Saturday, July 31, 2010

SALA 2010 Venues

Cafes and other dining venues are great places to view art and new art is great excuse for visiting a coffee shop. The South Australian Living Artists Festival (SALA) is running from July 30 to August 22. Below are some of the venues for SALA where you can also get a hot chocolate. Of course there are many of Galleries and other art spaces involved in SALA and some of these may serve hot beverages. Please check the SALA website for the full list of art and venues.

Any reviews for a venue on this site are linked to venue name. There a plenty more Cafes on this list than the Adelaide Fringe 2010 venue list but not so many Hotels & Bars.

Aldgate Café
Alice's Kitchen
Bar 9
Blessed Cheese Café
Bliss Organic Cafe
Café Paradiso
Café Sabatini
Caffe Vagabondo
Caos Café
Cibo (Most Outlets)
Crema on Jetty Café
East Terrace Continental
Edge Delicatessen Cafe
Eggless Dessert Café
Eros Ouzeri
Flipside Café
Florentines Bakehouse
Gossips Café Gallery
Halifax Cafe
Hawker Street Café
Higher Ground
Highgate Snack Bar
Indalo Café
Jam the Bistro
Jetty Food Store
Jones the Grocer
Kappys Café
La Caz Creole
Light Square Gallery
Lipson's Deck Café
Lirra Lirra Café
Lucia's Pizza and Spaghetti Bar
Mary Martin's Bookshop & Cafe
Melba's Chocolates
Melting Pot Café
Nam Bistro
Pancakes at the Port
Peppers Espresso Bar
Providore on Parade
Red Door Bakery
Red Opus Art Space & Café
Red Poles
Rigoni's Bistro
Rio Coffee
Roaring 40's Café
Rustic Blue
Sarahs Sisters Sustainable Café
Shankers Restaurant
Shijuku Japanese Restaurant
Sullys on Semaphore
The Barn
The Little Cake Box Café & Bakery
The Mill Bakehouse
The Pot Food and Wine
The Rising Sun
The Table
Tin Cat Café
Tongue Thai'd
Un Caffe Bar (Hyde Park)
White Cedars Indonesion Café
Zest Café Gallery

Hotels & Bars
Austral Hotel
Bacchus Bar
Esplanade Hotel
First, Hotel Richmond
Freeling Hotel
Grace Emily Hotel
Metropolitan Hotel
Railway Hotel
Seven Stars Hotel
The Exeter
The Historian Hotel
The Kings Hotel

The Lion
The Maid Hotel
The Robin Hood Hotel
Wheatsheaf Hotel
Whitmore Hotel

Aldgate Providore & Café

Merkel and Mytle went to Aldgate in the Adelaide Hills recently and enjoyed breakfast at the Aldgate Providore & Café. This is a fairly big Café in the main street with two floors of seating but has cosy atmosphere even though waitress gave the impression she was having a bad day. This Café is on the main street of Aldgate opposite the picturesque Percy Theodore Gardens.

The hot chocolate was $3.70 and was served with white froth and topped with a sprinkle of chocolate powder. The drink was a milk chocolate flavour and not particularly dark or rich.

Friday, July 30, 2010

La Piazza Café

Not to be confused with Piazza 99, La Piazza is on the South East corner of Hindmarsh Square in the Adelaide CBD. This takes over from Square Café which unfortunately is now on the list of Disappearing Adelaide Hot Chocolate Venues. The view from La Piazza is still wonderful.

The hot chocolate was only $3.00 and came in a Piazza D'Oro coffee cup. It had a white froth, sprinkle of chocolate. It was rich enough but too sweet and not particularly dark. It had the gold standard in hot chocolate extras, two marshmallows white and pink. La Piazza also do "Cioccolata Italiana". This comes from a can rather than from the mixing machine but this is enough to entice your review back.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Sass Fish & Chips and Coffee

Sass is a small Café at 314 Pulteney Street, sandwiched between a Moroccan restaurant and a Thai restaurant. It sells coffee and hot chocolate from its front window and until recently was hair salon. Once patrons squeeze past the front counter it opens up into a bright area with a range of seating. It is has a retro style about it and is little reminiscent of a hair salon waiting room. You can dine inside or use the one of the two tables on the footpath.

