A Melbourne, London & Hong Kong dessert blog
The inner-eastern suburbs are home to Melbourne’s most adventurous chocolatier.
It is in the affluent, leafy suburbs of Melbourne’s inner-east that one may find what is arguably, Melbourne’s most adventurous chocolatier. Not a new chocolate sweet boutique, Xocolatl has been a long-time favourite of MoMo & Coco. Nestled along the pretty heritage strip of Maling Road, the Canterbury branch of Xocolatl is a small brown space. It is one part cafe, serving potent hot chocolates and other beverages to patrons cosily cramped on wood tables and wicker chairs, and another part chocolate shop, stocked with bars of chocolate studded with nuts and what-nots and of course, a counter displaying what Xocolatl is (in MoMo & Coco’s opinion) best known and best visited for — its hand-crafted chocolate bites.
Priced at $2.00 a piece, Xocolatl’s chocolaes come packaged in complimentary white boxes that are also tied with an elegant slash of organza ribbon, in the colour of your choice. Don’t we love that extra touch? It makes all the difference in a shopping experience. :) At the larger Kew Xocolatl branch, there are usually up to 30-40 different flavours available at any one time, though the largest box holds 36 chocolates only. The Canterbury branch stocks about 20-25 different flavours. Of course, Xocolatl also produces a small range of classics, such as mint, hazlenut, cherry liqueur and the most lovely red balsamic strawberry hearts. But why not go on a chocolate adventure, eh? :) On occasion, MoMo & Coco visit to fill up a box of 12 chocolates because although we would love more, there’s only so much that even insatiable sweet-tooths like us can consume in the limited number of days that such exquisite morsels will last. Pictured below is MoMo & Coco’s most recent box of Xocolatl chocolates, holding the more different flavours that was available on that particular day of purchase.
Let’s start this blog-documented chocolate journey with a few crowd-pleasers, good but not always memorable. For example, on a number of samplings, Xocolatl’s Salted Caramel mostly fails to reach MoMo & Coco’s benchmark salted caramel chocolate bite from London’s Paul A Young, it is gritty and does not express a salted tinge at all. The Cardammon is better, uniting spice and chocolate in a rather classical flavour combination. The Lavender harvests a strong lavender tone wih a slight shade of citrus, but its woody aftertaste makes it a divisive bite. The Lokaum is a MoMo & Coco favourite, possessing a turkish delight top jelly layered with a thick honey-spiced chocolate ganache flecked with pistachio. The Rosewater is likewise lovely, well-anchored in flavour, but occasionally projects an end note of aniseed.
Let’s turn next to Xocolatl’s more adventurous chocolate bites, far more memorable, requiring multiple return visits. These bites are the reason why you should visit Xocolatl. There are quite a few that we remember very well, but did not have the luck to see them available for purchase in our most recent visit: do especially look out for a toffee apple and a peanut butter/jelly one. :) A few of pictured below: for example, the Basil Champagne sounds very different indeed, but doesn’t really translate on the palate, or at least not on MoMo & Coco’s palate. It is lightweight and subdued, with a slight herby taste but the champagne is imperceptible. The Creme Brulee captures more of the burnt crisp top of a creme brulee rather than the custard itself. The Erasmus is cherubic, white chocolate interwoven with melon tones. The Gorgonzola & Mango is a MoMo & Coco favourite, creamy with a flicker of sourness and balanced with a ripe mango top layer. Another MoMo & Coco favourite, the Peanut Butter Sizzle yields a crunchy rather than smooth peanut butter filling and ends with a surprising peppery aftertaste that lingers. Another seasonal favourite (do look out for the Christmas version too), the Summer Pudding features peach, melon, citrus and a touch of spice (?) that glides together in a lush ganache The Wasabi Macadaemia is a slow-burn type of chocolate bite, the epitome of Xocolatl’s wonderful-sometimes-strange creativity. One first notices and taste the unmistakeable bleak notes of macadaemia, before the piquancy of wasabi imposes itself. For those who can handle wasabi, do try. For those otherwise inclined (such as MoMo & Coco), trust your instinct and select another Xocolatl chocolate bite.
Most chocolate specialty boutiques in Melbourne do, of course, stock chocolate bites, including the longer-standing chocolateries of Haigh, Koko Black, Cacao and Ganache Chocolate, and the relatively newer, Chocolate Secret and Mamor, all of which produce generally classical creations. To be amazed at and be immersed in the potential creativity that abounds in the world of chocolate, one need not venture overseas, look no further than Xocolatl.
- Dessert adventure checklist
- Dessert destination: Xocolatl Artisan Chocolates & Cafe, 123 Maling Road, Canterbury, Vic 3126.
- Budget: $-$$.
- Sweet irresistibles: Chocolate.
- Must-eat: The “Lokaum” and “Gorgonzola & Mango” chocolate bites.
- The short and sweet story: The inner-eastern suburbs are home to Melbourne’s most adventurous chocolatier.