Monday, May 31, 2010

A Dark Romance

The Adelaide Review is a well respected free monthly journal. It is always a good read and has a reputation for giving an independent view and focussing on the finer things in life. In its June 2010 issue it has a feature on coffee & chocolate by John McGrath on pages 40–43. The feature is fairly wide-ranging, talking about large chocolate monopolies, free trade chocolate, organic chocolate and some favourite local chocolatiers such as Haighs, Cocolat and Bracegirdles. Mr McGrath's independence as a reviewer could be called into question when he does a cut and paste of text of "The Pullman range of coffee tampers" advertisement from page 41 into his text on page 42 for no apparent reason, but everyone cannot be as fearlessly independent as Merkel Marmaduke.

The title of the feature is "A Dark Romance". It is not quite a dark desire but the similarity to this blog name is perhaps a coincidence.

The Strand Café Restaurant

The Strand at 108 Jetty Road, Glenelg is right next to Jack's Fish Shack reviewed earlier. It is a large Café with plenty of seating inside and outside. The table service is fast and efficient.

The hot chocolate is $3.50 for a cup or $4.50 for a mug. The cup of hot chocolate comes in a Lavazza coffee cup with a creamy froth and sprinkle of chocolate powder. The drink was rich and not too sweet.
Cafe Strand on Urbanspoon

Sunday, May 30, 2010


Shunters is a little, renovated, wood-panelled ticket booth selling coffees and take-away deserts in the large auditorium for the Adelaide Railway Station. It shares this picturesque auditorium with the Jasper's reviewed earlier. While the umbrellas outside these cafés are not going to provide any extra protection from rain and sun they do not look out of place because of the vastness of the building.

A small hot chocolate from Shunters is $3.30. All hot beverages are served in Griffith's paper coffee cups despite there being a few tables available for eat-in patrons. This is however one of the better hot chocolates you can get in a paper cup. The flavour is rich and creamy and is finished with a creamy froth and sprinkle of chocolate powder. Merkel drank this with a serve of chilli chicken from the China Bar in Station Arcade. It was fortunate he tasted the hot chocolate first because the meal was very spicy and killed his taste buds.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Daily Bread

Your reviewer has not visited the City Cross food court much since he visit Coffee & Cream Café on a crowded day. Another stall in the City Cross food hall is Daily Bread in the North East corner of the food court. The hot chocolate cost $3.40 for a red mug. It had a bubbly froth and chocolate heaped on top. It was reasonably rich, not too sweet.

Friday, May 28, 2010


Another Café in the Central Market Arcade is Energize. This is a little stall in the middle of the arcade with a few tables at one end. It is just outside the Wrest Point Snack Bar. Energize specialise in health foods and soups but also do coffees and hot chocolates.

The hot chocolate comes in a dainty cup for $3.20. Mugs were also available for $4.00. The hot chocolate was served with a pink and a white marshmallow. It had a creamy white froth white chocolate powder dumped on top. This hot chocolate was reasonably rich and creamy after a stir.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Citi Café

This is a little Café up the unfashionable East End of Pirie Street at number 241. It provides a number of sandwiches for lunch and can make chips as well.

The hot chocolate cost $3.50 for cup and $4.00 for a mug. The drink has a white froth and sprinkle of chocolate powder. It was served in glass with a metal handle. This was tasty enough to make the trip to the unfashionable end worthwhile

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Hove Deli

Merkel found himself on Brighton Road and needed to satisfy a craving for hot chocolate. The Hove Deli at 361 Brighton Road was the nearest place that looked like it would serve a hot chocolate on a Saturday Morning. The hot chocolate was only $2.80 and came in Vittoria coffee glass with wire handle. The hot chocolate was presented without any froth. The drink was watery and a poor excuse for hot chocolate.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Gelatissimo, Rundle St

Your reviewer tried Gelatissimo on Gouger Street and was impressed with the quality of the hot chocolate. When he attended the outlet on Rundle Street he thought he would try something a little different. Hot Gelati was on the menu for $4.50 and it seemed worth a try. The chocolate hot gelati was quite similar to a normal hot chocolate. There was even a thin froth on top with a sprinkle of chocolate powder. The taste was a quality chocolate flavour that was a more creamy texture. It was served in glass. It was not as good as the standard hot chocolate at Gelatissimo but was and interesting variation.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Links Lady Bay

Merkel had the benefit of staying at Links Lady Bay, just outside Normanville on the Fleurieu Peninsula. This is resort built on a side of a hill overlooking the golf links and sea beyond that. Fine dining at the resource is managed by The Dunes Bistro. The big windows of the eating areas afford a great view out over the bay.

