Thursday, December 31, 2009

83 on Currie

83 on Currie must be one of the most reasonably priced full menu café's in town. 83 on Currie used to be called Dowie's Brasserie situated in Dowie House, 83 Currie Street. The Café has a good lunch menu and extensive seating inside with a couple of tables outside. Merkel can recommend the salt and pepper squid and the chicken salads. Patrons can order a hot chocolate at $2.70 for a cup or $3.00 for a mug. You have to go to Roco Pasta ($2.40) or Do Duck Inn ($2.70) to equal this value.

Something other than the cheap hot chocolate on the menu caught Merkel's eye. Hot Jaffa was available at $3.20 for a cup and $3.50 for a mug. The mixture of orange flavour with a rich hot chocolate has always appealed to Merkel. The hot Jaffa came in a glass with a handle and was topped with a froth and a sprinkle of chocolate. The orange flavour was not too sweet but the chocolate flavour was not strong enough to balance it out. The prize for the best orange hot chocolate, remains with Square Café.

Merkel returned to try the Iced Chocolate at 83 on Currie. This cost only $3.70 and came in a tallish glass. It was topped with vanilla ice cream and whipped cream and a sprinkle of cocoa. The drink was very light in colour and was not particularly chocolaty.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Muffin Break, Golden Grove

After visiting the Michel's Patisserie at Golden Grove Village last week Merkel returned to try another hot chocolate. He noticed that were a couple of extra places serving hot chocolate that he did not notice before. They were Donut King and Unruly Tabooli. Unruly Tabooli was closed on the Sunday he was there. Merkel chose to try an Iced Chocolate at the Muffin Break.

The hot chocolate was $4.60 for a large cup and the iced chocolate was $4.90. The iced chocolate came in tall white ceramic beaker. Other iced chocolates have usually been served in a tall glass which allows the drinker to admire the artistry of the construction of the drink. The drink was topped with ice cream, whipped cream and a drizzle of chocolate syrup. It was chocolaty and not too sweet although a lot of the flavour seemed to come from the chocolate syrup.

Dactylic Tetrameter

The key to the dactylic meters is that the emphasis is on the first syllable of the three syllable dactyl. The dactyl in the tetrameter can be abbreviated to one or two syllables to help the rhyme.

It seemed to be sensible to start the rhyme with "Love is Like Choc'late" and I found two anonymous quotes on the subject to help me along:
“Love is like swallowing hot chocolate before it has cooled off. It takes you by surprise at first, but keeps you warm for a long time.” Thinkexist
"Forget love-- I'd rather fall in chocolate!" Chef2Chef

Love is like choc'late before it goes cool-ish
Shocking to start and then you feel foolish
Dark and uncanny but light like you're dancing
Never secure you are all the time chancing

Food of the gods is favoured by Merkel
Luncheon liaisons and choc'late with Myrtle
Falling in love has you deeply immersed
Falling in choc'late less deeply you're cursed

Dressed in a cup or a glass or a beaker
The feeling for promise resistance is weaker
Sweet aphrodisiac love is enhancing
Sip on our choc-o-late with our romancing

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Creco Crepe Connection

Creco is a stall in the middle of the Mitcham Square Shopping centre about midway between Dolci and Mooi, reviewed earlier. They specialise in crepes and desserts but also do coffees and hot chocolate.

The hot chocolate is $3.60 and comes in a tall glass with a glass handle. A pink and white marshmallow is provided. A creamy brown froth topped off the drink with a sprinkle of cocoa. The drink looked great. Unfortunately it was served too hot and the creaminess of the froth did not continue into the drink itself.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Eidos Café

The Eidos Café and restaurant is at the entrance to the Highgate Mall at 453 Fullarton Road only a few doors down from the Highgate Snack Bar. It sells organic teas and coffees and provides sandwiches, simple meals and some Greek specialties. It has plenty of seating inside.

The hot chocolate cost only $2.90 and came in a glass mug and white marshmallow. The drink had the normal froth and sprinkle of chocolate. The hot chocolate was creamy and had a good flavour.

Anapestic Tetrameter

If Merkel is ever to write verse as well as "Cat in the Hat" by Dr. Seuss he has to master the Anapestic Tetrameter.

