Gerard Mendis Chocolatier.

Since our previous review focused on the Chocolatier’s introductory phase and desserts, we decided to re-review it for dinner. Gerard Mendis Chocolatier has a prime location, lush yet cosy décor, sleek ambience, and somewhat lackluster food.

Food

The menu was pretty extensive, mostly veering towards continental fare. We didn’t try the appetizers, but tried a French Onion soup which got a lukewarm response. We chalked it up to bad ordering and decided to launch into the main course.

I’d previously had a wok stir-fried chicken rice which at Rs. 650 was straightforward and worth it, so thought we’d try some of the more layered options. We ordered a Cajun spiced spring chicken at Rs. 1400 and penne carbonara at Rs. 850.

The food arrived very quickly, and in keeping with the décor, the presentation was lovely. The chicken, touted as a signature dish, was good but not spectacular. The spice was herby and uncomplicated but the chicken itself not particularly tender. It was basic – not justifying the title or the price. It did, however come with a mushroom ragout that was deliciously flavoured and went a long way in picking up the chicken. The carbonara, unfortunately, was a real disappointment despite its promising appearance. The sauce was floury and the penne and bacon mushy and soft. Eventually, the bland nature of the dish was unbearable and cloying and we had to give up after a few bites.

Seeing as we’d visited multiple times purely for the dessert before, the final course was the hardest blow. We ordered a Belgian chocolate cheesecake (that we’ve ordered and thoroughly enjoyed at least thrice before), which looked lovely as per usual form. It came with nice warm chocolate sauce and it looked like it may have been the saving grace. But it wasn’t. The cheesecake was really hard and mealy and we guessed it may have been a bit stale or kept in storage for too long.

We didn’t order drinks but there was a lot of non-alcoholic variety at around Rs. 500 a pop as they still don’t have their liquor licence.

Service

The staff was quick and attentive despite the restaurant being almost full, and having a party underway in a private room. They knew their way around the menu and got our orders efficiently.

Ambience

As mentioned in our previous review, the ambience at GMC is great. They only have about 10 tables inside (there’s a nicely lit outer area too but it seemed empty). The lighting is warm and dim without being dingy and the brown and gold colour scheme is tastefully maintained throughout the premises. They even had a chic selection of lounge music piped over the speakers.

Conclusion

Having previously visited GMC multiple times for their desserts, we were sorely disappointed with our cheesecake on this visit. The food too was simply not up to scratch although it looked lovely. We like the place and used to be firm fans of their desserts so here’s hoping this was just an off day.

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