45 calories for a Triple Chocolate Brownie, 250 calories for a Potent Lava Scoop Cake, reads a big poster next to a little chocolate bar at the picturesque Orchard Central basement. You must think there’s some sort of catch. But in truth, there isn’t any.

Low-carb chocolate bar Cacao7 is the first of its kind in Singapore. Owner Megan Lin (refer to picture above), believes that “sugar is sin” and her business is an extension of this philosophy. Unable to give up chocolate, she decided to make her own low-carb chocolate one day. Hence, this led to the birth of a splendid array of diabetic-friendly gourmet desserts you see today at Cacao7.

“It is important for people to know what they are putting in their bodies,” says Ms Lin, who takes her low-carb lifestyle very seriously. So seriously, that she devised the Menu by Net Carbs and by Calories that provides essential information for low-carb and low-calorie dieters like herself. This new concept aims to help customers to control the amount of net carbs and calories that they consume, especially if they’re diabetic.

What makes the decadent treats at Cacao7 so special are the ingredients. For one, the sugar used is one made for diabetics and is both natural and low in calories. This sugar is called Whey Low (Introductory price: $29.90 for 910g),which Ms Lin is also the exclusive distributor of.

“Whey Low is a beautiful product, it does not have any aftertaste, like other sweeteners do. What makes Whey Low so special is that, unlike other sweeteners, it can be used for cooking and baking,” says Ms Lin, who was previously an investment banker before she stumbled upon the art of chocolate making. As for the cacao, (which is the true spelling for cocoa) she uses a top quality Ecuadorian cacao bean, which is an USDA certified organic crop that’s free from harmful chemicals.

To most of us, low-carb and low-sugar equate to inferior taste, which is a stigma Cacao7 strives to expel. Their Potent Lava Scoop Cake ($7)is an angel disguised in a veil of decadence. This gluten-free dessert is molten dark chocolate served with a touch of self-made whipped cream. Though this dessert is very rich, the whipped cream balances it out, making it an extremely enjoyable dessert. Ms Lin estimates that if she uses normal sugar, it’ll be 310 calories. With Whey Low, it’s only 250 calories. Despite that, it’s so rich and sweet you wouldn’t believe it’s healthy.

Other than creating healthier alternatives, Ms Lin enjoys putting a spin on traditional recipes, calling them her own. Unlike the conventional Tiramisu cake, you won’t find any soggy cake bits in Cacao7’s Irish Tiramisu Mousse ($7) but an indulgent load of cream. (Yes, cream!) After getting past the layer of light, heavenly mousse, what awaits you is a golden syrup of Irish Cream. The marriage of these 2 ingredients is so divine; you’ll be scraping it off the muffin casings they come in.

Here’s a hot chocolate like no other. Surprisingly refreshing, Cacao7’s Dark Hot Chocolate ($7)is a must-try for fans of dark chocolate. It reminds one of Milo with no condensed milk added, but with 1 difference – the superb quality of the cacao. The strong flavour of the cacao makes up for the lack of sweetness you’d find in a typical hot chocolate that you would easily get sick of before reaching the bottom.

Of course we can’t forget the main point of the bar – the chocolates of Cacao7. Salted Caramel Bonbons ($3.50 for 2) are a lovely combination of dark chocolate and sea-salted caramels. One bite and the soft caramel will ooze out on to your tongue, bringing out the flavour of the dark chocolate. Don’t leave without sampling these beauties.

Photos courtesy of Noel Teo & Amanda Lim.
While at Cacoa7, don’t forget to try their low-carb ice cream ($7 for 2 scoops). The Berries and Cream ice cream is especially notable for its unique creamy taste. Cacao7 also offers 3 other flavours: Double Chocolate, Mint Chocolate Chunk, and Good Ol’ Vanilla.

The Verdict

It isn’t often one stumbles on healthy food that causes your mouth to water, and every dessert served up doesn’t fail to impress. It says something that those who aren’t fans of dark chocolate could well be converted here. Price-wise, it may seem a little steep, especially the chocolates, as you can get double the amount at the same price for a Cadbury chocolate bar, but for the quality customers are getting from Cacoa7, it’s worth every cent.

The service is also impeccable as Ms Lin is extremely friendly and will cater to your taste buds. If you’ve got an extreme sweet tooth, you can ask for your dessert to be sweetened further and she will gladly do so. The down side would be the location itself. Yes, the basement of Orchard Central may be pretty and quiet; the perfect place to chill with your friends, but one does worry if there are enough seats to accommodate customers. It would help to call ahead and ask if there are seats for a party of more than 5.

Address: 181 Orchard Road, B2-09 Orchard Central, Singapore 238896
Telephone: 6238 7473
Opening hours:

  • Mon to Sat, 11am – 8:30pm
  • Sun, 2pm – 8:30pm

Rating: ★★★★✩
Price Rating: $-$$