When you drink a hot drink
Once it steams in the pan
You must think where it goes
In a cup or a can

In a cup or a mug
With a handle to hold
Will be best for the drink
To avoid turning cold

But a glass has a problem
A beaker might too
If no handle is there
And no gloves are on you

For to hold a hot bev'rage
With sensitive hand
Is so hard with no handle
So just let it stand

To avoid the chances
Of fingertip burn
Paper napkins can help
With a twist and a turn

Now remember this lesson
In how to serve drink
It is not always easy
Like you may all think

Sunday, December 27, 2009

The Dessert Spot

Merkel returned to Topham Mall to dine at a little Café at the Currie Street entrance to the Mall. From the window it looked like the place was called "The Spot Dessert Bar" but the telephone book has it listed as "The Dessert Spot". Both names are a little misleading as while it has a few cakes and desserts it provides plenty of café food as well with some Korean influnces. Merkel had a Korean beef lepinja for lunch.

The hot chocolate was three dollars and came in a glass with a wire handle and saucer. It was darker in colour and flavour than some of the more recent hot chocolates Merkel has sampled and tasted pleasant. It was topped with the usual froth and sprinkle of chocolate powder.

Saturday, December 26, 2009


Before it was BarZaar on Unley Road, the building once was a post office and then became a play café then second hand clothes store. After some very significant renovation, it is now a comfortable Bar and restaurant.

The hot chocolate was $3.50. It came in a tall glass with a handle like at the Highgate Snack Bar, Manto and others . It was topped with creamy froth and a sprinkle of cocoa. This was a good long drink and was reasonably chocolaty.

Your reviewer returned to BarZaar for the iced chocolate a few days later. It came in a tall glass topped with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream and a sprinkle of cocoa. The drink was a homogenous, light brown colour and had ice cubes throughout, similar to Kappy and Wright's. Your reviewer is not a great fan for ice cubes in his iced chocolate. It does not mix well with milk and cream although it does keep the drink cool. The drink was milky and not particularly chocolaty. The iced chocolate cost $5.00.
Barzaar on Urbanspoon

Amphibrachic trimeter

Amphibrachic trimeter is often used in Limericks. The emphasis is on the second syllable of a three syllable Amphibrach. The trimeter uses three such sets of three syllables rather than the dimeter which uses two.

When Merkel eats lunch he invites along Myrtle
Who provides her ideas and concepts quite fertile
For she is respected, a member of Mensa,
A qualified lawyer, accountant and censor

In lunchtimes when ev'ryone's rushing and frantic
Old Merkel takes time to be calm and romantic
For dining with Myrtle is such a great pleasure
A time of fine tastes and a time one should treasure

Two syllable rhymes get a bit tricky. The last amphibrach can also be one syllable as in the following rhyme.

This choc'late looks good but its flavour is weak
I like a rich drink and it's difference I seek
To water it down is just such a big sin
The food of the gods should not be so thin

I like a dark flavour and one that is bold
And wonderful drinks should all be extolled
So I will keep writing so all can now know
For tasty hot choc'lates, just where we can go

Friday, December 25, 2009

Coffee & Cream Cafe

Your reviewer has avoided City Cross at lunch time because it is very crowded and noisy. However this time he thought he should pay a visit to the food hall in City Cross Arcade. He chose the Coffee & Cream booth in the middle of the food hall.

It cost $3.60 for a regular sized hot chocolate and $4.00 for a large one. The hot chocolate came in a generous decorative ceramic mug. It had a very creamy froth and a liberal dousing of chocolate powder on top. The chocolate in the drink was not stingy either. The flavour was good and rich. After ordering, your reviewer noticed that there were two types of hot chocolate on offer "Swiss" and "Spiced". While the hot chocolate was delicious it would not normally be classed as Swiss as it was not sweet or malt flavoured like other Swiss hot chocolate. Your reviewer may return to try the Spiced Hot Chocolate but not during the busy lunchtime.

Unfortunately Coffee & Cream is now on the disapperaing hot chocolate venue list.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Savoir, Parkside

Merkel and the Junior Marmadukes looked up the Camellia Tea Room that was meant to be at 309 Fullarton Road, Parkside only to find it had closed and had been replaced by Savoir Caffe. Savoir is a mixture of day-time café and night-time fine restaurant with a degustation menu at night with such delicacies as double-roasted duck with Cointreau, venison pot au Feu, boar ribs and pheasant. At the time of this review the café had only been open a short time and the evening restaurant was only just about to start business. So this might be the first review you find on the net for this eatery. The menu is short but the food tasty and well presented.

The hot chocolate came in a big red mug. It had a brown froth topped with a circle of white froth on top. The hot chocolate was chocolaty and had a good flavour. The hot chocolate cost $3.80.

Savoir is now the disappearing venues list and has been replaced by Puccini's.

