THERE is a place that will surely gratify the desire of those craving for a chocolate fix. Dark, white, or melted in a little cup for your sipping pleasure, the chocolate served at Tablea Chocolate Café (TCC) at the Robinson’s Cybergate along Fuente Osmeña, Cebu City, is a place for the “perennial sweet tooth.”
Owned and operated by Aya Garcia Shlachter, the café is a relatively new place that is already gaining popularity among Cebuanos, young and old alike. Come September, TCC will open its second branch at The Northwing.
Years ago, one would be quick to point out that cocoa generally belongs to breakfast or merienda as a hot drink in itself, or as a dip for bread, or your favorite glutinous rice treats.
In today’s modern society, Aya and her team successfully marketed cocoa products allowing them to break out of the old-school stereotype.
You only have to step into the café and taste these treats for yourself. Here, tablea is anything but old-fashioned. (Tablea is pure, pressed roasted cocoa beans and shaped into tablets or blocks.)
For instance, we have the tablea tres layer cake. This dessert features all tablea, all-over. From the cake itself, to the chocolate spread in between layers, to the tablea ganache on top. And to finish it off, the whole cake is covered with a hard casing of melted chocolate. “Probably super-rich,” Aya describes this cake in the context of flavor in comparison to her other sweet offerings.
Other desserts are the tablea layer cake (a double layer chocolate cake) and the tablea custard cake. The inspiration for the latter, as Aya explains, is taken from the idea of “combining leche flan and chocolate.”
The custard layer is thicker in this particular slice, thus giving this one a relatively unique sweetness among the others. For a more “fun treat,” there is the chocolate con churros. These are basically deep fried fritters that are sprinkled with cinnamon-sugar and then made ready for dipping in a hot tablea-based drink.
This is TCC’s version of the popular snack originating from Spain. There’s also their version of sylvanas: tablea is infused in the meringue itself.
Then as if that were not enough, it is then sprinkled with cocoa powder. The snack softly crumbles in your mouth as you take a bite.
For drinks, there are numerous choices. You can opt to have the “Choco Frio” on hot days. This glassful is tablea-based (as most, if not all of their products are), and provides that distinct bittersweet flavor you know.
If you choose to go a little more traditional, there is also the sipping chocolate, TCC’s chocolate version of an espresso.
The café offers more than just whole cakes and drinks, but also crepes, champorado—even fondue.
“I want to support the cacao growing industry,” Aya shares her motivation for starting this business. She also goes on sharing her vision: “I want (TCC) to be at the major malls and airports eventually.
“I want the café to be able to place a taste of home in their hands,” Aya referring to the numerous overseas Filipino workers and balikbayans yearning for a reminder of home.
If you want a shot of either hot chocolate or nostalgia, this café just might have the goods for you.