Be prepared, dear readers, for this post is a doozy. Eyes will roll.
I kid – this post is extensive, but only because it includes a lot more eyeporn. Why more photos? Because this is a roundup! Not a definitive one mind you, but five places in Melbourne for which sweet is the name of the game.
Aye aye, read on to drool over five times the usual sugary goodness! We explore La Belle Miette, Brioche by Philip, Koko Black, Dessert Story & Chokolait!
Dates Last Visited: 5/7/13-8/7/13
Address: see Urbanspoon icons
Sure, Melbourne has its unbeatable café culture, but that’s not to say this is all they’re good at. While Melbourne is catching up to Sydney with respect to ice cream (e.g. the recent implementations of Sydney’s N2 Extreme Gelato, Cow & The Moon or world famous Gelato Messina), we still didn’t struggle much when looking to scratch that sweet itch.
It’s almost trite to talk about macaron shops, La Belle Miette won’t care, especially as their macarons are hailed as some of the best in Melbourne.
It’s got a bit of a clichéd French look, but it does set the mood of the place. I suppose a macaron shop can’t really do to much out of par.
Upon trying six of them, I do agree that they are very good. The cherry blossom & sake flavour is particularly interesting, being almost like a sugary alcoholic cocktail but in macaron form. The other flavours are much more stock standard – not mind blowing but in no particular way disappointing.
Compared to Sydney? Hard to say – I haven’t been to the places in Sydney that have been regarded as its best. I have been to Paris though – but that’s a wash.
Still, if you’re in Melbourne, grab a box – at $2.5 each, these are real cheap next to Sydney’s extortionist $3.5+ea. You won’t regret parting with your coinage on these.
On the final day of 2013’s first Melbourne trip we decided to grab a few bites to eat while waiting for the flight back to Syd. When we saw brioche in the name of this next store, I had to pay a visit.
Brioche by Philip adheres to its namesake very well. That said, it’s also a cafe and they do sell non-brioche items as well. In case brioche isn’t your thing. But if that’s the case, please tell me who you are so I know never to eat with you.
The coffee is likely Melbourne-decent, but we didn’t try it because we had one earlier during the day. But hey, if you ever want 12 coffees they’ve got a deal for you LOL.
Seriously, why does bread have to be so delicious and so carby at the same time. Life’s not fair.
That particular pain is amplified when we talk about brioche – with the added buttery texture and sweetness, it’s just oh so much worse in both ways.
In case I haven’t drilled it in enough, brioche is my favourite type of bread. If only celery was my favourite type of bread. Ahem.
With all this choice on offer, it was quite difficult to decide what to get. We ended up settling on only two items.
This danish was quite nice – I particularly liked how it looks like an egg yolk but tastes oh so sweet. The pastry wasn’t actually that good though – it would be better heated up but that kills the point of a danish like this.
Once again, I think this piece of brioche is better served warm. I didn’t learn my lesson, and got some pretty cold, drab bread as a result.
I think I didn’t give Brioche by Philip a good chance here, but based purely on my experience I don’t rate it particularly well. If I’m back, I’ll probably sit down in the store and eat it right there and then. That ought to do the trick.
Chocolate lovers, rejoice because the next place is an absolute knockout in the art of processed cocoa.
Koko Black has several locations around Melbourne. The one we visited is on Lygon Street, better known as Melbourne’s Little Italy. Lygon Street has amazing Italian by the way, if you wanted to know. Do visit, and then come down to Koko Black for your chocolate dessert fix.
As with most sweet shops, there’s a lot to take in. For many of you, it’ll be a literal case of kids lost in a candy shop. Keep your wallets close, because you could leave a lot richer in sugar and poorer in plastic.
No kidding about temptation though – we wandered in the store for a long time trying to decide if buying chocolate was going to be worth it or not.
If there was a chocolate fountain, we probably would have carried home a truckload. As it turned out, none of us bought anything from the store per se, BUT we did sit down and had a selection of their chocolate desserts!
Holy crap this was delicious.
The sweetness was perfect, the hazelnut aroma is infused in an intoxicating manner much like how Frangelico liquour manages to be so alluring. Crispy elements are intertwined with the melting-ly delicious mousse and well…
Can you just get it already?
Oh man, two for two! Sure, I only tried two desserts, but it’s rare that I love both so much. This one’s got a cool factor in that soft syrup is poured down a brûlée crisp, adding a buttery sweet liquid element to the whole dessert.
We don’t know what it was, but there’s something about this dessert that was just so addictive. Writing about it now gives me the cravings again.
Koko Black has a dessert degustation platter which our other table of friends shared, which include some of these desserts. I would highly recommend getting that if you have the numbers.
Don’t skip this place.
For those of you in Sydney that are into more…Asian-style desserts, you’ve probably heard of Meet Fresh/ZenQ. In Melbourne, you don’t get any of that.
But you do get Dessert Story. Rest assured, apart from the gorgeous outfitting, they serve the same stuff as Meet Fresh. We’re talking herbal jellys, tofu puddings, mango shaved ice and so on.
I’m not a big fan of herbal jelly puddings to be honest – there’s not too much flavour itself and the toppings are all a glutinous mess. It is much more enjoyable on a hot summer’s day though. Time a visit accordingly!
Same sentiments applied here.
This is an acquired taste. If you didn’t grow up eating this stuff, I can imagine that it would take awhile for you to get accustomed to eating tofu like this. That is, if you ever get used to it or just decide to “NOPE” it forever.
For me, it was a decent pudding but nothing special.
Trust me when I say that on a hot Melbourne summer’s day, you’re going to be thankful you’ve got the supreme mango milk crushed ice. Yes, you’re paying for a bucket of ice that happens to have mango and ice cream on top, but can’t deny that it tastes great. Best shared!
I still prefer a great scoop of ice cream, but these desserts are probably less calorific, if that is your bent. Besides, some people love the chewiness of the toppings that usually go into these Asian desserts. Go for your life!
Melbourne also has its versions of Lindt/Max Brenner/Chocolate Room with Chokolait. We decided to go here courtesy of its high rating on Urbanspoon.
Generally speaking, high Urbanspoon ratings don’t disappoint, and initial impressions don’t either. The store is naturally also a front to sell chocolates, as I’m sure that’s where the margins lie.
But, like with Koko Black, we continue a trend of not actually buying anything to take away, but instead sitting down to enjoy some sweet, sweet choc.
If you’re gonna go choc, you may as well go all out. Few things in life are as representative of indulgence as a rich chocolate fondue. I don’t do chocolate dipping often, so it’s hard for me to definitively say whether this is better or worse than others I’ve had. All I can say is that it’s good for what it is. Can’t go wrong!
Of course, if you’re not into fondue, there’s plenty else on offer – Belgian chocolates come with the platter, as well as Chokolait mousse. Crunchy textures and velvety chocolate once again makes for an undefeatable combination.
If the cute cow doesn’t convince you to give Chokolait a try then I don’t know what can.
These are only five of the hundreds of sweet treat places in Melbourne – they’re probably not even 5 of the best. That said, it was a nice foray into the Melbourne sweetscape. Definitely keeps one hankering for more. I’ll hopefully be back this year. We shall see!
As usual, feel free to leave a comment or three