Trochaic Dimeter

Shakespeare used the Trochaic Dimeter occasionally and so does Merkel. It is like Iambic Dimeter except the emphasis is on the first and third syllables.

Bubble, Bubble
Toil and Trouble
Whisk it Lightly
Make it Sprightly

Churn it Louder
Choc'late Powder
You can taste it
Just don’t waste it

Holy Holy
Pour it slowly
Let it build up
'Til it's filled up

Place a yellow
Sweet Marshmallow
On the saucer
Now don't force her

Care to take it
Not to shake it
Serve it steaming
Children beaming

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

G.G.’s Continental Coffee Bar

A couple of blocks down from Gillberies on Dulwich Ave is G.G.’s. This is a buzzing breakfast place on a Saturday morning amongst the shops on the corner of Stuart Ave including some other eating places. There are five tables inside and more outside.

The hot chocolate came with a big pink marshmallow and cost $3.80. It was topped with a tasty brown forth and a liberal sprinkling of chocolate powder. The taste was creamy and chocolaty. The hot chocolate was nicely presented in a brown cup and saucer. The picture is included here with an exotic looking muesli trifle in the background.

Iambic Dimeter

In order that Merkel Marmaduke can become a popular children's order like Dr. Seuss, he is trying out different poetry forms on a subject close to his heart.

I like to stock
A nice hot choc
I think to drink
Without a blink
I seem to dream
Of sweetened cream
Exotic spice
Is also nice

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Lime 2 Café

This was another of those Café names that I had to look up in the telephone pages to see what it was really called. The two is displayed as a superscript so I expected it might have been called "Lime Squared" which would have made sense as it is on Light Square. That was not the case though. It was called just plain old "Lime 2 Café" to distinguish it from "Lime" which is a shop in City Cross Arcade. Lime 2 is a spacious Café with seating inside and outside and provides a range of sophisticated meals and sandwiches. It is a few steps off ground level and overlooks the trees in Light Square. It is very reminiscent of Square Café that overlooks the trees of Hindmarsh Square from a similar position.

The hot chocolate came in a Vittoria glass with a wire handle. It came with a saucer and a pink marshmallow in the saucer. It was topped with a creamy froth and a sprinkle of chocolate. The drink itself was too sweet and not chocolaty enough for my taste but the view and ambience of the Café was enjoyable.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Belgian Beer Café Oostende

The Belgian Beer Café is on Ebenezer Place, just off Rundle Street in the east end of the Adelaide CBD. This is where the "Oostende" bit of the name comes from. It is a large restaurant with dark wood furniture, ceiling and panelling. Here you can buy beer with names like Stella Artois, Bella-Vue and Leffe. You can watch the waiting staff go through their ritual of pouring the beer and rinsing the glass as is explained on the Café website.

The hot chocolate is three dollars and comes in a glass with a handle and a creamy froth on top. Your reviewer had hoped that perhaps this would be a hot chocolate made from fine Belgian chocolate. Perhaps it was, but the chocolate was not rich enough to be sure. It was too milky and sweet to be a good hot chocolate.
Belgian Beer Cafe Oostende on Urbanspoon

Dr Seuss

Again your humble reviewer returns to poetic forms describing hot chocolate themes. We had Haiku, Limericks and Valentine poems in previous postings. Unlike anagrams and palindromes rhyme and meter are very important in poetic forms. One of the masters of this for children's verse was Dr Seuss which is the alias of Theodor Seuss Geisel.

A couple of good parodies of Dr Seuss verse in relation to computer issues have been executed.
What makes Dr Seuss books unique is the use of simple language and themes that appeal to children. "Green Eggs and Ham" uses a vocabulary of just 50 words and only "anywhere" has more than one syllable. Also Dr Seuss usually uses a strict meter and simple rhymes. "Cat in the Hat" is mostly Anapestic Tetrameter. "Green Eggs and Ham" mostly Iambic Tetrameter.

After mulling over this analysis of meter and rhyme a Junior Marmaduke suggested I just change the words to Green Eggs and Ham rather than try to write anything original. This seemed far easier. Thus what we have is an abridged version with apologies to Theodor Giesel.

