Monday, November 2, 2009

All aboard the Cibo Express

There are about 12 Cibo Espresso outlets in the Adelaide metropolitan area. Five of these are in the Central Business District (CBD). While Bean Bar outnumbers them in the CBD, Cibo has more around Adelaide.

The website is very flash but does not have much information about the locations or the costs, so your reviewer will find out more for the readers of this blog.

97 Pirie St, Adelaide
This is the outlet featured on the website. Your reviewer was pleasantly surprised to find that CIBO do a thick Italian hot chocolate. They call it "Cioccolato Italiana" to distinguish from their standard hot chocolate. Alas, the weather was too warm and they had not started up the hot chocolate machine on the day I visited. They do not get enough call for it in the summer months apparently. Patrons take a table number so they can deliver the food and call out your name when your drink is ready.

Your reviewer settled for a standard hot chocolate. This was $3.20 and came with piles of chocolate powder on top of a white froth. This was not a particularly elegant presentation but it still tasted good. My only criticism was the cup was too small. Large sizes were available at higher cost.

41 Gouger St, Adelaide
It is not obvious from the Gouger street outlet but there is plenty of seating inside. The shop is deep and narrow. Your reviews was handed a table number to display on the table. He was also meant to take a thing that looked like a spaceship that would summon him when his drink was ready.

It would seem that "Cioccolato Italiana" is standard fare at CIBO although some outlets do not make it available in the hot weather. The Gouger street outlet fortunately had it available.
Cioccolato Italiana came in a small cup with a dollop of cream. This was a simple but delicious chocolaty treat. The cream helps to balance out the rich smooth chocolate taste. The cost was $4.50. It was good to find another Italian hot chocolate venue in Adelaide and update the earlier posting on this subject.Cibo Espresso on Urbanspoon

1/156 King William Rd, Hyde Park
The outlet is not in the Adelaide CBD but on trendy King William Road. It is a corner shop so there is plenty of room to watch life pass you by whether you are sitting inside or outside. The patrons take a red disk that beeps when your drinks are ready.

This outlet also had the "Cioccolato Italiana" machine in action but your reviewer decided to pass on this as it was a warm night and only a few hours since he sampled "Cioccolato Italiana" at the Gouger street outlet. Instead he opted for the iced chocolate. This is the first time on this blog that an iced chocolate has been reviewed. The Cibo $5.80 version comes in a tall glass with a scoop of chocolate gelati. The mixture involves chocolate syrup as well as the chocolate drink making a pattern that can be seen through sided of the glass. This was very chocolaty and not too sweet.

7/82 King William St, Adelaide
Not only was the King William Street outlet out of "Cioccolato Italiana" but it also did not have any cream so a Vienna hot chocolate was out of the question. It was the standard hot chocolate again for your reviewer, and again the froth was topped with piles of chocolate powder. This was not particularly decorative but it helped the flavour when it was all mixed up. It was $3.20 for the fairly small cup and an extra 90 cents or two dollars for larger cups.

The King William Street outlet is a bit more cramped and the décor is a bit different but it still has the same menu as the others. There seemed to be no beepers to summons the customers but the waiter did hand out a table number to display at our table.

7/161 The Parade Norwood
The "Cioccolato Italiana" machine was not operational but they had enough cream for the Vienna hot chocolate. The Vienna hot chocolate cost $4.00 and came in the same small cup but the cream seem to take up more space so your reviewer got even less drink. The cream was fluffy and well presented in a "bunch of grapes" style rather than the standard mountain. There was a liberal sprinkling of chocolate powder on top of the cream.

There was plenty of seating inside and outside. They also used the standard red beepers to summon the customers to the counter when the drinks were ready.

112A Rundle Mall, Adelaide
The Rundle Mall outlet does not have any internal seating and there is not much seating nearby although there are a number of places along the mall to take your take-away coffee or hot chocolate. Your reviewer did not make any purchases here but ascertained that that the "Cioccolato Italiana" was not being offered in the hot weather.Cibo Espresso on Urbanspoon

218 Rundle St, Adelaide
The Rundle Street Cibo outlet has seating on the ground floor and a lounge area on the first floor. There are a small number of tables outside where patrons can contend with the crowds of people who walk around the corner of Frome Street and Rundle Street. The Rundle Street venue had the beepers to summon patrons when there drink was ready but they were coloured blue.

The "Cioccolato Italiana" was available and your reviewer took advantage of this. It was indistinguishable from the one he had at the Gouger Street which was not a bad thing at all.Cibo Espresso on Urbanspoon

The Cibo Espresso outlets all are efficiently run and décor is consistent and comfortable. The fare and prices are also reasonable and consistent. Some patrons may find the beepers an oddity. Also Cibo tapes together your knife and fork which is a little peculiar. While the "Cioccolato Italiana" is not available at all outlets in the summer months it was available and Rundle Street, Gouger Street and Hyde Park.

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