The hot chocolate on the menu is advertised as "Swiss Hot (Chocolate Marshmallow)". Perhaps that is what economists mean when they talk about bracket creep. This is worth a website like apostrophe catastrophes but I can't find one for bracket rackets.

The hot chocolate came in a wonderfully original looking cup and saucer. It did have a marshmallow but not a chocolate marshmallow as suggested by the misprinted menu. It was topped with the usual white froth and sprinkle of chocolate. The taste was of a Swiss hot chocolate but it was not sufficiently rich and cost $3.50.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Bracegirdles, Dark Hot Chocolate

Merkel returned to another award-winning hot chocolate venue recently. Bracegirdles House of Fine Chocolate in Toorak Gardens was awarded for its Chilli hot chocolate in the 2009 Merkel Awards. It is near the corner of Greenhill Road and Portrush Road. It has had a new extension since Merkel was there last, moving into the shop next door. This seems to have been a great move for this popular venue. The new premises have warm timber flooring and timber table tops.

Merkel chose the dark Belgian hot chocolate this evening. It came in a generous mug with a brown froth and "B" decorated on the froth. The chocolate flavour was rich and delicious. It came with a pink marshmallow and cost $5.50. Also Merkel enjoyed sharing the 'Chocolate Bomb' with Myrtle. This was a serve of Scorched Almond and Baileys ice cream with a beaker of warm dark chocolate to tip over it.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Viva Italian Strawberry

Merkel returned to Viva Espresso in Pirie Street to sample its Italian Indulgence Hot Chocolate. The flavours offered were strawberry, hazelnut and classic chocolate from which Merkel chose the strawberry hot chocolate. The hot chocolate arrived in a glass cup with handle which was branded with Cioconat brand. Finally, a chocolate company that brands to its own drinking vessels! Hot chocolate fans do no have to drink of cups branded with coffee labels.

The chocolate was finished with a thin brown froth. It was creamy, thick and rich. The flavour was dark with a pleasant hint of strawberry. The drink cost $4.20. It was not as thick as the Italian hot chocolate tried elsewhere but still qualifies as a good hot chocolate experience, so much so that Merkel returned a few days later to try the classic chocolate variety of this drink. The classic chocolate was the same good consistency and presentation as the strawberry flavour, just a little less exotic.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Pat-a-Cake Return

Merkel returned to Pat-a-Cake Bakehouse Caffe which was one of the winners of the 2009 Merkel Awards. It did a wonderful hot chocolate for only three dollars. He was not disappointed with his return. The hot chocolate was served in a glass with a handle and had a bubbly froth and a sprinkle of chocolate powder. There were two marshmallows in the saucer. Best of all the taste was rich and dark on not too sweet.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Maki Maki

The Parc Arcade runs between 7 Gawler Place and Stephens Place in the city. One of the shops there is Maki Maki serving Japanese sushi, hot meals and not-so-Japanese hot beverages. When we were there was a man playing a Japanese Flute which created a nice ambience at lunchtime.

The hot chocolate was $3.20 and no particularly rich. It was an unusual but not unpleasant chocolate flavour. It was server in a Cafe Aurora coffee cup and topped with a white froth and sprinkle of chocolate powder.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Café Komodo in the Evening

Merkel and Mytle returned to Café Komodo on Friday evening. It is a mysterious adventure to walk down the narrow path in the dark only a few fairy lights to point the way to the door at the end of the alley. At the end was the door to Café Komodo and beyond the door was the talented Adam Page Trio performing to a crowd in the rather ramshackle Café Komodo. The couple decided sit in the sunken lounge, which seemed to have been converted from an old garage, with the work of a local artist displayed on the wall.

The hot chocolate was again rich, dark and not too sweet. According to the menu it is Kali pure hot chocolate. This time it was served in glass with a bubbly forth and a sprinkle of chocolate powder. The hot chocolate cost four dollars.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Aces Bar and Bistro

Aces Bar and Bistro is a hotel hidden is the Adelaide Central Market in the Market Plaza just across from Charlie's Coffee Lounge and Lamb Spit BBQ. It has full facilities include bar, television screens and poker machines. The meals are reasonably priced.