That Merkel Pet!That Merkel Pet!
I do not like that Merkel Pet!
Do you like hot choc-o-late?
I do not like it, Merkel Pet.
I do not like hot choc-o-late.
Would you like it here or there?
I would not like it here or there.
I would not like it anywhere.
I do not like hot chocolate.
I do not like it Merkel Pet.
Would you like it in a house?
Would you like it with a mouse?
I do not like hot choc-o-late.
I do not like it Merkel Pet.
Would you drink it in a box?
Would you drink it with a fox?
I would not drink hot choc-o-late.
I do not like it Merkel Pet.
You do not like it. So you say.
Try it! Try it! And you may.
Try it and you may, I say.
Merk! If you will let me be,
I will try it. You will see.
Say! I like hot choc-o-late!
I do! I like it, Merkel Pet!
So I will drink it in a box.
And I will drink it with a fox.
And I will drink eat it in a house.
And I will drink eat it with a mouse.
And I will drink it here and there.
Say I will drink it ANYWHERE!
I do so like hot choc-o-late!
Thank you! Thank you, Merkel Pet.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Kappy & Wright’s

A comment on the blog posting for Kappy’s Café prompted Merkel to investigate the Kappy & Wright’s outlet on Compton Street a few doors down from Bliss. Kappy’s was once a large establishment on the North side of Flinders Street. The Café moved across the road to the current establishment in 2005 and in 2007 the wholesaling business then moved Compton Street. The old building on the North side of Flinders Street has since been demolished. At some point Kappy’s seemed to split. Merkel speculates that the owners at the time of the split went with the wholesale business to Compton Street. Apparently Kappy’s naming rights, some of the furnishings and the goodwill of the Café stayed with the Café in Flinders Street. Now it seems that Kappy’s Café has ceased to use the Kappy & Wright’s wholesale product and Kappy & Wright have started their own Café in competition with the Flinders Street Café.

Kappy & Wright’s on Compton Street is a very unassuming coffee shop. In fact it was only three tables stuck out the front of their warehouse. Think of drinking your hot chocolate in your neighbour’s carport and you get the idea. There was no food served at this shop but a reasonable selection of coffee’s and teas. There is plenty there reminiscent of the old Café on the North side of Flinders Street. The huge coffee roaster takes up a lot of the space of the warehouse. Two of the tables are from the old Café, constructed using tree stumps and tea chests. The wide selection of exotic teas and coffees are there.

Merkel ordered the iced chocolate. Both the iced chocolate and hot chocolate were $4.50 so the iced chocolate seemed good value. It came in a very elegant tall glass topped with ice cubes and a scoop of vanilla ice cream. The drink was sweet with a coconut flavour. It was not as interesting or as varied as some iced chocolates. Myrtle had a cappuccino which was too strong and made with too much water rather than milk. It was served in the same green mug as they have in the current Kappy’s Café.

In conclusion Kappy & Wright’s is not your usual Café experience. You might go there to try an exotic coffee or tea, but it is not the place for food, cappuccino or an iced chocolate.


In a previous posting we looked at anagrams. Palindromes are much more rigid as they spell out the same message when spelt backwards. A couple of famous ones on another site are "Madam I'm Adam" and "A man, a plan, a canal - Panama."

Trying to right a palindrome about hot chocolate is no easy task as there are not many words that include the letter "HC" in that order. The best I can do is:
No choc side disc, oh con.

This requires a bit of imagination to work out a scenario where this phrase might be used.

Your reviewer's name does not lend itself to palindromes either. The best I can do is
Hale Kremlin nil Merkel, ah!

This is an odd way to say that the Kremlin will be much more robust without Merkel and that Merkel is relieved at this thought.

My readers may consider that adding liqueurs to hot chocolate makes them unsuitable for consumption by children. Liqueur hot chocolate could be considered for Adults Only (AO). I would hope then that my readers might accept the palindrome:
AO Cocoa

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Sq Restaurant & Lounge

Sq is part of the Mantra hotel on Hindmarsh Square. It is in the Hotel foyer. Although it fits the description of café foyerism it is not such a grand example as the Hilton or the InterContinental. Sq looks across the large tree-filled square to the Square Café reviewed earlier.

The hot chocolate came in a small Vittoria coffee glass with a light froth and sprinkle of cocoa. The cost was $3.20 which included pink and white marshmallows. The drink was fairly sweet and milky. A photograph of the hot chocolate is included with this posting showing that Myrtle's hand caressing the pepper grinder. The photograph also demonstrates the Sq attention to detail as the Christmas decoration on the right matches the design of the salt and pepper grinders.
Sq on Urbanspoon


Earlier in this blog a number of poetic forms were presented describing hot chocolate themes. We had Haiku, Limericks and Valentine poems.