Merkel partook of the Hot Chocolate on three separate occasions. Each hot chocolate was a consistently good standard with creamy froth and a sprinkle of cocoa on top, perhaps flavoured with cinnamon. It was served in a short stemmed glass with a handle. At least one marshmallow was provided each time. There was one on the saucer on one occasion, two on the saucer on another occasion and late at night there were two dunked in the drink. As someone else was paying each time Merkel was unable to determine the cost.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Le Bon

Station Arcade starts at Hindley Street passes Station City Cafe and descends down escalators past Modka Cafe, to go under North Terrace across to the Railway Station on the other side. Under North Terrace, where you can here the Trams rolling along above is a little Café called Le Bon with only three tables and a little lady happy to provide a lunch service. She can provide light lunches and sandwiches.

The hot chocolates and coffees are available for $2.70 or $3.20. The $3.20 hot chocolate comes in a big Griffith's coffee mug. It has a white froth a sprinkle of chocolate powder on top. The drink was hot and milky but could have been more chocolaty.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Mount Barker Jazz Festival

Merkel and Myrtle attended the Mount Barker Jazz Festival (Jazzfest) on Saturday. It was mainly based around the big stage at Auchendarroch House but there were performers in other parts of this Adelaide Hills town. Merkel started at Auchendorrach with "Ruby's Electric Mayhem". Ruby's charisma was combined with some great keyboard and guitar work to perform some memorable jazz standards. Merkel noticed the Hot chocolate came in a tall glass with pink and white marshmallows but was moving onto the next performance before he had a chance to sample one.

Next, Merkel and Myrtle went to Millie's Bakery Café. This was a sister shop to Millie's in Dulwich. The Jazz in the tent outside from "Eddie White's All Stars" was excellent and the hot chocolate would have been good if it was anything like the Dulwich shop but the pair had a train to catch.

Merkel and Mytle boarded the Steamranger for a scenic tour of Mount Barker and the Bugle Ranges. The "Peter Hooper Jazz Trio" was performing in the carriages as the train rumbled down the track. The tuba, trombone and banjo trio certainly made the train trip upbeat, but there was no hot chocolate served on this ride.

It was Alice's Kitchen where our pair finally rested to savour a hot chocolate. Merkel had the mug for $3.50 while the cup would have cost $3.00. The hot chocolate was a rich dark flavour and not too sweet. It had a creamy froth and a line pattern on top made with chocolate powder. At Alice's was an excellent guitar duo "Two's Company" playing a couple of standards and some interesting originals.

Merkel and Myrtle returned Auchendarroch House for some traditional jazz from "Maurie's Jolly Rollers" and "Daily Jazz" which completed a thoroughly entertaining afternoon. The Mount Barker Jazz Festival continues on Sunday 23 May 2010 and will hopefully return next year. The music is free but the train ride and the hot chocolate costs money.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Zedz Cafe

Zedz is a stall in the Adelaide Central Market right next to Taldy-Kurgan. It is open during market days and does a roaring trade in Turkish bread sandwiches and other items.

The hot chocolate comes in dainty ceramic cup and saucer with a complimentary "Kopka" coffee flavoured sweet. It was topped with a froth with a clever design and cost $3.70. The drink itself was sweet and not particularly chocolaty.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Jasper's Cafe, Adelaide Railway Station

Jasper's is a Café in Adelaide Railways Station under the Casino. There is seating inside and "outside" under the umbrellas. The umbrellas seem to be totally redundant as they are not actually outside at all they are in the huge and impressive auditorium of the Adelaide Railway Station. Jasper's has a long menu of sandwiches and light meals.