The hot chocolate comes in a glass and is well decorated with brown and white froth and a semicircle of chocolate powders. The drink is a good standard hot chocolate and costs $3.30.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Bill's Café, Light Hotel

The Light Hotel on Light Square, also known as The Colonel Light, has recently been renovated and still sports its "Adelaide Fringe Venue 2010" sticker out the front. Bill's Café is probably named after Colonel William Light and serves a range of fairly substantial meals.

The hot chocolate comes in a big Lavazza coffee cup. It is topped with a creamy froth and sprinkle of chocolate powder. The chocolate is of a good standard without being exceptional but cost on three dollars.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Wild Thyme

Located at 101 Melbourne St North Adelaide, Wild Thyme Organics is a café and organic food store with a passion clearly on display. Everywhere on the walls and on the tables are little homilies about the good food and good ecology. Patrons get the impression that the owners are on a serious mission, but this does not detract from a good café experience. Like Espresso Yourself, Wild Thyme also gets a mention on the business names puns website.

The hot chocolate was $3.90 and came in a glass with a white froth with an intricate syrup decoration and a sprinkle of chocolate powder. The hot chocolate was creamy and had a good chocolate flavour. Wild Thyme can be added to the list of places to get organic hot chocolate which also includes Bliss, Organics to Go, Wilson's Organics and Café Symphony.
Wild Thyme Organic Cafe and Market on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Dolce & Caffe

On the way back from their trip to North Queensland the Marmaduke family stopped off at Dolce & Caffe a small Café on the Esplanade. There are no inside seats but plenty of seating outside in the perfect winter weather.

The hot chocolate came in a Segafredo Zanetti coffee mug. It was topped with a tasty brown froth with a sprinkle of chocolate powder and was served with a pink and an orange marshmallow. The drink was a rich and delicious Belgian chocolate flavour. This was the best of the hot chocolates in the North Queensland area and was $3.80.

Monday, July 19, 2010

The Habitat

The Habitat wildlife sanctuary at Port Douglas displays animals and birds from three different ecosystems. These are the rainforest, the wetlands and the grasslands. There are plenty of birds, marsupials and reptiles including a couple of the local crocodiles. The Marmadukes partook of Lunch with the Lorikeets which is a buffet lunch served in a large aviary. This aviary is served by Curlew Café and the buffet is served from the Browserie.

The hot chocolate as part of the buffet is self-serve. The hot chocolate from the dispenser was a bit frothy on top but too watery. At least it was served in a ceramic mug rather than a paper cup.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Disappearing Adelaide Hot Chocolate Venues

After more than a year of reviewing about one hot chocolate venue a day, your reviewer has noticed the demise of a few venues. The Café market is fickle and some of these businesses are short-lived. It is hoped that the demise of these venues has nothing to do with a review of their hot chocolates.

GGB's has given way to the new restaurant Pinocchio.
Gelato Bello has been replaced by a Pasta a Go Go franchise
Butterflies was a property associated in the mysterious dealings of a "doomsday cult", The Agape Ministries and has been closed for some time.
XO supper club would seem to have been in some difficulty some of its distinctive decor still seems to be in place but it is now a function room for the Barendoe restaurant next door on Hutt Street.
Citrus, also on Hutt Street has closed down.
Square Cafe has given way to La Piazza Cafe.
Coffee Time in Daw Park seems to have been replaced a the Fig Tree Cafe.
Fontana di Trevi seems to have finished its long history in Adelaide and the building seems to be up for sale.
Caffe Primo, Rundle Street seems to have gone but the rest of the chain is still going strong.
Coffee & Cream has disappeared from the Southern Cross food hall.
Taste on Victoria has disappeared and has been replaced by V Square
Amico Cafe has disappeared and has been replaced by Noshery.
Blue Mango has disappeared and been replaced by another eatery.
Dome Espresso in the city seems to have shut up shop.  There is still one at Glenelg though.
Time2Eat has had a makover and become Toast.
Doc Espresso in the Myer Cenre food court has disappeared possibly replace by a Wendy's outlet.
Charlies Club Sandwhich seems to have made way for more seating and sweet stall in the Myer Centre food court.
Serves you Right has been replaced by Abrieaux.
Florentines Bakehouse on Fullarton Road has been replaced by the Fullarton Bakehouse.
Savoir has been replaced by Puccini's.
Au Matin Calme on King William Road disappeared after a short stint but Au Matin Calme in Hutt Street is still going strong.

