The Oreo Jar At The Big Mouth

There are plenty of reasons to stop by The Big Mouth, the trendy Sandton eatery boasts a sublime Nelson Mandela Square location, warm, welcoming staff, and a broad sushi menu. But frankly, we couldn’t care less... we come here for one reason and one reason only: the Oreo Jar. It may not be the most visually appealing dessert, but don’t let that give you doubts, there’s a downright delicious combination going on here! There’s the crunchy crumbled Oreos, and then there’s the smooth, chocolaty Nutella mousse. Served in a jar, it makes for easy eating, and you can be sure that it’ll be love at first mouthful.

Where: The Big Mouth, Nelson Mandela Square, corner of Maude & 5th Streets, Sandton, Johannesburg.

The Chocolate Torte Slice At The Fat Zebra

The Fat Zebra has always taken desserts seriously. So it’s especially telling that, while the cakes on offer change regularly, there’s one thing that never goes away: their killer Chocolate Torte Slice. The luxurious torte manages to be decadent without being too rich, and is accompanied by a dollop of crème fraische and seasonal berries. The dark, earthy chocolate flavour is mesmerising, and will leave you wanting more every time. As for the chocolaty aroma that wafts out from the minute that you tuck in? Just know that that’s a treat of its own.

Where: The Fat Zebra, corner of 7th Street & 3rd Avenue, Linden, Johannesburg.

The Chocolate Tart At Café Del Sol

Café Del Sol’s Chocolate Tart could easily masquerade as the signature chocolate cake at a high-end restaurant, and nobody would bat an eye. As simple as it may sound, it’s a chocolaty delight of note! Copious amounts of soft, chocolate truffle make for a high chocolate-to-flour ratio, which fudge lovers will adore. A nutty crust adds some bitterness and provides a divine depth of flavour that melts on your tongue like a straight chocolate truffle and makes for a strikingly balanced bite.

Where: Café Del Sol Classico, Olivedale Corner Shopping Centre, corner of Olive & President Fouche Roads, Olivedale, Johannesburg & Café Del Sol Botanico, Bryanston Shopping Centre, William Nicol Drive, Bryanston, Johannesburg.

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The Italian Dark Chocolate Ice-Cream At Tortellini D’Oro

For us, Tortellini D’Oro is, without question, one of the best Italian eateries in Joburg. The owners perfectly combine fresh ingredients and time-tested techniques to present tasty flavours and fine textures in everything they do, but there’s no better showcase for their hard-won skills than the Italian Dark Chocolate Ice Cream. The flavour is intense, with a subtle undercurrent of bright fruit and bitter coffee. It has a powerful richness akin to a slice of dense flourless chocolate cake, with a smooth, silky texture that few sorbets manage to achieve. Served in an ice cup with chocolate biscotti, it’s the perfect after dinner treat.

Where: Tortellini D’Oro, Oaklands Shopping Centre, corner of Pretoria & Victoria Streets, Oaklands, Johannesburg.

The Chocolate Macaroons At The Patisserie

A heavenly abundance of rich, earthy bittersweet chocolate flavour makes these perfect macaroons from The Patisserie stand out from your average fare. With their soft, crunchy shell and plenty of softened, intense chocolate inside, it’s natural to compare them to dense and creamy chocolate truffles. A couple of these will make for the delightful kind of chocolate overload that will make you want an ice-cold glass of milk on hand… but not to worry – one of the friendly waitresses can organise that for you.

Where: The Patisserie, Post Office Centre, corner of Rudd Road & Otto Street, Illovo, Johannesburg.

The Ferrero Rocher Cupcakes At Walnut Grove

Walnut Grove may be best known for their highly praised designer cakes and remarkably stylish atmosphere, but the cupcakes are also stars on their bakery menu. The drool-worthy little cakes possess everything we enjoy in a chocolate treat: a rich flavour, a fluffy texture and a fudgy icing. The Ferrero Rocher cupcakes are particularly divine, whipped up with high-quality chocolate and topped with a Ferrero Rocher chocolate itself. Trust me when we say that you’ll never have an icing more dreamy touch your lips… you’re bound to fall in love at first bite.

