I have enjoyed a lot of hot chocolates in Melbourne over the years, but this time I fell in love with one…with many actually, at Mörk.
The thing is, Mörk is perhaps the ultimate hot chocolate, for many reasons. First Mörk is not a chocolate shop, it’s a hot chocolate shop. Mörk is not a café….its a hot chocolate shop. Mörk is not a restaurant or a bar or a store or anything else. It is a place that is dedicated to serving hot chocolate in many shapes and forms. Now, how many places have you been like that? I’ve been to more than my share of cafés and this perhaps is the only one of its kind.
So, as you can probably imagine, once I found Mörk I didn’t let go. Luckily it was 10th on my list of places to try while in Melbourne this time (I had a pretty long list…) and I’m glad it was because if it had been any higher up the list we wouldn’t have tried anything else. Once we found Mörk we kept going back, over and over again. Sometimes twice in a day, we became completely addicted. Even if it wasn’t on route, we still kept making detours to find our way there. We’d leave the kids with the grandparents and say we were off to an appointment…just to go spend the morning at Mörk (sorry and thank you grandma and grandpa!)
Mörk’s chocolate brew house in North Melbourne used to be a 1950s bakery warehouse. Today it has been completely converted, the front area has 18 seats, a small store area and of course the counter where you can watch the expert chocolate brewmasters prepare your drinks (part of the experience, make sure you watch!). All the details of this store are gorgeous and put you in a state of zen, prepared for your hot chocolate experience. I especially loved the mugs and other crockery by Missing Ear, Tufts and Shelley Panton. Chocolate brewmaster Jamie’s passion and love for hot chocolate is contagious and if you ask him any questions about the brews he will answer with a sparkle in his eye. It is all about the chocolate and treating it with respect (the blinds of the store are lowered in the afternoon to protect the organic, fair trade, mostly single origin chocolate from the heat which can change its taste). This week the two owners were away in the UK, spreading Mörk goodness and doing a fantastic job…Mörk was picked up by the Fat Duck, and if you know the Fat Duck, you know you don’t get much better than that.
Mörk has already taken over Melbourne and you will find it in cafes across the city. But not the Mörk you get if you come here to the brew house. Your experience starts with a small glass of vanilla flavoured water to wake up all those taste buds while you try to make your choice from their menu.
They have four, lets call them basic, hot chocolates that you can order or buy in powder form to bring home with you. The Junior Dark 50% if you aren’t as dark as the rest of us is made from chocolate from Peru with a slight toffee sweetness. The Dark Milk with a pinch of river salt is 65% goodness from Trinitario beans from Madagascar. When the two founders were testing out their first hot chocolate they brought together their friends in the coffee and food industry to do a taste test (how I wish I had been there!). These expert palates chose the 85% as their favourite option, a Venezuelan cacao with hints of raisins and earthy spices which is sold in store. However the base chocolate used in many of their creations is actually their Original Dark 70%, Trinitario from Venezuela with hints of stone fruit, almonds and ripe berries. If you want to go all the way they do have a shot of 100% Venezuela single origin cacao. Often when you eat this kind of chocolate it is too bitter to enjoy, but this was surprisingly round and beautiful.
Chocolate brew master Jaime suggests that when you discover a new hot chocolate location you should start with their base offering before venturing into their speciality drinks…which in this case would be the Original Dark 70%. But honestly if you come here for a visit, go straight to their jewels. (Note that it seems they may have recently changed their menu but I’m hoping they kept some of the classics below).
Start with the Campfire Chocolate. There is a reason it is the favourite; because it is awesome. It feels (and smells) exactly like being at a campfire. Watch the video above. You are presented with a reversed stemless wineglass filled with wonderful campfire smoke, turn it over, pour your dark hot chocolate inside and sprinkle it with some house smoke salt (salt enhances the flavour of your chocolate). Then take your nicely toasted marshmallow and pop it into your cup. Drink and repeat often.
A very close second is the Layered Chocolate, a glass half filled with chilled dark chocolate and half with warm and delicious Crema Catalana custard with a pinch of orange zest. It is ridiculously good….and addictive. Despite the descriptions, these are not desserts, they are hot chocolates and very easy to drink. Not overly sweet or heavy. Just right.
If you are looking for something sweeter, then you will like the Liquid Chocolate Bar, a warm mug of hot dark chocolate drizzled with salted hazelnut caramel and a fancy chocolate shard. If you are looking for something with a bit more body there is the Breakfast Chocolate made with oat milk. A hot summer day calls for the chocolate sodas or a beautiful Madagascar cocoa cold brew. Little ones will be more than happy with their mini chocolate with toasted marshmellows.
If all that wasn’t enough…one of the owners is a chocolatier and makes delicious truffles and other creations that tempt you on the counter next to the cash.
Verdict: Doesn’t get much better than this (yes my husband is a little jealous). To top it all off prices are very reasonable, 5-8AUD and they have a very cool logo. Enjoy. Mörk, 150 Errol Street, North Melbourne, Australia.