Cafe on Sea, Thornton Beach, Iced Chocolate

Thornton Beach is on the way to Cape Tribulation as you travel north from Port Douglas in Queensland. There is not much there except a camping site, a great beach and a cafe.

A number of Cafe’s in North Queensland do not have hot chocolate listed on the beverage list. Iced chocolate seems to be more common. This is probably because people in Queensland do not need the wonderful warming qualities of a good hot chocolate. Merkel chose the iced chocolate at Cafe on Sea. It came in a tall stemmed glass and was more chocolaty than the drink at Trinity beach. It was topped with vanilla ice cream and whipped cream. At $6.80 this was an expensive iced chocolate but it was a good cooling drink.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Frogs Cafe

A few doors up from the Trading Post in Kuranda, Frogs is a table service restaurant with focus on rainforest vegetation and wildlife. It has Internet facilities and a range of seating options including comfy lounges, bar stools and tables.

The hot chocolate costs $3.70 and comes in white ceramic mug and saucer. The hot chocolate was topped with a froth and a sprinkle of chocolate. The taste was a bit watery but a good chocolate flavour.

Trading Post Cafe

Just inland from Cairns in North Queensland is a town called Kuranda. The best thing about Kuranda is the means of getting there and back. The Sky Rail cable car travels over the rainforest canopy up the side of the mountain. There are two stops on the way with boardwalks and lookouts. The Historic Scenic railway travels through 15 tunnels and provides spectacular views on the way. So it was that Merkel Marmaduke and his family from Adelaide visited Kuranda.

The Trading Post Complex at Kuranda includes a cafe, restaurant and number of specialty shops and market stalls. The cafe there provides a hot chocolate for $4.00 and an iced chocolate $5.00. They were both decorative in a glass mug for the chocolate and tall glass for the iced chocolate. Both drinks were a good standard taste without being remarkable.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Otz Cafe

This is a Cafe and gourmet shop in a shopping centre at the other end of the 4-mile beach from Port Douglas. The shopping centre is aptly named the "Four Mile Shops". It doesn’t have a view of the beach but these shops are the closest amenities to this end of the beach. Otz has a few tables inside and outside. It is a busy shop with lots of goods on the shelves and caters for breakfast, lunch and dinner twice a week.

The hot chocolate came in an elegant tall mug and saucer for $5.00. It came with star-shaped short-bread biscuit which was the first extra your reviewer had received in Queensland. There have been no marshmallows yet on this trip. The hot chocolate was topped with a light froth and sprinkle of chocolate powder. The flavour of the chocolate was good and not too sweet but it could have been richer.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Lure Restaurant & Bar

Lure is fine restaurant with good table service. It has excellent view (below) of the Port Douglas marina. One slight problem at breakfast was the prevalence of sand flies because of the proximity to the Port Douglas mangroves. Fortunately the restaurant provides complimentary Aeroguard. Most of the seating is on the marina decking and best to take advantage of the Port Douglas weather and the view of boats.

The hot chocolate was $3.90 and strangely only $4.00 for a mug. The hot chocolate came in a small glass with creamy froth and a sprinkle of chocolate powder. The chocolate was a good flavour and rich enough.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Daintree Discovery Centre Cafe

The Daintree forest Discovery Centre provides a number of boardwalks through the rain forest and included a canopy tower which enables patrons to climb to the top and look down on the rainforest. This has won a number of tourism awards. The Marmaduke family visited their recently and stopped at the Cafe attached afterwards.