They are not quite poetry but anagrams and palindromes are also a form of grammatical acrobatics that can come up with amusing outcomes. This posting looks at a few anagrams and a later one will look at palindromes.

Some anagrams of "Merkel Marmaduke" with assistance from
Earmarked elk mum
Mum leaked remark
Armed elk make rum
Armed make me lurk

Some anagrams of "Hot Chocolate"
Locate hooch
Cache hot loot
Loot the coach
That coco hole

Friday, December 18, 2009

Highgate Snack Bar

The term "Snack Bar" has fallen out of vogue. Nowadays we have coffee shops, cafes and lunch bars. The humble snack bar used to be somewhere patrons lined up to get a pie, pasty or hotdog. These days the normal lunch patron expects more from their lunch venue. The Highgate Snack Bar in the Highgate Village on Fullarton Road has moved with times although it has retained the name. The table are covered in table cloths and the walls adorned with original paintings. The snack bar offers a range of focaccia's, lepinja's and baguettes and has an espresso machine for coffees and hot chocolates.

Interestingly the original paintings were done by the owner of the shop and a certificate for an art prize is also displayed on the wall. Most paintings are landscapes but there was one portrait of a bearded gentleman. When Merkel and the junior Marmadukes visited the Highgate Snack Bar this bearded portrait had an uncanny resemblance to another one of the patrons dining there. We confirmed with him that in fact he was the subject of the portrait.

The hot chocolate cost $3.30 and was elegantly presented in a tall glass with a handle. A little syrup had been added to the hot chocolate which made a pattern through the glass. The hot chocolate was topped with a mountain of froth and a sprinkle of cocoa. Unfortunately Merkel did not have his camera on this visit. The drink was milky and not chocolaty enough for Merkel's taste.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Wakefield Tavern

The Wakefield Tavern on Wakerfiled Street is one of the big rambling pubs that have had a number of extensions and renovations. Merkel had lunch with some friends in the restaurant. The meals were tasty.

The hot chocolate comes in Lavazza coffee cup and costs $3.50. There was plenty of froth and a sprinkle of chocolate. It was not a big drink because of the little cup and the profusion of froth but it was creamy and chocolaty. This was very similar to the hot chocolate at Scuzzi.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Boho Bar

Boho on Unley Road is worth a visit just to look at the décor. It is done up like a circus tent and decorate with antique furnishing from side shows and amusement arcades. There is a range of seating from bar stools with human-looking legs to big lounge chairs and coffee tables. Boho puts on live music, fortune telling and circus acts free of charge to patrons. The dim lighting and rich colours are reminiscent of the Edwardian furnishing of Spats.

The hot chocolate at Boho Bar was only three dollars and came topped with whipped cream and a sprinkle of cocoa. This would have been a Vienna chocolate in most venues but fortunately this did not concern Merkel. The drink was served in a glass that was too hot to hold comfortably but fortunately there was a napkin available to hold it with. The drink was smooth and creamy but not particularly chocolaty.
Boho Bar on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Najjars Cafe

Najjars is a table service café in O'Connell St, North Adelaide. The service is friendly and there is plenty of seating inside and outside. There are inexpensive snitzel and steak nights during the week.

The hot chocolate is $3.60 and is fairly light and milky served in a glass with a handle. It came with two white marshmallows and a creamy froth topped with a sprinkling of chocolate.
Najjar's Cafe on Urbanspoon

Monday, December 14, 2009

Lunch at Ritz

The external signage for this Café is a bit confusing, proclaiming the name of this Café as the "Ritz Café Espresso Bar", however the signage inside and the telephone book entry gives the title of the Café as "Lunch at Ritz". This is a fairly busy café on the ground floor of a car park at 180 Gawler Place, Adelaide. It does a roaring trade in sandwiches and light meals at lunchtime. There is seating inside and outside.

The regular hot chocolate costs $3.00 but other sizes are available. The hot chocolate was served with a creamy froth. There was plenty of chocolate powder on top of the froth but not enough in the drink itself.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Michel's Patisserie

Michel's is a cake store chain which also does coffee and hot chocolate. There are six patisseries in Adelaide.

Mitcham Shopping Centre

Merkel attended the one at Mitcham shopping centre for a hot chocolate but could not resist having a passionfruit cheesecake at the same time.

The hot chocolate was $3.50 and came in a ceramic Michel's branded cup. It had white froth and liberal sprinkle of chocolate. It was a little more chocolaty than some hot chocolates but could have been richer and creamier.