The hot chocolate is $3.20 for a regular size or $4.00 for large one. The hot chocolate comes in decorative stemmed glass with a handle. It has a creamy froth and chocolate syrup squiggle on top. The drink needed a stir as it was evident there was still chocolate on the bottom. The drink was reasonably rich once stirred but too sweet.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Coffee Run

Your reviewer had occasion to try another mobile coffee vendor on Sunday at the Plympton Football Club. The Coffee Run is a well equipped van selling coffees and hot chocolates out of its back door.

The small hot chocolate was four dollars and came in a strong paper cup and a lid. The drink was complete with creamy froth and a sprinkle of cocoa. The chocolate itself was too sweet but the drink was warm and creamy.

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Boulevard Lounge, Wallis Mitcham Cinema

The Wallis Cinema above Dolci at Mitcham Shopping Centre has a new lounge are for drinks and light meals before or after the movies. It decorated in an opulent style of a bygone era and has a variety of seating from bar stools to comfortable lounge chairs.

They provide a hot chocolate for $3.80 or $6.50 with cake. It comes in fine ceramic mug and saucer, with a bubbly brown froth on top. The taste was great and flavoursome. It is a rich chocolate taste and not too sweet, which is just as well because The Boulevard Lounge provided three marshmallows (pink, yellow and orange). This was a very pleasant surprise and one of best hot chocolates in the southern suburbs.

Merkel returned a few weeks later but alas, The Boulevard was out of marshmallows!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Jenny's Gourmet Bakery

This bakery sells a large range of cakes, quiches and other bakery items and also provides plenty of seating. Jenny's range is on its website. There is bar seating inside and plenty of seating in the sheltered areas beside and in front of the shop at 81 Glen Osmond Road.

The hot chocolate is available in various sizes for $3.20, $3.80 and $4.30. Your reviewer had the medium sized hot chocolate which came in a generous mug with a large pink marshmallow. It was served with a white froth and a sprinkle of chocolate powder on top. The drink itself was fairly average but the marshmallow was great.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Totally Fresh

The name of this lunch place derives from the fact that they use a wide range of fresh, nutritious produce and make all their sandwiches on the spot. Unfortunately on this day the bread was stale which was acknowledged by the serving staff before making the sandwich so Myrtle was able to choose the soup instead. Totally Fresh can be found at 96 Gawler Place in the Adelaide CBD.

The hot chocolate comes in a generous mug for $4.00. The drink is topped with a white froth and a sprinkle of cocoa. This was not particularly chocolaty.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Stax on Flinders, Mint

Stax at 60 Flinders Street in the foyer of the Santos building is an excellent example of Café Foyerism. The Café is large and luxurious and has some very comfortable seating. Merkel returned there after almost a year but this time tried the Mint Hot Chocolate. This hot chocolate was $3.80 and was nicely presented in a big cup with a froth and semicircle of chocolate powder on top. The chocolate was rich enough but the mint flavour was unconvincing.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Café Delicieuse, Iced

Your reviewer returned to Café Delicieuse in Wyatt Street, which had provided a pleasurable dining experience on the previous visit. This time the your reviewer ordered the iced chocolate. I came in a huge glass topped with vanilla ice cream, cream and chocolate powder. There were no patterns visible through the glass walls but the flavour was reasonably chocolaty all the way through. The milk was room temperature which seemed a bit strange. Your reviewer prefers a bit of chill in his iced chocolate. This was a big drink and quite satisfying.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Wrest Point Snack Bar

Australia knows Wrest Point as the location of a casino in Tasmania. This is a long way from the Wrest Point Snack Bar in the Adelaide Central Market Arcade. The Arcade runs from Victoria Square to Gouger Street. Wrest Point is an unpretentious snack bar that serves sandwiches and refreshments.

The hot chocolate is $3.20 and comes in a glass with a handle. It is topped with light froth and a sprinkle of chocolate powder. The drink was hot but not particularly chocolaty.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Perfect Cup, Central Market

The Perfect Cup in the Adelaide Central Market sharesd its stall with a couple of other vendors. The tables and chairs are amongst the shelves of groceries but still the seating is clean and comfortable. The Café offering is a little different to The Perfect Cup on Grenfell Street reviewed earlier, but there still seems to be an emphasis on high quality food and beverages.

