Sunday, January 31, 2010

Laniakea Cafe, Kona Airport

Kona Airport on the Big Island of Haiwaii is a fairly rudimentary airport. Most of the airport is outdoors. You walk over the tarmac to get the aeroplane. You wait outside for the airplane. The check-in and baggage collection is from a large shelter. However there are a number of shops that are separate enclosed buildings. One of these is Laniakea Cafe which does a number of light meals and drinks for travellers.

The hot chocolate is not particularly sophisticated. There was plently of chocolate in it but not much milk. It was not frothed at all but there was some bubbles left after the drink was poured into the cup which soon dissipated. The cup was paper as usual and the cost was $2.25.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Desert Rose Cafe, Ocean View

Ocean View is a small community in the middle of nowhere between Kona on the “Big Island” of Hawaii and the Kilaueua active volcano. The Marmaduke family found a little diner called Desert Rose in Ocean View while on the road between these two locations. The Big Island is not well served with good beverage venues. Desert Rose boasted the only espresso machine within forty miles. Unfortunately it was not operational at the time of visiting. Merkel can only speculate about the reason behind the name. This was a tropical island and not a desert but it was certainly a bit of a wilderness.

The hot chocolate cost $1.60 and came in generous ceramic mugs. This was the first time Merkel received a ceramic mug in the USA. The juniors also had hot chocolate and the variety of colourful but unrelated mugs was quaint. We were offered whipped cream topping for the drinks. As there was no other frothing we accepted. Our waiter squirted the whipped cream out of the can at our table. The flavour of the hot chocolate was good and needed sweetening but there was not enough milk used and they were too hot.
Desert Rose Cafe on Urbanspoon

Friday, January 29, 2010

Godiva Chocolatier, Sydney International Airport

Merkel spotted the chocolate mixing machine as he came out of Customs at Sydney International Airport. It was in the Godiva Chocolatier shop next to a large number of duty free shops. There was no chocolate in the mixing machine. Instead it was a milky mixture to which the attendant added some chocolate to make the hot chocolate.

The chocolate came in a paper cup as did most Airport beverage offerings. There was no froth on the drink but it was nevertheless a special drink. It had a dark unsweetened flavour and was clearly a fine chocolate mix. The chocolate cost $5.00.

Starbucks, Honalulu Domestic Airport

Your reviewer has been avoiding Starbucks outlets since his unfavourable experience in Melbourne. He couldn’t find another venue in the Honalulu Domestic Airport and felt the this outlet on the other side of the world might be more favourable. It was the norm to serve hot chocolates in paper cups on this side of the world anyway.

The hot chocolate came in a paper cup and sticks were freely available for stirring the beverage. The drink was $3.10 (plus tax) and was served with a swirl of whipped cream on top. The flavour was the same as it was in Melbourne. It was a poor attempt at a dark hot chocolate flavour. This was not quite as objectionable as the Melbourne hot chocolate. Perhaps the drink was creamier or perhaps your reviewer’s standards are dropping by not having enough good hot chocolate recently.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

KimoBean Hawaiian Coffee

KimoBean is a franchise selling coffee and coffee utensils. It specialises in coffee grown in Hawaii and has most of its venues in Hotel foyers. The shop in the Waikiki Hyatt Regency is very pleasant. It overlooks the fountain in the atrium of the huge Hyatt complex. It has a couple of tables inside and some seating available in the atrium.

They had no hot chocolate on the menu so Merkel thought that “Chocolate Milk” on the menu would just be hot chocolate. He was wrong. It was cold. It came in the usual paper cup and was frothed up a bit. The chocolate flavour was adequate although a bit sweet. It cost $3.50.
Kimo Bean Coffee on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Coffee Bean, Waikiki

The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf is a coffee shop that started in California and spread to Hawaii. This coffee shop can found at 2370 Kuhio Avenue at the front of a large supermarket. This is on Oahu Island near Waikiki. Merkel and the junior Marmadukes sampled the chocolate there. Merkel had the standard hot chocolate and the juniors had a chocolate ice drink. One drink had the flavour of dark chocolate with peppermint and the other was dark chocolate with orange. Merkel in his pursuit of chocolate flavoured drink also sampled the ice drinks.