Golden Grove Village Shopping Centre

Later Merkel visited Golden Grove Village shopping centre. It was the first time Merkel had been here. There were three places to get a hot chocolate all of which were outlets of chains that Merkel has visited before. Billy Baxter's was at one end of the large shopping centre, Muffin break toward the middle and Michel's Patisserie was at the other end.

Merkel settled for trying an iced chocolate at Michel's Patisserie. The iced chocolate looked great in a tall glass topped with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream and a sprinkle of cocoa. The chocolate drink was well mixed and there was chocolate sauce at the top of the drink showing a pattern through the walls of the glass. The drink was tasty without there been any particularly remarkable chocolaty flavour to talk of. The drink cost $4.90.

Saturday, December 12, 2009


This is a fine food restaurant with table service. Good waiters have the ability to remember orders, pick up piles of plates and do so inconspicuously. When you get a poor experience it helps you appreciate their skills and training even more. It was just such an evening at Barendoe where the waiting staff exhibited their inexperience. They had to yell out dishes to find out who had ordered them, they stacked the plates on the table, delivered a plate to the wrong table, and they charged for an extra main course. The food took ages to come to some people at your reviewer's table and the issue of the over-charging was not resolved with grace and efficiency as it should have been.

Still the service did not distract your reviewer from his main purposes in life which is to sample hot chocolates. The hot chocolate was only three dollars, which was a surprise given the cost of some of the meals at Barendoe. It came in a small glass with no napkin to preserve your reviewer's fingertips. It had a creamy froth and liberal sprinkle of chocolate on top. The drink tasted creamy and chocolaty and left your reviewer wanting more.
Barendoe on Urbanspoon

Return to the C Coffee Shorts Film Festival

Merkel returned to the Shorts Film Festival on Thursday. After collecting his C Coffee hot chocolate he sat down at a table to take in some more entertaining movies. The Australian films on show are reviewed below:

A World Away
This was a story of a little girl kept in an attic by her evil Aunt. The drawings the girl makes come to life with some simple but effective animation. The border between imagination and reality is blurred in the conclusion to this film. This story built to its climax well but the adults in the story lacked some credibility though.

Talk Derby to Me
This was a documentary about a scary group of Roller Derby girls. I had no idea we had such a community in Adelaide.

My New Toy
A number of the films this evening featured children who all performed well. This film involved a boy who went to enormous lengths to save up for his favourite toy. This was a well made story with a twist.

The Dressmaker's Daughter
This film seemed to be more of an experiment in different forms of animation than a film that told a story. There were some interesting visuals but the plot and significance were lost on me.

The Bully
For me, this was the dramatic highlight of the evening. It was a well-constructed script with a couple of turns that caught the viewer off guard. It was good see Adelaide schools, kids and suburbia used to produce such an effective film. The story left the audience questioning the morals of the outcome. The acting, dialogue and film technique was high quality.

At the End of the Day
This was only a five minute movie but the film craft that went into it was immense. The film was about a paparazzi photographer questioning the ethics of his profession and involved a night time scene with a large cast. The effect was a well made piece that raised some questions in the minds of the audience.

The Offer
This film was about a man who was on parole and without an income, dealing with issues raising a 16 year old daughter. He has to avoid the temptation to break the law to get some money to pay for his daughter's trip to Queensland. This involves some uncomfortable moments. The production, dialogue and musical background all produce a professional package.

A Little Problem
Most of us have our little problem. Kevin's comes in the form of small, furry, obnoxious creature about a foot high. Think of Gremlins and Furbies and you get an idea of what the creature is like. This is a live action film but the creature is animated brilliantly and incorporated seamlessly into the film. The result is a believable comic short film with a clever finish.

Work Ready
This is a drama about a Down syndrome woman looking for work. It has a very strong message about the difficulties of people with disabilities looking for employment. The performances from the actors with disabilities are brilliant. The film is well produced and tells a good story.

Notes From a ScareSmith
Walter is the housemate from hell. He has a penchant for scaring people and watching their panic. This short film is played for laughs but everyone is relieved when the irritating Walter gets his comeuppance. The idea for this film was good and it was executed well.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Café Franklin

This small Café offers an interesting variation on the Café Foyerism discussed in earlier posting. Café are sometimes put in the foyers of large buildings or Hotels. Café Franklin is adjacent to the small foyer of Franklin Central Apartments and the wall between the tow establishments has been removed. It is not quite as grand as the Hilton or the Intercontinental but provides the impression of more space for an otherwise small café.