The layout of the Perfect Cup is a bit strange with separate serving bars at the two ends of the shop and the seating is in the middle. At one end the menu on the wall offers hot chocolate at $3.40 and at the other end it offers Dutch chocolate, Swiss chocolate and white chocolate at the same price. I ordered at the end without the choice but I assume I got the Swiss chocolate. The hot chocolate came in glass tumbler topped with a tasty froth and a semicircle of chocolate powder on top. Pink and white marshmallows completed the presentation. Unfortunately the glass was a little hot to touch for the comfort of your reviewer. The chocolate was sweet but had an excellent flavour and richness.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Queen Street Café

Your reviewer was attracted the Queen Street Café because it was established by the same people who established the Duthy Street Deli which has been reviewed here a couple of times. The Queen Street Café was one of the first restaurants to combine the concept of fine food with old Adelaide suburban shops to create a new dining experience.

Unlike the the Duthy Street Deli the Queen Street Café has not had significant renovation since it was established. The Café still has its old 1950s charm. The common origins of the two cafes are still evident with similar menus, blackboards and concept.

The hot chocolate was about $3.50 and came in a small coffee cup. The flavour of the chocolate was delicious but there was just not enough of it. The drink was topped with a tasty froth and a sprinkle of cocoa. It was served with a dark chocolate button which was delicious. The junior Marmadukes ordered iced chocolate. These lacked the presentation of a high quality iced chocolate and cost about $6.00. The Duthy Street Deli wins in the drinking chocolate stakes but both are great Cafes.
Queen Street Cafe on Urbanspoon

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Brunelli Cafe

Brunelli is a huge Italian Café at the west end of Rundle Street with plenty of seating and a wide ranging menu. The menu on the wall advertised an Italian hot chocolate but on further enquiry the Café no longer makes this. Instead Merkel opted for the standard hot chocolate but he probably got some special treatment as a concession for Brunelli not having the thicker style drink. The hot chocolate was rich and delicious with a good chocolate flavour. It came with pink and white marshmallows and was topped with a froth and a sprinkle of chocolate powder. It was served in a Vittoria coffee glass with a wire handle and cost four dollars.
Cafe Brunelli on Urbanspoon

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Braggs on East

Merkel noticed a "Light Meals" sign on the footpath outside 207 East Terrace and went to investigate. The sign referred to a Café called Braggs on East which is a Café in front of the old residence of William Bragg and Lawrence Bragg who were the father and son pioneers of the X-ray Spectrometer and with it x–ray crystallography. Professor William Bragg was possibly the first in Australia to radiograph a patient, and carried out these experiments with equipment made in the University of Adelaide.

The Bragg residence is now owned by the public school club of Adelaide. This club is based around involvement in some of the old private schools in Adelaide. They provide a good menu of lunches although they are more expensive than your usual snack bar sandwiches. The Cafe has a nice view, looking over Victoria Park.

The hot chocolate came in a generous, attractive coffee mug with a bubbly froth and a sprinkle of chocolate powder. The chocolate flavour was not particular rich. The cost was about $3.50.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Kappy's Iced

Merkel returned to the comforting environs of Kappy's Café in Flinders Street for a lunch with his Myrtle. The shelves of glass tea canisters were there as well as the tables made of tea chests. The aquarium seemed to have disappeared since last time and there was some original art on the wall which added some colour to the walls.

For the benefit of his readers Merkel order the iced chocolate. This came in the signature stemmed glass that won Kappy's the Hall of Fame award in the 2009 Merkel awards. The iced chocolate was topped with crushed ice, vanilla ice cream and a sprinkle of chocolate powder. Merkel is not a fan of crushed ice in chocolate, but the flavour of the chocolate was good. The cost was $5.50. The hot chocolate will always be Merkel's favourite drink at Kappy's.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Short Black Espresso Bar

The name of this coffee shop is not immediately obvious from the outside. It was only after that Merkel looked up the address of 87 Hindley Street and worked out that the place was called Short Black Espresso Bar. It is a small place with five or six table inside and a couple of tables on the pavement, but the shop provides a few snacks and good coffee.