The hot chocolate cost $4.50 and came in glass with stem and handle. It looked a bit like and iced chocolate with the chocolate visible through the walls of the glass. This clearly needed a stir but the chocolate flavour was good unlike some iced chocolates that just use chocolate syrup for the flavour. The drink was topped with a creamy froth and sprinkle of chocolate powder.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Village Restaurant, Iced Chocolate

Daintree Village is a village on the edge of the world heritage listed Daintree Forest. The Marmaduke family visited here after cruising down the river and viewing a number of the crocodiles which inhabit the mangroves there. The Village Restaurant like many in this area, is open to the elements. You can sit inside or outside under the veranda but there is not much difference because the doors and windows are wide open. The restaurant is for casual dining and does a range of snacks and meals.

Merkel decided on the iced chocolate because of the warm weather. It came in a tall glass with a stem and was topped with vanilla ice cream, cream and a liberal sprinkling of chocolate powder. Chocolate syrup was used to make a good squiggly pattern that could be seen through the walls of the glass. The syrup and the chocolate on top were not sufficient to make this drink a good chocolate flavour. The drink was too milky and the syrup too sweet to have a good chocolate experience. This was a decorative iced chocolate and cost $4.50.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Trinity Beach Bar & Grill

Trinity Beach is a picturesque beach between Cairns and Port Douglas in northern Queensland. The Bar & Grill is on the Vasey Esplanade overlooking the beach. All the seating is outside demonstrating the reliability of the warm weather in this part of the world. The Bar & Grill handed out beepers to summon customers to pick up their meals similar to Cibo in Adelaide.

The hot chocolate cost $4.50 and came in ceramic mug. It was topped with white froth and sprinkle of chocolate powder. The taste was rich enough but a little sweet and not particularly dark.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Hudsons, Adelaide Airport

The Marmaduke family embarked on a Holiday in Queensland recently. The first step of the holiday was catch a 6am flight to Brisbane. Fortunately at these early hours there are still coffee shops open at Adelaide airport. Villa & Hutt was reviewed earlier. This time it was the turn of Hudsons. This is a reputable chain of coffee shops throughout Australia.

The hot chocolate cost $4.10 for a paper cup which include a creamy froth a dunked marshmallow and a sprinkle of chocolate on top. The froth was exceptionally creamy and chocolate was rich enough to awake the taste buds in early morning. Your reviewer preferred the taste of Villa & Hutt drink.

Saturday, July 10, 2010


Bocca is another large Italian food Café in North Adelaide. It is on the Northern Corner of Melbourne Street and Jerningham St and has good views of the street life through its large windows. There is plenty of seating inside and outside. The meals are generally more expensive than similar restaurants but there are still lower cost meals on the menu.

The hot chocolate came in red ceramic cup and was topped with a heap froth and a sprinkle of chocolate. A marshmallow was provided with the hot chocolate. The drink was disappointing as it was too watery and not very rich. The hot chocolate cost $3.50.
Bocca on Urbanspoon

Friday, July 9, 2010

Café Delore's

This café is hidden away in an arcade called John Martin's Plaza which runs into Renaissance Arcade, not far from Espresso Yourself. This is a popular little café with plenty of seating inside and in the arcade. It has a good menu of fairly substantial lunches. The name which appears on windows is a little confusing. It is worthy of a listing as an apostrophe catastrophe. The special boards list "Delores" without the apostrophe, and this would seem more correct. If it was "Delore's Café" this would however be correct assuming the café is named after Mr or Ms Delore.

The hot chocolate came in a big white ceramic cup topped with a heap of froth and sprinkle of chocolate powder. The drink itself was disappointing as it was too watery and there was not enough chocolate in it. The hot chocolate cost four dollars.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Michel's Patisserie, Kurralta Park

Your reviewer has reviewed three other branches of Michel's Patisserie. This a good place to buy cakes and a reliable chain for hot beverages as well.

The pricing does not seem to be consistent between branches. This was $3.90 for a regular hot chocolate. Patrons seem to get the standard sprinkle on top of the hot chocolates and cappuccinos rather than the fancy decoration in the photos on their menu. Still the cakes are great to look at, even for someone who saves his calorie intake for chocolate drinks, so your reviewer took a photo of them. The hot chocolate comes in a Michel's branded ceramic cup and lacks a bit in creaminess and richness.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Saracens Head Hotel

The Saracens Head has a comfortable restaurant at 82 Carrington Street in the city. There is plenty of seating inside with comfortable seating and solid wooden tables. Outside is a beer garden with a few tables and an outdoor pizza oven.

