The sweet irony that the cakes are more irresistible than the chocolate bites at this north-side chocolatier.
Located off Brunswick Street, Shocolate is a chocolatier that has established itself in a little nook amidst hipster grunge and bohemian whimsy. It’s a very very small space, with floor-to-ceiling shelves lined with chocolate shards and truffles boxed in plastic cubes, and twin glass counters — one filled with trays of miniature chocolate bites and the other with mousse-cakes and a bright array of flat macarons.
As a chocolatier first and foremost, one would be amiss to miss Shocolate’s chocolate bites. We document for your reading/eating pleasure, our most recent visit to Shocolate. For $2.00 a piece and a most displeasing surcharge for the box, Shocolate offers mostly classical chocolate bite flavours, with a small handful of creative flavours too.
The Shocolate is constituted by a thin slivers of jam-like raspberry jelly sandwiching a layer of a smooth, somewhat overly sweet ganache that enfolds a nutty tone.
A disappointment because MoMo & Coco have found our benchmark in Paul A Young‘s similar Marmite interpretation, Shocolate’s Vegemite is nowhere as revelatory. Its hard ganache yields a light vegemite taste, and is ultimately more chocolate than anything. It requires a less cautious executing hand.
With shadowy peanut tones, the Peanut Crisp is more praline crisp intermingled in sweet milky chocolate. A better rendition may be found at Xocolatl, in MoMo & Coco’s respectful opinion.
The Menthe evokes mint freshly plucked from the garden, both in taste and aroma. Very deep flavour expression, very exquisite. A favourite of ours from Shocolate.
Encase in a white chocolate orb with one half sprayed in a grass gree tone, the Basil is lighter in flavour-power than the Menthe, distinguishable by a touch of a herbal aftertaste. It isn’t as memorable a chocolate bite, unfortunately.
Unlike other chilli-chocolates that MoMo & Coco have sampled, the hot hit in the Chilli Choc at Shocolate develops into a full curry tone, not a typically hot note of pepper. An additional difference is that this hot hit lingers in the back of one’s throat, finding a balanced counterpoint with its dark chocolate ganache and shell covering.
The Chai Caramel gathers the essence of a super sweet caramel frappucino, rather than a chai latte or chai tea per se. In its molassy ganache, there’s also a fleeting note of cinnamon and a bold endnote of ginger. Quite lovely.
The Passionfruit exemplifies chocolate finesse — a simple, well-executed classic of a chocolate bite that embodies the electric zesty-ness of a passionfruit. Highly recommended.
From past visits, as well as on this blog-documented/reviewed visit to Shocolate, there are usually 4-5 cake-desserts available at Shocolate. For this review, MoMo & Coco have purchased 4 cake-desserts, bypassing a lacklustre eclair. We would recommend that you follow our lead and take-away for $10 a cake, rather than eat-in at $12-$14…a major rip-off, in our opinion.
The “Roasted Pear” ($10) mousse-cake is a particular delight. Set on a sizeable almond pain de gene sponge layer, lightly-scented pear mousse enclose a centre of smooth caramel ganache with a slight coffee tone. It’s covered with a gelatinous gold layer and embellished with a chocolate sliver. A gorgeous orb of gold.
Shocolate’s “White Chocolate” ($10) cake-dessert is similarly exquisite. A carelessly-crafted chocolate netting cloaks a very sweet white chocolate covering that reveals a silky and thick chocolate ganache heart with hazelnut tones. A layer of sponge cake inlaid with a few praline bits balances the softer components beautifully.
The “Chocolate Mousse” ($10) is all mousse…very pillowy soft…very rich. With a velvety dark chocolate cloak, a sweet milk chocolate mousse and a smooth caramel-honey centre, it’s lovely, but MoMo & Coco are personally not particularly enamoured with mousse-desserts..as you might have guessed from previous reviews.
Shocolate’s “Giant Macaron” ($12) is texturally closer to the original bite-sized morsels than LuxBite‘s over-hyped macaron creations. After an airy bite-down, it yields quite a soft chewy inside and a dash of chocolate indulgence. Even so, there’s none of that insipid overwhelmingly sugary-ness characteristic of Luxbite. Super good…but for the cringe-worthy price.
Shocolate offers a sweet little northern-side chocolate escapade. However, its chocolate bites vary in irresistibility, at the same just-ok standard as Haigh’s, KoKo Black, Lindt and Cacao. For more refined chocolate art, we prefer Chocolate Secret for classics, and Mamor and Xocolatl for adventure. Ironically, MoMo & Coco draw parallels between Shocolate and Ganache Chocolate: the cake-desserts at both Shocolate and Ganache Chocolate are far more irresistible than their chocolate bites. Shocolate is indeed pricier than most other patisseries, but they find no equivalent in Melbourne…apart from perhaps the exquisite works of art from Le Petit Gateau (a long-time MoMo & Coco favourite). Beautifully balanced with a quartet of cake, mousse, chocolate and sugar components, Shocolate’s cakes (and the hot chocolate beverages) therefore come with our recommendation.
Dessert adventure checklist
- ☑ Dessert destination: Shocolate Chocolatiers, 3/296 Brunswick Street (enter via Johnson Street), Fitzroy, Vic 3065.
- ☑ Budget: $-$$.
- ☑ Sweet irresistibles: Cake and chocolate.
- ☑ Must-eat: The passionfruit chocolate bite, and the mousse-cakes.
- ☑ The short and sweet story: The sweet irony that the cakes are more irresistible than the chocolate bites at this north-side chocolatier.