The standard hot chocolate at Short Black came in a glass without a napkin which was a bit hot on the fingertips and a long spoon which was a bit incongruous. A long spoon for a short glass is better than a short spoon for a long glass which has been encountered by your reviewer before. The hot chocolate was presented with a white froth and a liberal sprinkling of chocolate powder on top. The drink required a stir but was a good dark chocolate flavour and not too sweet.

Your reviewer made a special effort to return to Short Black Espress to try the Italian hot chocolate. This Café and Cibo refer to it as "Cioccolato Italiana". Unfortunatley it is not the same thick black hot chocolate as served in the Cibo venues. For $4.00 your reviewer got a hot chocolate with a good dark flavour but not the real thick European hot chocolate he was after.
Short Black Espresso on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Café Quisine

Café Quisine is a training restaurant for the private Quality Training & Hospitality College. The restaurant is a fine table service restaurant. The fact that this is a training restaurant means that the prices are reasonable and there are plenty of staff on hand although they are not necessarily as familiar with what to do as more experienced staff. The site of Café Quisine at 465 Pulteney Street was once a Fasta Pasta outlet. The Fasta Pasta outlet moved two doors South and has been reviewed earlier.

The hot chocolate came in a tall glass with a handle. It was finished with a white froth and sprinkle of chocolate powder. The chocolate had a good flavour with a creamy texture and it was sufficiently rich. This should have been a good pass for the trainee who provided this. It cost $3.50 but readers should note that Café Quisine does cheap coffees (and hopefully hot chocolates) between 10am and 11am.
Cafe Quisine on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Pinocchio Ristorante

The Pinocchio Italian Restaurant has only been open a week but its red signage already has a presence on Unley Road and it has its own web-site. It takes over from the old GGB's restaurant at 50 Unley Road, that was reviewed here earlier. It has the linen tablecloths and napkins that perhaps were used at GGB's and are one of the hallmarks of a fine restaurant. The owners are recently from Italy and have the challenge of setting up the restaurant and working out how to use local products.

Marco, the waiter volunteered to try to make Merkel a thick Italian hot chocolate. The attempt was not completely successful. While the flavour of the chocolate was good and rich, the consistency was thin. Marco also mentioned that he would normally top such a drink with a special whipped cream that was not available. Still, I will add this to my list of Italian hot chocolates as I believe he will go to some effort to perfect this in the future. The drink was three dollars and served in a Lavazza coffee cup.
Pinocchio on Urbanspoon

Monday, May 3, 2010

Modka Café

Merkel and Mytle had lunch at the Modka café. This is at the North Terrace end of Stations Arcade. It is North of Station City Café and down the escalators. There is plenty of seating at Modka and a range of lunches available.

The hot chocolate was $3.30 and came with two white marshmallows. It was contained in a short-stemmed glass with a handle. The drink is topped with a white froth and a liberal sprinkle of chocolate powder. Through the walls of the glass it was evident that the drink needed a stir. The flavour was sweet and chocolaty.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Caffe Vagabondo

Caffe Vagabondo is Italian Restaurant has plenty of seating and friendly table service. It a few doors down from Najjar's at 41 O'Connell Street North Adelaide. There is plenty of seating.

The hot chocolate comes in an elegant glass like the one at Coffee Time complete with the "standard" pink and white marshmallows. It is topped with a tasty froth and sprinkle of chocolate powder. The drink is rich and flavoursome. This is one of the better standard hot chocolates in Adelaide.
Cafe Vagabondo on Urbanspoon

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Mamma Carmela, Vienna Hot Chocolate

Merkel and Myrtle returned to Mamma Carmela's on Unley Road. This time Merkel chose the Vienna hot chocolate. Sometimes the cream on top of a Vienna is overpowering but this time the whipped cream was light and had a good flavour. To compliment this the hot chocolate was not too sweet. This was a good Vienna hot chocolate for $4.30.