The hot chocolate was the best flavoured hot chocolate he had sampled in Hawaii. Unfortunate it was served in a paper cup. This seems to be fairly ubiquitous in the US. It was topped with a creamy froth. The dark chocolate flavour was rich and creamy.

The same dark chocolate flavour had been used with the iced drinks. This was probably more chocolaty than the iced chocolates from Australia. The drinks were topped with whipped cream and a sprinkling of peppermint and orange candy confectionary. The drinks were icy rather than creamy.

The hot chocolate was too hot to start with and the iced drinks too cold but all the drinks became or drinkable as they got closer to room temperature. The hot chocolate cost US$2.80 and the iced chocolates cost US$4.75 each (plus tax).
Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf on Urbanspoon

Monday, January 25, 2010

Aloha Center Cafe

Kalakaua Avenue is the main esplanade in Waikiki. On the corner of this and Liliuokalani Avenue is the Pacific Beach Hotel. The Aloha Center Cafe is a coffee shop in this hotel.

The hot chocolate cost only US$2.05 (plus tax). It was finished with a pale froth and served in a paper cup. The drink itself was pale in colour and milky. It was not a bad drink just one that lovers of dark chocolate are not likely to appreciate.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

iHop, Waikiki

iHop specialises in pancakes and meals in Waikiki. After some confusion Merkel and Myrtle worked out that they could get a hot chocolate and a coffee.

The hot chocolate list price was $2.59 but the tradition in US establishments is that tax and service (tip) is extra on top of this. The hot chocolate was topped with sweetened whipped cream. The drink was rich and chocolaty but sweet like the Cadbury’s hot chocolate that Merkel had on the flight.
IHOP on Urbanspoon

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Qantas Flight

On the international flight between Sydney and Honolulu, Qantas provided a complimentary cup of hot chocolate. It came in a paper cup. It was a fairly good paper cup. The cups I hate are those that seem to absorb moisture from my mouth. This was a more plastic finish.

The chocolate served was a Cadbury’s hot chocolate. This did not seem to be the same as what I make at home. It had a good rich flavour to it. This was not a particular dark flavour but nevertheless chocolaty. There was no froth on the hot chocolate but there was a marshmallow already dunked provided to passengers.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Villa & Hutt Kafe, Adelaide Airport

Merkel and his family are off to the USA on holiday, so this is an opportunity to try some hot chocolates in other parts of the world. Airports often provide some good venues for food and beverages. In the Adelaide Airport, Domestic Terminal near gate 23 is Villa & Hutt Kafe. This Cafe has a number of outlets, many in airports and sells a range of coffees and hot chocolate.

The hot chocolate comes in a paper cup. It has a creamy brown froth and a liberal sprinkle of chocolate. The drink was rich and creamy. The cost of the hot chocolate was $4.80.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Small Talk

Small Talk is a Café amongst a set of shops at 13 Unley Road, Parkside. It caters for breakfasts and lunches and has seating inside and outside.

The hot chocolate is $3.50 and comes in a distinctive glass with a metal handle. It was topped with white froth and a liberal sprinkling of chocolate. The drink needed a stir to get the full chocolate flavour. This was not too sweet and sufficiently rich.

Monday, January 18, 2010

T-Bar, Adelaide Central Plaza

There are three T-bar retail outlets in South Australia. While they are most notable for their range of teas, they also serve light meals and other beverages like hot chocolate. Your reviewer attended the Adelaide Central Plaza outlet recently.

