I have a confession to make - nothing too startling or outrageous but a confession nonetheless: I am a chocoholic. And not just your garden variety binge on a block of Cadbury while watching rom-coms chocoholic. Mine is more of an addiction to quality chocolate which, in this era of mass-produced, low-cost creamy blocks is actually kind of hard to satisfy. Luckily, Canberra is home to our own maker of very fine chocolates, Enigma in Braddon.
I knew the second I stepped inside that this would be my kind of place - surely one of the prettiest shops in Canberra, Enigma has a kind of cosy industrial vibe which sounds contradictory but its great - beautiful wood paired with industrial fixings and the most beautiful bit of wall art starring a cocoa pod. The shop is largely taken up by a long table stacked with chocolates - they are piled under cloches in small, decadent piles, each one like a little work of edible art. There are only small numbers of each flavour, so you know you're getting something handmade and very special when the glass dome lifts and they're lovingly plated or boxed for you.
A shelf holds some beautiful chocolate bars, chocolate flowers, honeycomb bars and the cutest chocolate lollipops - the perfect gifts for chocolate lovers everywhere or, alternatively, the perfect treat for yourself! You know you're worth it. You can try a few samples to get an understanding of the quality or just lash out and buy a few. Banoffee was like a tiny bite of banana laden velvety heaven, peanut butter and jam on toast was the classiest possible combination of those ingredients while the whiskey and bitter orange options let the star flavours shine through. The strawberry bar made not with artificial flavours but with real strawberry powder was so punchy it was amazing that such a flavour could come from a chocolate bar. I'm pretty sure that whatever your choice, you could not be disappointed.
Enigma also serves up hot chocolates - not the sickly sweet kind but some serious cocoa love in a cup. You can add spices and cream to suit your taste then cosy up on the little couch or pull up a chair and watch some chocolate making in the kitchen area.
So if you, like me, find yourself craving some proper good chocolate, make Enigma your next stop for a solid chocolate fix. Located in the Ori Building and open Wednesday to Sunday, you won't be disappointed!