Unfortunately you can no longer go to Dolce as it's doors closed on the 11th of December. While this little pop-up cafe in Covent Garden was short lived in the wild, does it have a lasting effect in our memories?
The whole idea behind Dolce was to celebrate the wonderful little nuggets of Ferrero Rochers we binge on from time to time (I binge, trust me).
The cafe had a rich atmosphere, adorned with dark walls, candlelight, golden plates... It made you believe you were experiencing something extravagant. The plants, the counter, the booze (I don't drink), everything was gold. The mood was firmly set for a special occasion.
Luckily I didn't have to wait in queues. I can only imagine the waiting times to get in, the lines on the day I arrived hardly budged. That's the power of the Ferrero I guess.
Once seated, a super friendly member of staff informs us of what we should expect. Essentially it's a celebration of what a Ferrero Rocher is. The plating is designed in such a way as to apprecicate each individual Ferrero's five elements one by one as mini desserts before arriving at the final product in all it's delectable glory.
You can essentially say this experience is a deconstructed version of a Ferrero, and that's perfectly fine with me.
Here are the five separate elements in order, read clockwise from the golden spoon.
1. The heart. A hazelnut covered in a praline mousse.
2. A chocolate case of rich chocolate ganache.
3. Shards of wafer around a very soft ganache
4. A tempered chocolate dome with hazelnut pieces. The waiters pour hot chocolate over this to melt the dome. Fancy indeed.
5. The spun sugar with gold glitter.
Personally, I think they ordered the cycle of these mini desserts wrong. The final element, the spun sugar, should have been the first, no matter what. If you leave this too long it simply withers away into a flat, boring, chewy, dissapointing mess.
I would have prefered to work backwards from 5 to 1. You would start with the wrapper and work your way to the heart. It's how we enjoy Ferrero Rochers now, so why not keep that theme going?
Other than that one small gripe, I loved the experience. Stages one to four were delicious in their own right, the first in particular (praline mousse) being something I wished I had more of.
Overall, Dolce is one of the more accomplished pop-ups I've been to. The mood is set just right and by the end you'll have had your fix of chocolate for the week. It was a very rich experience.
I think the idea of branded pop-up events is a great idea. Some will question the prices, £15 for one dessert plate and a drink (a pot of tea or glass of prosecco), but ultimately it's marketed as an experience. I feel that if the experience can live up to the expectation then the price is justified. I'm sure there will be similar events which will definitely be unworthy of the price of admission, but in this case, I think it's been a success. Yes, there were some negatives for sure but I can overlook that as I had a good time and enjoyed some delicious inspired desserts.
Rating ★★★★☆ (4/5)
One idea guys... Terry's chocolate orange experience? Or a Snickers breakdown? Ok, that's two ideas.
I'd love to hear some of your thoughts for pop-ups. Leave some comments below and let's see what other crazy things we can come up with. Who knows, someone may read this and make our ideas a reality, that would be cool.
Address omitted as you can no longer visit.