The hot chocolate cost $3.40 and had a creamy froth with a syrup design on the top. It was served in a glass and unfortunately the syrup design overflowed the glass and made for a sticky fingers experience. There was no protection against the heat for sensitive fingertips except for a flimsy napkin provided with the drink. Pink and white marshmallows were generously provided with the drink. The drink was not sufficiently chocolaty for our reviewer’s taste.
T Bar on Urbanspoon

Sunday, January 17, 2010

So Fresh Café

Another Café that does not yet seem to have any presence on the web is So Fresh Café inside Naylor House on 191 Pulteney Street. So Fresh Café is a good example of Café Foyerism being positioned inside the very impressive five-story atrium lobby of Naylor House. The Café sells sandwiches and light meals and does a range of beverages.

The hot chocolate comes in a decorative mug with a bubbly froth and liberal sprinkling of chocolate on top. A white and pink marshmallow was provided in the cost of $3.90. The aroma of this hot chocolate was special and its flavour was good and chocolaty.

Coffee Club

The Coffee Club has about 7 stores in South Australia and 193 stores altogether in Australia with most concentrated in Queensland. Your reviewer attended the store in the Adelaide Central Plaza food hall on Rundle Mall. They make light meals and a range of coffees and drinks. This was a busy venue and it took some time to receive the meal and drink.

The hot chocolate cost $4.40 and came with a light froth with a leaf pattern on top. It was served in a glass with a cardboard wrapping to preserve sensitive fingertips. The drink was pale and did not have nearly enough chocolate in it.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Torrens Arms

The Torrens Arms is a licensed hotel with a number of rooms for food, gaming and refreshments. Merkel and Mytle dined in Springfields Bisto and Merkel requested his normal hot chocolate.

The hot chocolate came in a glass with a handle and was topped with a white froth and a sprinkle of chocolate. A pink and a white marshmallow were presented on top of the glass using the clever placement of two toothpicks. The drink was fairly sweet but had a good chocolaty flavour and cost $3.50.
Torrens Arms on Urbanspoon

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Coffee Barun

The Coffee Barun is a specialist coffee shop at 221 Main North Road, Sefton Park. It has tables inside and outside and sells coffee making equipment as well as a variety of light meals. There is a strong coffee theme inside the store. The menus are covered in the hessian from coffee bags and the tables have coffee beans inlaid under the glass table tops. The magazines available in the shop are all coffee magazines.

The drawcard for Merkel was that they offered a Belgian hot chocolate on their menu. This cost only $3.80 and came in the Coffee Barun's standard coffee cup and triangular saucer. The hot chocolate came with simple light brown froth which contrasted with the elegant art work on Myrtle's cappuccino. While the drink was light in colour the flavour was rich and clearly Belgian. The Belgian flavour is unmistakable but also indescribable.
The Coffee Barun on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Bocelli Caffe Ristorante

Bocelli on the corner of Hutt Street and Waymouth Street, diagonally opposite Milano Cucina, is a very popular city venue. Merkel and Mytrle attended there for breakfast one Saturday. There is plenty of seating inside and outside and it seems to be popular venue for cyclists on a Saturday morning.

The hot chocolate was $3.40 and came in a glass with a glass handle. It had a tasty froth and a sprinkling of chocolate powder. The layering of the drink was evident through the walls of the glass which was a nice cosmetic touch. Fortunately a spoon had been provided to stir it. Once stirred, the hot chocolate was a deliciously rich and flavoursome.
Bocelli Caffe Ristorante on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Pierrot

Rundle Mall Plaza is a small arcade in the foyer of one of the buildings in Rundle Mall. Dining at Pierrot feels much like a Foyer Café experience because the lifts to the building are nearby and there is a steady stream of office workers passing the Café. Pierrot does sandwiches and salads as well hot beverages.

The hot chocolate at Pierrot cost three dollars. Merkel's hot chocolate however was tainted with coffee. This is a bit of an insult for an avid hot chocolate drinker. It had the was nicely finished with two tones of froth and a sprinkle of cocoa and was served in coffee cup. It probably was rich enough to be a reasonable hot chocolate. If Merkel wants mocha chocolate though he will ask for it.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Metro Bistro

The Metro Bistro is prominent in the Metro Shopping Centre at 254 Unley Road. There has been a history of different eating establishments here. The Atlas Bistro was replaced by a Caffe Primo outlet before it became Metro Bistro. There is plenty of seating inside and out and good table services although you order before you eat. Merkel and Myrtle found some comfortable seats near the front of the restaurant overlooking Unley Road in the evening.