Where: Walnut Grove, Sandton City Shopping Centre, corner of Rivonia Road & 5th Street, Sandton, Johannesburg.

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The Chocolate Den & Trang At Saigon

Saigon is best-known for their steaming bowls of stir-fry and flavourful teas, but we can assure you that their Chocolate Den & Trang is just as much of a standout… once you try it for yourself, you’ll understand perfectly why. The smooth and silky chocolate mousse is made from the finest ingredients, and presents an unbelievably light texture and winning flavours. The milk chocolate is undoubtedly the winner, but the vanilla bean isn’t too far behind. Served together, you get to experience the best of both worlds and let’s be real: it’s the kind of combo that would be good even without the chocolaty canvas of churned sweet cream.

Where: Saigon, Rivonia Junction, corner Rivonia Road & 7th Avenue, Rivonia, Johannesburg.

The Chocolate-Filled Croissant At The Whippet

If you’re a fan of pastries that celebrate the deliciousness of milk chocolate, we assume you’re a sucker for pains au chocolat, perhaps more commonly known as chocolate croissants. In that case, we assume you also know that it’s hard to find good ones locally. The charming little spot that is The Whippet, however, does them amazingly well. While, quite frankly, there isn’t anything on the menu here that we don’t recommend, the light, flaky French-style croissants filled with rich chocolate sure are at the top of our list. Delicious at both breakfast or brunch, order one up with a Crème Brulee latte and you’re in for the ultimate indulgence.

Where: The Whippet, corner of 7th Street & 4th Avenue, Linden, Johannesburg.

The Belgian Chocolate Fondue At Licorish Bistro

Last on our list is Licorish Bistro’s bubbling Belgian Chocolate Fondue, which, simply put, is a world of love. Roll up your sleeves and get ready to be set loose into chocolate heaven. Served with fresh fruit and vanilla sponge cake, the fondue is relatively simple but at the same time tremendously satisfying. The chocolate itself is of superior quality, and is as rich and creamy as you could wish for. After a long, hard week of work, there’s nothing better than sharing this dreamy delight with a friend or lover alike. Just be warned: you will leave feeling ‘chocolate wasted’.

Where: Licorish Bistro, Nicolway Shopping Centre, William Nicol Drive, Bryanston, Johannesburg.

Are there any sinfully rich desserts to sate our chocolate cravings that you can recommend? If so, be sure to leave them in the comments below.

Remember that our “Top Picks” are not paid for and are compiled at the discretion of the journalist. We only write about what we love.

The Oreo Jar, The Big Mouth, Nelson Mandela Square

There are plenty of reasons to stop by The Big Mouth: the trendy eatery has a great location on the Square, warm, welcoming staff, and an extensive sushi menu. But frankly, we come here for one reason and one reason only — the Oreo Jar. It may not be the most visually appealing dessert, but don’t let that give you any doubts. There’s a downright delicious combination going on here with crunchy crumbled Oreos and chocolatey Nutella mousse. Served in a jar, it makes for easy eating — and it's love at first mouthful.

Where: Nelson Mandela Square, corner of Maude & 5th Streets, Sandton, Johannesburg.

The Chocolate Torte Slice, The Fat Zebra, Linden

The Fat Zebra has always taken desserts seriously. So it’s especially telling that, while the cakes on offer change regularly, there’s one thing that never changes — their killer Chocolate Torte Slice. This luxurious cake is decadent without being too rich and is served with a dollop of crème fraîche and seasonal berries. The dark, chocolate flavour will leave you wanting more, every time.

Where: Corner 7th Street & 3rd Avenue, Linden, Johannesburg.