The hot chocolate was about $3.30 and came in a plain white ceramic cup. It was topped with bubbly white froth and a sprinkle of chocolate. The flavour was rich and dark and a bit sweet but was welcome on cold winter night.
Saracens Head Hotel on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Master of Bread

The Master of Bread is a bakery at 518 Goodwood Road Daw Park. It bakes all its own goods to an Italian tradition and seems to have a booming wholesale trade. The goods are inexpensive and there are a few tables inside for the eat-in customer.

The hot chocolate comes in a decorative ceramic cup. It was finished with a creamy forth and sprinkle of chocolate powder. The taste was not as rich as it should have been but the price was only $2.80.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Philtons Restaurant, Maylands

The Maylands Hotel in Phillis Street Maylands, has a fine restaurant called Philtons. It has attentive table service and an extensive menu. Best of all, they have a jazz band on Friday and Saturday nights. The Mintons Jazz Quartet are a young, talented quartet playing a range of standards in keeping with the sophisticated surroundings of the restaurant. See the Jazz Adelaide web-site for other Jazz performance around town. Other regular Jazz venues include Jimmie's Café, Café Komodo and Classics Restaurant.

The hot chocolate came in a Vittoria coffee glass with a wire handle and include a pink and a white marshmallow in the saucer. It was topped with a bubbly froth and sprinkle of chocolate powder. The taste was rich and reasonably dark and it cost four dollars.
Maylands Hotel on Urbanspoon

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Refreshment Corner

The International Food Plaza is a food hall in Adelaide's Chinatown at 85 Moonta Street. One can also walk through to the Food Plaza from the Adelaide Central Market. There is a wide selection of Asian foods there at reasonable prices. It would be fair to guess that English is the second language for most of the people serving food here, so your reviewer was not surprised when the default language for the website is Chinese. Fortunately there is an English version of the website.

Your review found "Refreshment Corner" by the door of the Food Plaza. It sold a range of drinks as well as coffees and hot chocolates. The hot chocolate was made from the Vittoria brand Chocochino Orginale chocolate powder. It was served in a Griffith's coffee cup with a creamy froth and plenty of chocolate powder sprinkled on top. The drink was surprisingly tasty and rich and cost $3.20.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Espresso Yourself

There seems to be some differences in spelling this name. "Espresso Yourself" appears on the window but "Expresso Yourself". Nevertheless it is a great pun and rates a mention in a blog list of coffee shop puns. It rates up there with "A Latte Fun", "Running Latte", "Daily Grind" and "Spilling the Beans". Serves you Right also gets a mention on this site. This Café sells sandwiches and snacks and does a good steak sandwich. Seating inside is on two levels and there is some seating outside.

The hot chocolate is four dollars and comes in a big short-stemmed glass with handle. There is an ample froth on top but no sprinkle of powder. The hot chocolate is light and milky and will not satisfy anyone looking for a strong chocolate flavour.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Viva Vienna

Merkel and Myrtle returned to Viva Espresso. Myrtle is partial to the cones of chips and the do a good hot chocolate for Merkel. Merkel order the Vienna hot chocolate this time. The price of this hot chocolate was $3.70 and it came in a glass with a handle on a glass saucer. It was finished with whipped cream and a sprinkle of chocolate powder. The pink and white marshmallows were also there as before. The hot chocolate was rich, dark taste and was not too sweet which made for a good Vienna hot chocolate.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Pages Café, Koorong

Koorong is a chain of Christian book stores. It would seem many of them have a café inside. It is a bit like Borders and Gloria Jeans only with religion. In Adelaide Koorong is located at 198 Waymouth Street. The Café provides a good range of sandwiches and light meals.

The hot chocolate is $3.70. It comes in white mug with a white froth and sprinkle of chocolate powder on top. This was a creamy hot chocolate and a good standard.