The hot chocolate was $3.60 and looked impressive. It came in a tall glass with a glass handle. A spiral of chocolate syrup was visible around the walls of the glass. The chocolate was topped with a creamy froth and chocolate powder fashioned into a cross. The drink was rich and the presence of the syrup did not detract from the taste of a good hot chocolate.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Charlie's Club Sandwich

Charlie's is sandwich place in the food hall on the Terrace level of the Myer Centre. It does a good range of rolls and sandwiches and also does coffees and hot chocolates. There are two outlets of Charlie's Club Sandwich in South Australia and a couple more interstate.

The hot chocolate came in a mug with a heap of froth on top but only cost three dollars. A sprinkling of chocolate was added to the top of the froth however the froth itself was not particularly tasty and you reviewer had to work his way down before he got to the drink itself. The drink was weak and watery. It required a stir with the plastic spoon provided to get the sediment off the bottom. This one may have been good for those who like lots of froth.

You reviewer has probably tried all the hot chocolates in the Myer Centre now. The verdict on this shopping center:
Roca Pasta is the best value.
Yum delicious presents its hot chocolates well.
Billy Baxter's does a nice iced chocolate.

This venue has been added to the list of disappearing hot chocolate venues.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Doc Espresso

Merkel returned to Terrace Level of the Myer Centre and proceed further into the food court to try another hot chocolate offering. He stopped at Doc Espresso which had a number of foccacias and croissants for lunch as wells as a range of coffees and hot chocoolates.

The standard hot chocolate was $3.20 and 30 cents extra for a marshmallow. The Vienna hot chocolate was $3.90. The standard hot chocolate came in a Piazza D'oro coffee cup. It had a bubbly froth and a liberal sprinkle of chocolate powder and top. The drink was rich and creamy and had a chocolate sediment on the bottom.

This venue has been added to the list of disappearing hot chocolate venues.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Yum Delicious

Yum Delicious is on Terrace Level of the Myer Centre between the escalators. There are a number of sandwiches and wraps available. Merkel was there to see whether they could provide a hot chocolate to rival the value of the Roco Pasta in the food hall.

The hot chocolate cost $3.20 and was rich and tasty. The hot chocolate was served in a cup with a spot of white froth on the brown froth and a semicircle of chocolate powder on top. This was a good standard hot chocolate but not the same value for money as Roco Pasta at the other end of the Terrace Level.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Zoe's

Zoe's restaurant and takeaway specializes in greek food. Merkel has had takeaway Yiros from here on a number of occasions but this time he stayed to have a hot chocolate. It is in a nice location at the corner of King William Road and Mitchell Street and is decked out in the Mediterranean blue with matching table cloths and napkins.

The hot chocolate came in a tall glass with a handle. It had a reasonable froth and a sprinkle of cocoa. It tasted thin a milky. It cost $4.50 and was not the best value hot chocolate available in the area.
Zoe's Restaurant & Takeaway on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Piazza 99

After being the first to review Savoir on the web it would seem your reviewer is now the first to review Piazza 99. This Café at 99 Gawler Place recently shrugged off its identity as a Bean Bar, changing its décor a little but serving similar fare. This is a minor example of Café Foyerism with sliding glass partitions separating it from the foyer of the StateWide Superannuation building.

Previously your reviewer sampled the standard hot chocolate at the Hindmarsh Square Bean Bar. The regular hot chocolate at Piazza 99 cost four dollars and was served in the same type of glass as the Hindmarsh Square Bean Bar. The hot chocolate was presented with a brown and white froth but included no semicircle of chocolate powder which was delivered at Hindmarsh Square. In both venues the hot chocolate had a dark chocolate flavour but was not sufficiently rich or creamy.