The Chocolate Tart, Café del Sol, Olivedale 

Café Del Sol’s Chocolate Tart could easily be the signature dessert on a five-star hotel restaurant menu. It has copious amounts of soft chocolate truffle, creating a high chocolate-to-flour ratio that fudge lovers will adore. A nutty pastry crust adds some balance and provides depth of flavour. This tart simply melts on your tongue.

Where: Café Del Sol Classico, Olivedale Corner Shopping Centre, corner of Olive & President Fouche Roads, Olivedale, Johannesburg & Café Del Sol Botanico, Bryanston Shopping Centre, William Nicol Drive, Bryanston, Johannesburg.

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The Italian Dark Chocolate Ice Cream, Tortellini D’Oro, Oaklands

For us, Tortellini D’Oro is, without question, one of the best Italian eateries in Joburg. The perfect combination of fresh ingredients and time-tested techniques are present in every dish but there’s no better showcase for the chef's skills than the Italian Dark Chocolate Ice Cream. The flavour is intense with a subtle hint of fruit and bitter coffee. It has a powerful richness akin to a slice of dense flourless chocolate cake and a smooth, silky texture. Served in an ice cream cup with chocolate biscotti, it’s the perfect dessert.

Where: Oaklands Shopping Centre, corner of Pretoria & Victoria Streets, Oaklands, Johannesburg.

The Chocolate Macaroons, The Patisserie, Illovo

The rich, bittersweet chocolate flavour makes these macaroons from The Patisserie stand out from your average desserts. With their soft, crunchy shell and plenty of soft, intense chocolate inside, it’s natural to compare them to creamy chocolate truffles. A couple of these will result in that delightful chocolate overload that will make you thirst for an ice-cold glass of milk  – one of the friendly waitresses can easily organise that for you.

Where: Post Office Centre, corner of Rudd Road & Otto Street, Illovo, Johannesburg.

The Ferrero Rocher Cupcakes, Walnut Grove, Sandton City

Walnut Grove may be best known for their designer cakes and stylish ambience but the cupcakes are also standouts. The little, baked creations have a rich flavour, a fluffy texture and fudgy icing. The Ferrero Rocher versions are particularly divine, whipped up with high-quality chocolate and topped with a Ferrero Rocher chocolate. Trust me when I say that you’ll never have an icing more delicious touch your lips.

Where: Sandton City Shopping Centre, corner of Rivonia Road & 5th Street, Sandton, Johannesburg.

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The Chocolate Den & Trang, Saigon, Rivonia

Saigon Vietnamese restaurant is an institution for their steaming bowls of stir-fry and fragrant curries, but we can assure you that their desserts also need a mention, especially the Chocolate Den & Trang. This smooth and silky chocolate mousse is made from the finest ingredients and has an unbelievably light texture and is rich without being cloying.

Where: Rivonia Junction, corner Rivonia Road & 7th Avenue, Rivonia, Johannesburg.

The Chocolate-Filled Croissant, The Whippet, Linden

If you’re a fan of pastries with the added deliciousness of chocolate, we assume you’re a sucker for pain au chocolat, perhaps more commonly known as chocolate croissants. In that case, we assume you also know that it’s hard to find good ones locally. The charming little spot that is The Whippet makes them amazingly well. While, quite frankly, there isn’t anything on the menu here that we don’t recommend, the light, flaky croissants filled with rich chocolate are at the top of our list. Delicious for breakfast or brunch, order one up with a crème brûlée latte and you’re in for the ultimate indulgence.

Where: Corner 7th Street & 4th Avenue, Linden, Johannesburg.

The Belgian Chocolate Fondue, Licorish Bistro, Bryanston

Licorish Bistro’s bubbling Belgian Chocolate Fondue is in a class of its own. Roll up your sleeves and get ready to be set loose into chocolate heaven. Served with fresh fruit and vanilla sponge cake, the fondue is relatively simple but at the same time tremendously satisfying. The chocolate is superior quality, rich and creamy. After a long, hard week of work, there’s nothing better than sharing this delight with a friend or lover. Just be warned: you will leave feeling ‘chocolate wasted’.

