth the journey, believe me.
You can tell that the owners have worked hard to create a strong brand identity and it works. From the moment you step into the restaurant – so pristine that it almost feels like a showroom, filled with glossy surfaces and luxurious gold accents – you get the feeling it’s an experience rather than just a quick bite to eat. When you flip open the thick menu for the first time, these words greet you:
“If perfection had a design, what would it look like? How would it taste?
This is a question that stokes our appetite. Perfection makes us hungry.”
With stunning photography that will have you salivating over everything, the menu is so extensive that it makes choice near impossible. Is this a clever ploy that means you have to return over and over to make sure that you try everything? It definitely worked for me. For those who like to branch out and customise their meals – or just the downright picky eaters – the create-your-own section allows you to combine any variation of toppings to create your perfect dessert.
After testing a few options for myself, I can tell you that the pancakes are beautifully fluffy, but not so thick that you can barely make a start on the stack before giving up in defeat, with a covering of thick chocolate that’s rich but not overwhelming. Cooling vanilla ice cream and tangy strawberries add a much-needed freshness, allowing you to savour the delicious flavours for longer. My favourite part of was pouring the melted chocolate on top of the ice cream and watching it freeze into solid pieces.
The cookie dough is another dish full of delights. Pouring a double dose of milk and white chocolate onto warm cookie felt like the ultimate decandance and that was before adding whipped cream and yet more strawberries. Food heaven is where you’re so full and yet you can’t quite bring yourself to stop eating because it’s so damn delicious. You’ll undoubtedly experience this here.
Now, let’s talk about drinks. The milkshakes section is so tempting and full of thick, creamy creations laden with all the goodness you can imagine. But, with desserts this rich, I’m going to throw in a curveball and suggest that you swerve those in favour of the more refreshing options – luckily, there are many. Fruity smoothies with a cocktail-esque twist are a brilliant choice to sip between mouthfuls and we had no regrets about our choices.
Haute Dolci also appreciate how tricky it can be to find good vegan or gluten free desserts on the menu in many restaurants out there today. Rather than having a paltry option tucked away at the back of the menu, there’s a whole book dedicated to their exquisite offerings to those with special dietary requirements. This was another aspect that really made Haute Dolci’s dessert experience stand out from the crowd for me.
So, Haute Dolci. If I frequented your doors every week, I’d outgrow my clothes very quickly – I mean, they literally have chocolate taps – but it’s safe to say I’ll be back for more. I’ll be bringing my friends to celebrate a special occasion, to catch up after a long time apart or just to say thanks for being such a huge part of my life. And when I do come, I’ll be relaxed and happy, ready to welcome those exquisitely decorated plates of goodness over to my table and indulge with pleasure. After all, isn’t that what dessert is all about?
Want to find out more? Head over to the Haute Dolci Facebook page to discover which stores are opening near you…
*I was invited to review Haute Dolci but all salivating is very much my own.
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