I love travelling and writing, meeting people and experiencing foodie places.
Published March 13th 2015
The Three C's: Chocolates, Cakes and Creativity
Chocolate Tour of Sydney with Great Food Tours
For those chocaholics and dessert fiends among us, Great Food Tours operate a chocolate walking tour of Sydney CBD. My friend booked four of us for this two hour tour commencing at 12 noon at The Rocks.
There were twenty sweet-toothed aficionados on this tour, which is the maximum number for their chocolate tours. Though this is billed as a chocolate tour, our first stop was at Mini Monet Cupcakes in The Rocks Markets. Mini Monet creates pointy mini cupcakes and there are twelve varieties of these unusually shaped cupcakes. The manager boasted that no one in the world does cakes in this shape and that people go there to paint them.
Each participant could choose a cake. I chose the passionfruit cupcake and it was delicious. I particularly liked the icing covering the entire top of the cupcake, not leaving a border around the top edges of the cake which some cake decorators are prone to do. As my three companions and I left Mini Monet, we lost sight of our tour group for a few minutes. I realised the importance for tour guides to have a flag on a stick or an umbrella to hold up for participants to pinpoint where our familiar group was.
We caught up with our group as we strolled down to George Street and headed to ChocolArts. This store has the fanciful chocolate art that I am familiar with at their Gladesville store. Their creations are truly awe-inspiring. The attendant at ChocolArts discussed their chocolate but unfortunately with twenty people crammed into the store, noise from outside and music playing within the store, it was difficult to hear her. Each person could choose a square of chocolate from their wide variety of chocolates. I tried the marshmallow chocolate square with dark chocolate ganache. It was a melt-in-the-mouth experience.
Our next stop was Guylian, a short walk along George Street. I found the visit to Guylian a little odd. Our large group congregated inside Guylian and little was said to us. We were offered a chocolate to taste, then we could also take a wrapped milk chocolate or dark chocolate from a large container. Being a greedy chocolate lover, I took two.
Guylian is a well-known chocolate and dessert café and many of the tables inside were full with the lunch-time crowd. Their wonderful display of cakes left me drooling. I knew that a future return visit would be on the cards.
Josophan's Chocolates was a five minute stroll to York Street. Their displays oozed chocolate. There were amazing assortments of shapes and sizes and flavours of chocolate. Josophan's was the most popular store to visit.
The manager closed the doors of the store to block out traffic noise and was thoughtful to turn the music off while she spoke. She explained the chocolate process, and the difference between good quality chocolate and mass-produced chocolate. Most participants bought a range of chocolates from Josophan's and we got 10% off our selections if we bought more than $20 worth of chocolate on the day. The manager was very considerate and suggested to some of the customers that it may be best that they return to the store to collect their goods after the tour finished so that the chocolate does not break or melt while we continue our journey.
I selected a small package of Orange Chocolate Macadamia Rocky Road which I decided to carry. The manager kindly put my selection in a lovely Josophan's bag to give it added protection in my bag. I have been a fan of Josophan's Chocolates since my visit to their lovely eatery, Café Madeleine, in Leura in January.
Last stop was Laduree, a store in the Westfield Mall, Pitt Street. Our tour guide farewelled us as we checked out the goodies in their display windows. There were no 'freebies' at Laduree so my three friends and I each bought a macaron.
Laduree have a variety of teas which my friends ordered. I chose Chocolat Viennois, a hot chocolate with chantilly cream. The drink was refreshing after our two hour walk and my pineapple macaron was very tasty.
It was fortunate that my friend bought our tickets from Groupon, so we paid $20 each instead of the full amount of $54 each. I later discovered that the website of Great Food Tours advertises that the tour will visit six establishments. We only visited five so I found that information puzzling.
The tour guide was friendly and explained what would happen during our tour. He gave us a history of chocolate making which was interesting but it was hard at times to hear him over the noise of the traffic. Josophan's and Mini Monet Cupcakes stood out as being impressive in customer service as well as having interesting chocolates and cakes. The best part of this tour were the conversations my friends and I had with each other. The other chocolate enthusiasts also enjoyed conversations with strangers in our group. I guess chocolate devotees and cupcake admirers have a lot in common.