Time Out says
Need chocolate? Need it now? These guys have got you covered
Oh, chocolate. Where (or better yet, who) would we be without it? It gets us through deadlines, bad weather, worse moods and pretty much every single Monday. So we were pretty excited when two awesome chocolate shops opened in Sydney within weeks of each other.
It was already an embarrassment of rich, creamy chocolates when Lixie Chocolaterie popped up in Surry Hills). Now here comes Koko Black in the Strand Arcade. It's one of those chocolate shops Melbournians claim is “waaay better” than any of its Sydney counterparts. Now we have the chance to see if they’re right.
Well, they’re not right – how could any self-respecting Sydneysider say otherwise? But we’ll meet you in the middle, Melbourne, because we're nice and Koko Black is, too. Designed to look like the vault of a Swiss bank, it fits right into its elegant surrounds. Ceiling-height white drawers decorate one wall, while a long, sweeping glass cabinet encloses the vast display of individual chocolates which you can select to fill a bag or box to gift (or stuff in your face as soon as you leave the shop).
Make sure to eat the liquid salted caramel truffle in one fell swoop, as it has a tendency to explode upon first nibble. For a firmer, more toffee-like consistency which is less messy but no less fun, the salted caramel dark choc is the way to go. The mango and vanilla chocolate is a tropical cocktail umbrella in food form, with a smooth fruit filling and subtle hints of vanilla. If spice is your thing, the chai tea truffle and its T2 tea-infused ganache – rich and heady with cardamom and cinnamon – will hit all the right buttons.
But it’s all about the honey for our money. Here, a Tasmanian leatherwood variety is blended with milk ganache and enclosed in smooth milk chocolate. It's made to resemble those honey-spoons you always see in the Crunchy Nut cereal ads, the ones nobody has any idea how to actually use. It’s a celebration of a great Australian product – floral, deep and dark in flavour. Don’t leave without buying one.
The caramel chocolate bar is basically white chocolate and caramel mixed together, which can never be a bad thing. The 80% chocolate is almost tobacco-like in flavour, with tones of smoke and pleasing bitterness. The Bolivian 68% bar feels like its slightly more refined cousin – it's silky, yet retains the requisite bitterness, with enough sweetness to balance it all out. If you’re only buying one bar, this is it.
There's a café upstairs if you feel like lingering, but if you’ve got a minute on your lunch break, we recommend running in, grabbing a honey choc (or maybe six?), and returning to work on a sugar high. That’s certainly what we’ll be doing.
The Strand Arcade
412–414 George St
|Opening hours:||Mon-Wed 8am-8pm; Thu, Fri 8am-9pm; Sat 9am-8pm; Sun 10am-6pm|