Where: Nicolway Shopping Centre, William Nicol Drive, Bryanston, Johannesburg.

Do you know of any other sinfully rich chocolate desserts that you can recommend? If so, share with us in the comments below.

Remember that our “Top Picks” are not paid for and are compiled at the discretion of the journalist. We only write about what we love.

Tucked away in the suburb of Oaklands is a small centre called, unsurprisingly, the Oaklands Shopping Centre. At a quick glance from the road it has little to recommend it. The sign is unremarkable and the shops themselves are hidden behind the trees and parked cars. It has, however, an appeal worth discovering. The centre draws a remarkable number of people throughout the day because many of the businesses support each other, and act as a common draw card, by being remarkably good. The ones that have impressed me more than somewhat are:

Tortellino D'Oro is an extremely attractive, clean and well run Italian restaurant and delicatessen. Started by the Bollini family over 30 years ago, today it is managed by Catarina. It has grown significantly since then, expanding by taking over adjoining premises and converting the sidewalk outside into a covered open-air verandah. Whilst not the cheapest it is extremely popular and the food and service, which I have enjoyed whenever I can persuade someone to take me there, is excellent. After enjoying coffee or a meal you will want to investigate the delicatessen side and choose something/s to take away with you. Some well known public figures, and an extremely faithful clientele, are regular patrons. It is well worth a visit, and you know that you will enjoy it as you walk in. Tortellino D'Oro means ‘golden pasta shaped as a belly button’ – visit the website to find out why!

Open from 9am - 10pm Monday to Saturday and 9am - 3pm on Sundays and Public Holidays.
Tel 011 483 1249. Web: www.tortellino.co.za

Odizee Gifts is right next door and is an intriguing shop. They carry a range of different, quality items for the home or for gifts, and are also stockists of Charlotte Rhys products. It is fascinating to browse through the shop, listening to the conversations and watching people spend money on items of jewellery, antique silverware, garments or one of a number of little items. If you are looking for inspiration you should get it here.

Tel: 011 728 1078

Europa Coffee Shop has also extended itself over the sidewalk. On most days there will be people sitting under the umbrellas enjoying a meal or a drink, whilst the rest of the world takes care of itself. It is wonderful to have such places where it is possible to relax outside instead of being hidden in the depths of a mall. They have some great staff and the food is good.

Tel 011 728 3720

Oaklands Farm Supply is another of the main draw cards. It was established over 40 years ago and is known for its quality and good selection. Although not overlarge it is well laid out and an attractive shop to enter. The produce always looks fresh and appealing. They also have a range of kosher products, and a large selection of fresh cut flowers, freshly squeezed juices and a salad bar. They will deliver fruit platters and gift baskets.

Tel: 011 728 3214

All in all this little shopping centre has great appeal and much to recommend it – including a good Postnet. It is compact so that no great distances are involved, and one can tick a number of items off the ‘to do’ list whilst treating oneself to a ‘little something’ or a bit more – especially at Tortellino D'Oro.


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What's on at Maropeng

November 6: Cooper’s Cave picnic
Maropeng and iHominin are offering budding palaeontologists a rare opportunity to explore a 1.5-million-year-old fossil site.

Cooper’s Cave, 1.2km from the famous Sterkfontein Caves near Johannesburg, is a relatively newly discovered fossil site, where several species of animals and a number of stone tools have been found.

The day’s activities include an interactive fossil and site talk, exploring a cave, a chance to look for fossils, and learning how to make stone tools.

This is a must-do for adults and children with an interest in palaeontology and archaeology. Remember to pack a hat, apply sunscreen and wear comfortable walking shoes – oh, and bring your camera!

The price is R350 per person and it includes a light picnic lunch. The tour will start at 09h00. This is a family event.

Please note, bookings can only be made online. Make a booking

Please note: bookings are confirmed once paid for in full and are not refundable within 72hrs of arrival.