I'm a Melbourne girl, born and bred, and new resident of Geelong. Fantabulous adventures await as I explore my gorgeous new city and the stunning Surf Coast. But don’t worry—I’ll be crossing the bridge regularly to get my Melbourne fix.
Published August 12th 2015
Chocolates and treats in the heart of Collins Street
I came across Gânache Chocolate in Collins Street in the city quite by accident. This is not to say that it is hidden—far from it. Yet I had no idea it was there. I must say, I am a little perturbed as to how come it's taken me so long to discover this delicious place where all your chocolate dreams will come true. I work in the city, meaning I'm there five days out of seven. And I'm a chocoholic. Unashamedly so (and not just self-confessed either—there are plenty of others who will attest to my addiction). So why hadn't I been to Gânache Chocolate before?! I concede my failings to keep track of where to source such divine chocolate may be because I don't tend to traverse that area of the CBD very much—but I'm guessing I probably will do so from now on.
Gânache Chocolate is located a little down from Swanston Street, across from the old Australia On Collins shopping centre. The centre is in the process of being redeveloped into a swanky new mall named St Collins Lane—which will hopefully block out some of the faint seediness of Elizabeth Street that manages to sweep its way up Collins Street at times. But with an Edward Meller designer shoe store across the road, Tiffany's a few doors down, and the architecturally beautiful Block Arcade just a little further along Collins Street, the exquisiteness of Gânache Chocolate is quite well warranted in this part of town.
Outdoor seating and gorgeous window displays surrounded by striking red tiles welcome you as you arrive, with big double glass doors open wide to usher you in to the cosy surrounds. There are deep wooden boards underfoot, with matching wooden tables and chairs, soft couches and lavish light fixtures emanating a soft glow from above. There is chocolate galore, lining the shelves from floor to ceiling, the counter tops and the display stands in the centre of the store. But it is the rows of individual chocolates in the glass cabinets at the front of the store that catch your eye—and their stunning colours, shapes and designs make it very hard to look away.
The individual chocolates are available in a dazzling array of flavours, some traditional, but most not. Standing at the counter and trying to make the difficult decision of which ones to treat yourself to is reminiscent of those long ago days lingering over the mixed lollies at the corner milk bar. There's mint and caramel and strawberry for those with more conventional tastes in chocolate, but even these are so exquisitely decorated and designed there's nothing standard about them (the caramel chocolates are sculpted into domes—DOMES!—with shiny marbling adorning the outsides, and the strawberry ones come with a deep red layer of chocolate candy on the top, so perfect it looks fake—but they are most perfectly, most certainly edible). For the more adventurous chocolate lover, there's oriental spice, elder blossom, ginger and grapefruit, even lemon myrtle, cinnamon and geranium. They all have their own individual design (there's a teeny tiny pink flower atop the geranium chocolate—just darling), and they almost look too good to eat (almost).
The chocolate is all made at Gânache Chocolate's flagship store in Toorak Road, South Yarra, and delivered to the city store daily. As well as the delightful individual chocolates, there's pre-packaged gift boxes (in the stunning red and gold theme carried throughout the store), chocolate bars and blocks (in dark, milk, white and fruit and nut) and bags and bags of chocolate coated delights—almonds, liquorice, caramel popcorn, raisins and cherries, all covered in Gânache's signature chocolate. The kids aren't forgotten either, with chocolate lolly pops, caramel filled frogs and chocolate dog and dragon and dinosaur figurines to bring a smile to their day.
All manner of treats are on offer at Ganache Chocolate
But Gânache Chocolate is more than just a chocolate shop: it is in fact a chocolate lounge (how delightful does that sound?). Just like a Parisian café, light lunches are on offer each day (soup and quiche and croissants—ooh la la) as well as coffee and hot chocolates in a variety of decadent flavours (I've yet to try one, but I am led to believe they are to die for, made with real melted Gânache chocolate). Gânache Chocolate also have a patisserie range, made daily by the team of pastry chefs at the South Yarra store. If you're not a huge chocolate fan (shame on you) then you'll be sure to be tickled pink by the range of cakes and pastries on offer, both in individual slices and whole cakes to take home for special celebrations. There's brownie mousse, lemon tarts, passionfruit and mango slice and salt caramel and orange (and of course, a triple chocolate mousse for those of us who love chocolate and cake).
Croissants, coffee and light lunches are also available at Ganache Chocolate...
Gânache Chocolate is open seven days a week, from early mornings to late nights, so you can drop in whenever your chocolate craving hits. If you have a little time to linger, take a seat and savour a hot chocolate and one of the incredible pastry creations in the welcoming ambience of the chocolate lounge. If you're a little more pressed for time, grab a gorgeously-packaged mixed bag of chocolate goodies to go, and some treats for the kids. Gânache Chocolate is perfect if you need a gift for that impossible-to-buy-for person, or if you want to treat yourself to a little indulgence on a Friday night and a block of Cadbury Dairy Milk just won't cut it. And for this chocoholic, that sounds about the perfect plan to me.
Treats and sweets for everyone...including yourself!