I love Melbourne’s CBD (Central Business District). Every year I always make sure we have at least one day to just walk around and take it all in. You have Federation Square with its modern art buildings and galleries. The impressive Flinders Street train station is across the street. The streets are lined with interesting scultupres and statues and colourful graffiti covers some of the walls of the side streets. There are dozens of arcades that connect the different streets in the CBD, some lined with restaurants and cafes, others with stores. My favourite arcade is probably most people’s favourite arcade here, the one and only Royal Arcade.
The Royal Arcade was built in 1869 and is simply stunning. My favourite feature has to be the two giant statues at the end of the arcade of Gog and Magog. Since the very first day the place opened the two statues have struck chimes at every hour. Tucked just next to these two mythical giants is Chokolait.
I have probably already said it and I will say it again, Melbourne seems to be the hot chocolate capital of the world. Fine, France and Belgium have really good hot chocolates and very few bad ones, but the ones here are extremely innovative and more often than not, very very good. Many are unique, including Chokolait.
Chokolait is all about chocolate. They have a range of chocolate products including a wide range of hot chocolates. You can have white, Belgium, milk or dark. You can add to that chili, hazelnut, cinnamon. But that isn’t why we came here. We came here because this is the first place I have been to that has single origin hot chocolates. Yes, just like the coffee drinkers out there who get to choose the country of origin of their coffee beans, Chokolait lets you do that same with your hot chocolate. Today the choices are 38% Costa Rica Milk, 43% Venezuela Milk if you want something a bit lighter. Over on the dark side, you have Peru Dark at 64%, Papua New Guinea Dark and Costa Rica Dark all at 64%. If you are feeling really adventurous you can try the 71% from Ecuador or the ultimate, the 80% from Uguanda. According to the woman at the counter all have their own unique flavour, some are a little fruity, some nuttier, like a good wine really.
Feeling adventurous, we went dark today. I had a 71% from Ecuador and Rich the 80% from Uguanda. They came to us in tall clear glasses with handles. I loved the first few sips of my 71% hot chocolate. It was chocolatey, just the perfect amount of sweetness and it even had almost a spicy note to it but that didn’t linger too long. Rich’s on the other hand was very bitter (surprise surprise) with no sweetness at all and he ended up sipping mine quite a bit. I loved this hot chocolate but only the first half. Perhaps because it was in a clear glass it cooled down very quickly and once it cooled down it was very thick and puddinglike. The subtle spiciness went and it just wasn’t as enjoyable to drink. But I absolutely loved the first half and could come back again to try the other options and compare.
Verdict: I’d love to see Chokolait put in place a tasting platter where they have the different chocolates served to you in little tea cups or shot glasses so you can taste and compare all the different single origins. Maybe next time? Chokolait, Shopt 8 Hub Arcade, 318 Little Collins Street, Melbourne, Australia