There seems to be some confusion about what brand of coffee is provided in this place. There are Coffex posters adorning the walls, the menus proclaim Aroma Fresh coffee and Merkel's hot chocolate was served in a Griffith's coffee cup.

The hot chocolate cost $3.50. It at the usual forth and sprinkle of cocoa but the drink itself was too weak in flavour.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Bull and Bear

It is approaching Christmas so a number of the lunch places in Adelaide are getting fairly busy with Christmas functions. The Bull and Bear on King William Street, was one such venue. Service and crowding were poor despite the staff doing their best to serve the numbers that arrived. Merkel's meal took a long time to arrive and his hot chocolate took longer.

The hot chocolate was three dollars and came in a ceramic cup. The froth was decorative and light sprinkle of chocolate in straight line was applied. The drink itself was not particularly rich although the residue at the bottom was fairly tasty.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Café Fellini

Café Fellini is a big café with a film theme on O'Connell Street, North Adelaide. The walls are adorned with pictures depicting Hollywood films although I did not see any of the work of Frederico Fellini the pioneering Italian film maker depicted. Now perhaps your reviewer is getting picky after a recent attempt at being a film critic. A depiction of "La Dolce Vita" and "Eight and a Half" would have been a little obscure for a café aiming for popular appeal. This is a comfortable café with good table service serving generous portions.

The hot chocolate comes in a tall glass with a handle. It was a tasty light chocolate with malt and coconut flavours. It was topped with plenty of fluffy froth and a sprinkle of chocolate. It comes with the "standard" white and pink marshmallows. I say standard because only a small portion (13.2% according to an earlier posting) of cafés serve two marshmallows and they are not always pink and white. The cost was $3.50.
Fellini Cafe on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

JD's Gourmet Food

JD's is a little yiros shop at 115 Waymouth Street. I am not sure how it qualifies to be a gourmet food shop. About the best that could be said for its fare is that they make a nice falafel. There are only two tables and both those are outside. Still, your reviewer will look everywhere for a good hot chocolate.

The hot chocolate came in a paper cup even though they seemed to have ceramic cups available and cost $3.20. It came with a good froth and sprinkle of chocolate. The froth was more chocolaty than the drink which lacked a good flavour.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Return to Spats

Merkel and Myrtle returned to the dimly lit Spats recently. In his previous visit Merkel sampled the Baileys hot chocolate. This time he chose to have the standard hot chocolate. It was a Saturday night and the demand for seats was high but Merkel and Myrtle were seated quickly. The standard hot chocolate came in a tea cup and saucer with stainless steel pot. The tea cup was the sort Merkel remembers from his grandmother's house. It was constructed of fine porcelain with gilt edging and adorned with images of roses. In the saucer a marshmallow was provided. It was a fairly big drink and the pot kept it warm while Merkel sipped leisurely from the tea cup. It was a high quality Belgian chocolate. There was no froth or chocolate sprinkles, just lots of delicious chocolate. The drink cost $5.75.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

The C Coffee Shorts Film Festival

The opening of the 2009 Adelaide Shorts Film Festival being held at the Queens Theatre seems an unlikely place to sample a hot chocolate, however this festival is being sponsored by C Coffee and on opening night they were offering coffees and hot chocolates for a donation to film makers. The Queens Theatre in Playhouse Lane is a large rustic space and is the oldest theatre on mainland Australia.

Your reviewer has sampled the C Coffee hot chocolate before. While paper cups have never impressed your reviewer, the chocolate is rich and this time the chocolate was not as sweet or watery as the one served in the service station.

C Coffee should be congratulated for sponsoring such a great event. The film festival includes short films from a number of Australian and international film makers and runs until December 12.

After publishing this review I noticed it referenced from some film review sites. So that film buffs are not completely disappointed, I thought I might try my hand at film critique. The films were, in order:

This was a film centred on a Greek Australian family. The subject matter was serious and compelling and the acting was top class, but the dialogue was difficult to follow. Zoe Carides seemed too young and beautiful to be playing her motherly role.

Jackie's Spring Palace
This was an oddball comedy about a fellow in a pirate costume who eats too many spring roles. It was good original slapstick comedy.

This approached the problem of domestic disputes from the point of view of a young boy. The sound was not particularly good in this film, but it still managed to tug at the heart strings.

Multiple Choice
This was a hilarious episode in the life of three students looking for an excuse for missing their exams. It was an excellent plot. The timing was good and dialogue was clear.

This was a film from the UK Soho Film festival. It was portrayed from the point of view of a young boy caught up in an intrigue he did not understand. The plot was unusual and raised more questions than it answered but the film technique was excellent.

