Devilishly decadent chocolate dessert degustation evenings in the style of The Great Gatbsy.
Some of our favourite restaurants, dessert shops, and high teas are the ones that receive very little, if any, media publicity. Registering barely a blip on any newspaper that we have read, online or in print, and certainly to date on no other food blog or food review site in Melbourne, let us reveal to you a very special event that we attended recently. Koko Black, that formidable chocolate specialty boutique that arguably introduced connoisseur chocolate to Melbourne, recently held a series of chocolate dessert degustation sessions held in conjunction with a private viewing of the Great Gatbsy.
One gusty weekend afternoon, we found ourselves at the old-fashioned stone chiselled doorway of Koko Black’s Collins St boutique. Once inside, there must have been about 30-40 persons eagerly awaiting in a queue to be seated. If you have not yet been, that’s terrible, but quickly, the boutique is a little dark brown den lined with a never-ending glass counter of chocolate bites and mirrored shelving of other chocolate products. It is lit with stunning cherub crystal wall and ceiling lighting and with velvety curtains draping one wall.
Taking a complimentary glass of sparkling wine to our table, there was a short wait between the courses. As an appetiser, we were presented with a choice of Aurelia Champagne or dark Belgian Chocolate truffles. Our dining companion preferred the intensity of the latter, while we loved the former as a more ideal light start.
We were anticipating three separately plated desserts, but looking back, that would probably have been a logistical/organisation nightmare and in any case, we were exceedingly full by the end of the dessert session. Presented on a black slate plate, the first dessert item to be sampled was the “Milk Chocolate and Raspberry Puree Mousse.” It was sweet and light, with just a twang from the raspberry. At its centre was a hidden surprise — a large chocolate bite that enclosed white chocolate ganache and popping candy. The latter, I say, is becoming quite a new dessert trend! Will it replace the salted caramel obsession? The second dessert item, a “Hazelnut Praline Delice,” was the favourite of the Dessert Correspondent attending the event. Hazelnut and chocolate, cake and cream, and a crunchy praline feuilletine base, how can you possible go wrong? You can’t. We want to order this in a large cake format, please. The last dessert item was a very very rich, “Belgian Chocolate Mousse Dome.” For lovers of dark chocolate, this last dessert would have been ideal. For us, we don’t like gelatin-based desserts and its cocoa intensity set us over the chocolate edge for the day. Notwithstanding such personal idiosyncracies, it was smooth, light and creamy. Indeed, no technique or taste issues to fault with any of the three desserts.
Following this platter, we were then presented with a tasting of Koko Black’s new “Inclusions Range.” Let us tell you — the “Salted Cashew Nut Brittle.” We are going to save up the pennies and buy a large box of this for safe-keeping and stock-piling. The “Tasmanian Leatherwood Honeycomb” was also good (characteristically crunchy with a soft taste), but simply not as divine as the other.
And at the end of the event, after collecting a giftbag containing a bag of Choc-coated Hazelnuts and a box of six chocolate bites, we crossed the street to the Kino Cinema for a private viewing of The Great Gatsby.
You’ve heard or read of the reviews of Baz Lurhmann’s The Great Gatsby. Not being a fan of Baz Lurhmann’s vertigo-inducing cinematography and epileptic directorial narration, but being great fans of his partner’s exquisite costume design craft instead, the film is certainly in the same class as his previous films. A gloriously over-dramatic, controversially skewered adaptation of the book. By stark contrast, there is nothing divisive about the food aspect of the Koko Black chocolate dessert degustation event. Reasonably priced for the high quality and quantity of the desserts on offer, and with extra touches that seems so elusive in the hospitality industry these days, including a personal invite posted to your home address, friendly and efficient staff, an accompanying chocolate gift bag, we are most certainly keeping an eye and an ear out for any future dessert events by Koko Black…and would recommend that you do so too.
Dessert adventure checklist
- ☑ Dessert destination: KoKo Black Chocolate Boutique, 52 Collins Street, Melbourne CBD, Vic 3000.
- ☑ Budget: $$$$ ($65 pp).
- ☑ Sweet irresistibles: Chocolate.
- ☑ Must-eat: Chocolate dessert degustation.
- ☑ The short and sweet story: Devilishly decadent chocolate dessert degustation in the style of the Great Gatbsy.