I don’t usually do revisits, particularly of places that had scored quite low on A Black Spot; and I was rather apprehensive of returning to Cocoa Ooze remembering my previous experience of it, not long after its opening – however, I’m glad I decided to go after all.
It was a friend’s suggestion to meet up there for weekend lunch and gossip, a good few months ago. At that point, I hadn’t seen her in a while but we both only had a relatively short window for a catch up, and frankly, I hadn’t been out for coffee much those days, so was feeling lost for ideas of where else to go – so conceded to the Ooze.
We managed to secure a seat in the crowded cafe, and started with a savoury lunch – I remember regretting not going for the delicious-looking parsnip soup my friend went for, as I was munching on a rather unexciting sandwich. Once that was done, we ordered our coffees; I was sceptical looking at the menu, still having this nagging thought at the back of my mind that in the kingdom of chocolate I should definitely be having a cocoa-based brew – and eventually decided to give the Ooze mocha another chance.
I was still sceptical when the drinks arrived to the table, but seeing my friend thoroughly enjoy her white chocolate, I went for it – and could not contain my amazement. It was delicious!
It was not the time to take notes, even the mental ones, other than that I should maybe reconsider my star grading for this place. And – although it did take me another couple of months to get round to it – I actually returned to Cocoa Ooze for a third time.
This time was fully intentional; I had made it a day-off Thursday to beat the crowds as I set off shopping, with a time for a mocha firmly set in the schedule. As I arrived well after lunchtime, the place was still half-full; a quick glance at the menu didn’t sway my decision – I still ordered a mocha, which arrived soon after I took my seat at one of the smaller tables.
Truth be told, I did not check back on my old review, so the presentation – with bits of unmelted chocolate visible through the glass – got me worried (oh, how perceptions change!) and I thought that maybe I had wasted a trip. I gave the brew a stir, I took a sip… and I let out a quiet “mmmmm”.
Whether it was the staff, the chocolate or the recipe that has changed over the last two years, I cannot tell, but this was a truly divine cup of coffee. It was deliciously dense and mellow sweet, with that authentic chocolate taste throughout – and at the same time it did not lack a caffeine punch, which however worked in perfect unison with the cocoa, rather than clashing with it. It was extremely moreish, so I got through it in no time… and topped it off with the little chocolate served alongside it.
At times, second guessing yourself is a good thing – I know it has been for me in this case, and I am really pleased to rediscover Cocoa Ooze for the masterful mocha house that it is!
Verdict justification: Amazing coffee with chocolate at its heart – what more does a great mocha need?