“We want to fill the void of a quality chocolatier in South Bangalore,” says Arjun Raju, the young owner of the store. And the chocolates are something else, with the liquor-filled ones to die for. We start with a Kahlua-filled one, followed by a cappuccino and Cointreau. All have flavour-rich, thick centres and smooth glossy covers.
I then check out the red wine-filled chocolate, feeling suitably la di da. With a liquid centre, you need to put the whole chocolate in your mouth so as not to spill the wine. Yep, no nibbling to make it last longer but think of it as another way of doing shots! Divina does this fun thing of chocolate bottles filled with the liquor of your choice — perfect for the party season I say what!
Arjun asks me to try the Divina Surprise, which I dutifully do, and am rewarded with a chilli flavoured chocolate for my adventurous spirit. I am reminded of hot and cold cookies from Enid Blyton’s Faraway Tree stories.
The chilli in the chocolate is not eye-wateringly pungent, it is tangy and interesting.
There are a whole lot of cakes on offer, but even here there is the special Divina touch.
“Take the Black Forest cake,” Arjun says. “The sour cherry compote is made in house, ditto for the pineapple compote for the pineapple cake.” We try the rich plum cake, which is on the right side of authentic, with the fruits having been soaked for two-and-half months. The Mississippi mud pie created from Arjun’s personal recipe will have you clamouring for more and ditto for the wobbly, airy, fairy cheese cake and the crunchy gooey nut tart.
Apart from bakery regulars, Divina offers the almond lebkuchen, a traditional German Christmas cookie and the all-round gorgeous baklava.
If all this gives you too much of a sugar rush, the quiches are definitely worth a try. The Thai vegetable quiche is happily quirky.
And then there are breads. The focaccia with chilli, garlic, olive and sun-dried tomatoes options are addictive, as is the garlic bread. Incidentally, there is a whole rack of eggless choices on offer. If you crave a hot beverage, you could have a coffee, tea or hot chocolate.
The in-house bakery is replete with the rich aroma of baking bread. Gurdeep, the bread chef, takes me on a little tour of his domain, while pastry chef Sanjib Chitrakar and Ajay the decorating chef walk me through theirs. While I have had enough of a sugar rush for a day, I know I am definitely coming back — there was that vodka-filled chocolate that needed a closer look!