After Birth
This was a black comedy with a satirical point to make. A grandmother decides to "abort" her grandson 30 years after his birth. This is definitely played for laughs but is acted with straight faces. The concept was brilliant. The execution and editing could have been tighter.

This was an interesting look at the importance of identity. More could have been done with the thematic ideas of this film. It failed to grab me at the beginning and did not satisfy my need for a good conclusion or interesting twist at the end. It could have been tighter in the editing and snappier in the dialogue.

Man Makes History
This is quick animated sprint through history and an exploration of the battle of the sexes. It made a few good points in its three minutes.

Being Carl Williams
This was a very funny look at the problem an actor has when he portrays a well-known identity. Gyton Grantly does an excellent job of playing himself as he despairs at being mistaken for the underworld figure he played in the TV series "Underbelly". The script and technical execution are top class.

More short films reviews at Return to C Coffee Shorts Film Festival.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Milano Cucina

On the ground floor of the Channel 10 building at 80 Hutt Street is the Milano Cucina, a restaurant specialising in Northern Italian cuisine. Merkel and Myrtle attended one evening to sample a hot chocolate and a dessert.

The hot chocolate came in a dainty ceramic cup. It was finished with a creamy froth and a sprinkle of chocolate. The drink was creamy with a sweet malt flavour and cost $3.20.
Milano Cucina on Urbanspoon

Friday, December 4, 2009

Scuzzi Café

Scuzzi is one of the many good restaurants on O'Connell Street North Adelaide. It is the second review your reviewer has done from this street. The first was Cafe Paesano.

Scuzzi has plenty of seating inside and out. The seating is comfortable with a choice of kitchen chairs or comfortable lounge chairs. The polished wooden tables and wood panelling created a warm ambience. Patrons can sit and watch the passing traffic through North Adelaide.

The standard hot chocolate only costs three dollars and comes in a Lavazza coffee cup. It comes with plenty of froth, a sprinkle of chocolate and a marshmallow. The drink was chocolaty and rich but there was not enough of it. The froth was good but took up too much of the volume of the cup.

Having not had a sufficient chocolate fix, your reviewer then ordered the iced chocolate for four dollars. This came in tall glass topped with chocolate gelati and whipped cream. The mixture of chocolate milk, chocolate syrup and the ice cream created a subtle pattern on the glass but not as dramatic as patterns on the drink at Billy Baxter's or Duthy Street Deli. The drink was sufficiently chocolaty and was a good value thirst quencher on a dry day.
Scuzzi on Urbanspoon

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Perfect Cup Café

There are about five Perfect Cup outlets in greater metropolitan area of Adelaide. These shops are backed by a wholesale company that boasts a wide range of coffee and tea varieties. The Grenfell Street outlet has a warm feel to it with a wooden floor and big windows.

The hot chocolate lover at Perfect Cup can choose from the sweeter style swiss hot chocolate and the more bitter Dutch hot chocolate. The hot chocolate cost $3.35 and your reviewer chose the Dutch hot chocolate. The drink was topped with a creamy froth and a sprinkle of chocolate. The drink itself was not sweet at all but sugar could be added to taste. This real taste of bitter chocolate was similar to the hot chocolate at Gillberies but was not quite as rich.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Café Affair

This little Café is on Exchange Place a few doors down from Do Duck Inn. The address is 13 Grenfell Street but the Café does not front onto the main street. The Café sells a range of sandwiches and takeaway food. There is seating inside and outside.

The hot chocolate comes in a glass with a handle. It has a creamy froth and a sprinkle of cocoa. The hot chocolate cost $3.20. The drink was superior to that from Do Duck Inn but still not rich enough. There were no extras with the drink.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Do Duck Inn

Do Duck Inn is an amusing title for a range of commercial ventures. A search on the internet reveals a guest house in New South Wales, a B&B and a Petting Farm in Canada, a Chinese restaurant in Wagga Wagga, and a bakery in New Zealand. The one Merkel recently attended was a lunch and catering business in Exchange Place, a little laneway between Pirie Street and Grenfell Street.

The hot chocolate comes in a ceramic cup for the bargain price of $2.70. A mug is available for $3.50. The cup comes with a cloud of froth and a sprinkle of cocoa on top. A complimentary wrapped chocolate is also provided. This was packaged by Fardoulis chocolates who also produced the wonderful chocolate with the Cremorne Hotel hot chocolate. Unfortunately the drink itself was not up to scratch as it was watery and not very chocolaty.