I blame this article on the champorado (chocolate rice porridge) I’m eating now. Because I can’t think of anything else but chocolates. And that’s when I remembered Theobroma. (Just have to make things connect, haha!) So Theobroma is this classic elegant chocolate lounge in Tahlia, in between Firegrill and Nino. It’s tucked in one of the busiest streets in Riyadh but that’s okay because it’s like a little escape from all that noise and crowd. Among the chocolate lounges in Riyadh, Theobroma is one of my favorites because I like both their sweet and savory dishes. I’m kind of surprised that they get their savory dishes right when they should have been concentrating on their desserts. Either way, win-win.
Theobroma was conceived as a one-stop shop for delicious food and indulgent coffee creations (it wanted to replace coffee with chocolate). It first opened its doors in Melbourne, Australia in December 2006. They focused on chocolates and chocolate beverages. As a matter of fact, their range goes from milk chocolate, dark chocolate, white chocolate, colored chocolates, chocolate liquers, chocolate truffles, chocolate drinks, chocolate desserts and chocolate snacks. I’m still waiting for the chocolate lunch and dinner. Haha! As you can see, they’re mainly for chocolates but that is not to say they don’t have meals before you get to dessert. The term theobroma, btw, is pertaining to a type of flowering plant and the theobroma cacao is the most well-known species of the genus, used in making chocolates. So this answers your question why this chocolate lounge is named as such. 😉
Theobroma opened their branch in Riyadh in 2014. We already tried their bestselling waffles and a trio of burger sliders. During their soft opening, everything was so-so so it took me another few months to return and eat there again. Surprisingly, I enjoyed their food and drinks this time around. I don’t think they changed anything in their menu. Maybe added some, yes, but I just enjoyed my second time more. I don’t want to ignore my first time there though so here are the food we ordered on December 2014:
The Halloumi Crepe is so simple looking and simple tasting. It’s just crepe with halloumi cheese, tomatoes, and a dash of chili. My friend likes anything halloumi so she said the taste was just okay.
It was the picture in their menu that made us want to order the Banana Crepe. In fairness, bananas and chocolate don’t go wrong when placed inside a crepe. It’s almost always the flavor of crepe I go for in any restaurant serving crepes (and even pancakes). I love the sweetness of the banana mixed with the slightly salty crepe. The milk and chocolate drizzles are just bonuses.
Considering that the whole dish costs SR 55, the Strawberry Waffles is just okay. It’s good for sharing though so we got the best bang for our buck. The waffles are not too sweet and the strawberries were the perfect add-on because of it’s tartness and sourness that went well with the chocolate and ice cream. It also has the hot and cold combo and that’s just pleasant to my tastebuds.
We didn’t enjoy these beef and chicken Mini Burgers because they were a bit boring and dry.
I’m totally baffled why I even ordered this haha. It’s just Fried Shrimps and while it looks robust and huge in this photo, they’re really not that big in person. Also, it’s fried shrimps. And it’s 69 riyals! Go figure.
I didn’t find anything extraordinary with this Dark Chocolate Frappe but it’s refreshingly sweet. It’s appropriate for Theobroma.
I can’t remember if this was milk, dark, or white but I’m sure it’s one of their hot Belgian chocolate drinks. It was luscious and indulgent. It’s like a dream coming true in a mug. The relaxing effect of a hot chocolate is in this drink and look at it, the presentation is so cute! Complete with a well-designed mug and heater (with candle! haha!).
I’m just now guessing that this drink was a cappuccino. I didn’t took note of our orders but I’m pretty sure this is a coffee concoction and it was my friend’s so I don’t have a firsthand experience on how this tastes like. Hehe.
They let us taste their chocolates! Yum! Apart from the different designs and patterns in their chocolates, these have different fillings too. I remember a salt and pepper, rose cream, popping candies (the best) and caramel in some of them. I love how diverse their chocolate designs and fillings and they’re not too sweet so they’re not cloying. One pop is not enough!
So all in all, I can say that our first experience of Theobroma is a 7/10. It was quite enjoyable but since it was their first few weeks, it was a bit boring and the service was slow. The menu doesn’t even look beautiful but the dining area look elegant and classy already so that was a good thing.
Fast forward to August 2015… We went back to Theobroma because I wanted to compare the chocolate fondue of Riyadh. (I just tried Dip n Dip a week before.) And so I thought it fitting to invite friends to Theobroma so we can share their chocolate fondue. They had the design and print of their menu revamped (thank goodness); it fits the elegant decor and ambiance better.
I don’t know what got into me or what changed in their chocolates that I enjoyed this very much. The melted milk chocolate was not too sweet and it’s so creamy! Another dream coming true, my friend. Haha! It’s just so decadent, it’s almost sinful to dip another fruit or mallow. Pineapple, strawberry and marshmallows are my favorite pieces to dip in this. Yummers!
We also had the usual Banana Crepe and Strawberry Waffle and they’re still good as the first time but I think the presentation differed a bit. The banana crepe doesn’t look as appetizing as when we first had it. It lacked the white chocolate drizzle that’s why the color looked just neutral and a bit boring.
One of their newest item in the menu is the Dynamite Shrimps and oh my, it was the bomb! I like that the shrimps are huge and the sauce is not just the typical sweet chili mayo sauce. The sauce in this dish is redder because the hot sauce is more pronounced. I can really taste the sourness and spiciness! Don’t worry, there’s a sweetness in there too. I just like the mix. This is my favorite Dynamite Shrimps in Riyadh.
I though their iced coffee will have ice cubes but it still looked like a frappe to me. It’s good even though I couldn’t taste the coffee that much.
We went a bit adventurous on the hot drinks and chose:
Don’t you just love the foam art of these drinks? Both are delicious with a touch of unique flavors. The mint and chili didn’t overpower the chocolate but we tasted both flavors, especially the mint one. The chili was a bit underwhelming. You’ll only taste it after a few sips. Interesting drinks though. Have ’em a go!
Theobroma Chocolate Lounge has earned stars in my list of go-to restaurants in Riyadh because I like their appetizers and their chocolate desserts and drinks. As for the other part of their menu, I’ll think about their salad, pasta, and sandwiches next time. They might be good too. After all, Theobroma has proven that just because it’s a “chocolate lounge” it doesn’t mean they just focus on the chocolates. They have more to offer and boy do we know it!
Theobroma Chocolate Lounge
Tahlia Street, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Operating Hours: 7:30AM to 12:30AM