It is hard for Melburnians to imagine not liking coffee, but people with such tastes do exist and one such person was staying with me last week. Therefore, on a cold, rainy weekend our mission was simple: find the perfect cup of hot chocolate.
We were not just looking for a hot drink, however. What is equally important is the hot chocolate experience. The atmosphere, the décor, the service and the dedication to hot chocolate perfection are all equally important as the hot chocolate itself.
Our journey started at San Churro in Brunswick St Fitzroy, as its groovy website boasted the 'very best chocolate experience possible', and they do stock some delicious-looking chocolate treats. But hot chocolate-wise, our experience did not quite meet these lofty expectations. On a busy Saturday, San Churro small space was crowded and the hot chocolate itself was so thick it reminded of my grandmother's chocolate blancmange; delicious as a dessert but not as a warming winter beverage. I'll add that fans of churros – long Spanish doughnuts – should definitely visit San Churro as this seems to be their specialty. Perhaps their website should boast the 'very best Spanish doughnut experience' to play up their strengths.
Our next stop was Max Brenner in Doncaster. Their menu was extensive and as a coffee connoisseur I was pleased with the presentation of their cappuccinos, drizzled with chocolate and with a little piece of, you guessed it, chocolate on the side. Their strawberry chocolate dip was simple but to-die-for and I was impressed with the freshness of the strawberries. They also serve chocolate babka which is a rarity in Melbourne.
We were there for hot chocolate, however, and we were certainly not disappointed with the number of hot chocolate beverages available. One could even argue that the sheer range was a little overwhelming but staff were very willing to help. In the end my companion was pleased with her choice, 'Chocolat', which was very rich and perhaps best for the hardcore chocolate fans. The rest of us should visit Max Brenner for the coffee, the chocolate dip strawberries, and the frappes which were the best I've tasted. I was a little perplexed by the lack of straight iced chocolate on their menu, however, for those who want a cool drink without a frappe headache.
The last stop on a cold Sunday afternoon was Koko Black in Carlton. Koko Black knows what they do best and they do it with sophistication. Their menu is laden with exquisite chocolate and non-chocolate based desserts, teacakes and ice-creams. Their iced chocolate is magnificent, as are their seasonal menu choices such as a Summer or Winter Spoil, featuring the flavours of the season.
Koko Black's hot chocolate is deliciously rich without being too sweet or too thick, and is an experience in itself, with or without one of their delicious desserts or chocolates. The standard offerings are the regular hot chocolate and a 'lite' version, which tastes way too indulgent to be called 'lite'. My companion and I spent over two hours in Koko Black, sampling the menu and discussing our choices with the staff. The staff were friendly and knowledgeable, groovy music added ambience, the décor was beautiful and our search was over.
Koko Black offered the perfect hot chocolate experience.
Best hot choc in Melbourne is not any of these in my opinion, it has to be Monsieur Truffle in Smith St by a long shot.
The next one on my list for local organic would be Phillippas in armadale who use organic nilk and good quality melted chocolate mixture, then Organically Grown in Glenferrie Rd do a good organic one also. Happy tasting...
I think i'v found the best hot chocolate experience it's a little place called tick Tok in Melbourne west in Williamstown. Not only is t a fantastic tasting hot chocolate but it's huge. The presentation is soo cute it comes with 2 marshmallows (the good once) and a serving of milk chocolate bits. To top it off the owl image on the top if the froth is cute, must go there oh and also try the cakes.