Iambic Heptameter

This is an Iambic Heptameter with a rhyming couplet of Iambic Dimeter at the start of the Heptameter. See http://english3.fsu.edu/~mkennedy/poeticform.htm for some basics on poetic form.

You mock a lot
My choc-o-late
So you should be aware
If you appear
To scoff and sneer
You'll never get a share

I like to think
That as I drink
The coffee sippers know
That all of this
They sadly miss
The choc'late drinker's glow.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Jones the Grocer

Jones the Grocer is a combination of gourmet grocer and Café. Merkel was interested in the four varieties of powdered hot chocolate mix available from the Grocer including Belgian Chocolate and Dutch Chocolate. According to the website there are four Jones the Grocer franchises in Australia and also outlets in New Zealand, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates. This outlet was at 123 King William Road, Hyde Park.

Merkel ordered the hot chocolate for $4.50. It came in a large mug with swirl of white and brown froth on top and a pink marshmallow. The taste was delicious with a real chocolaty Belgian flavour.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Millie's Bakery

There are four Millie's Bakeries in South Australia. Three are in the Adelaide hills and one is in the Adelaide suburb of Dulwich at 5 Stuart Road, just a few doors down from G.G.'s.

The hot chocolate was $3.60 and came in a big mug topped with plenty of froth and a sprinkle of chocolate. Also a flower outline was rendered with chocolate syrup on top of the froth. Two marshmallows (pink and white) were served with the hot chocolate. The drink was reasonably chocolaty but could have been richer.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Caffe Primo, Rundle St

Caffe Primo is an Adelaide Restaurant franchise chain that has become popular with the help of a significant advertising campaign. It started with one Tea Tree Plaza outlet in 1998 and now has 19 in South Australia. The only Adelaide CBD outlet is on the corner of Rundle Street and East Terrace. You reviewer attended here to try a hot chocolate.

The hot chocolate took some time to arrive. It would have been nice to sip on the drink while the main course was being prepared but it took about half and hour to arrive and the food was only a few minutes after that. The hot chocolate cost three dollars and came in a glass. A paper napkin was served with the hot chocolate to save your reviewer's fingertips on the hot drink but was not wrapped around the glass. The hot chocolate was topped with a creamy froth and sprinkle of cocoa. The drink itself had good chocolate flavour.

This venue seems to have closed and is now on the list of disappearing hot chocolate venues.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Urban Spoon Posts

In case readers have forgotten. This blog is number 1 in Adelaide on the Urban Spoon leader board. See below for a list of reviews avaialable on Urban Spoon.

Free – The Best Things in Life

This is grocery store for selling things that are gluten-free, sugar-free, fat-free or free of various chemicals that might ail allergy sufferers. Free is established at 93a Unley Road and is looking to expand its presence in South Australia according to its website. They also have a couple of tables in the store and outside for anyone wanting a café experience.

Merkel ordered a hot chocolate with some trepidation, not knowing what to expect from a gluten-free, sugar-free product. He was most surprised when he was impressed by a very tasty, dark, Dutch-style hot chocolate reminiscent of the style at Gillberries and Perfect Cup. It came topped with a froth and a liberal sprinkling of chocolate powder. The drink was rich but only cost three dollars. It was definitely superior to most normal hot chocolates Merkel had tried.

Friday, January 1, 2010

MYO

MYO (Make Your Own) is an international franchise with eight outlets in Western Australia but only one in South Australia at 80 Flinders Street. Patrons make their own rolls and pizzas from a selection of fresh ingredients on display and pay by the weight of their food. The concept is simple although your reviewer thinks his food tastes better when someone else makes it.

Fortunately someone still makes the hot chocolates. The standard hot chocolate is $3.50. Larger sizes are also available. The drink comes in a small glass with a napkin wrapped around it to preserve the patrons' fingertips. The brown froth is tasty and includes a sprinkle of chocolate on top. The taste of the hot chocolate is sufficiently rich and creamy.