Thursday, March 31, 2011

Pinocchio Ristorante

Merkel and Myrtle returned to Pinocchio recently for an evening meal after visiting last year before the official opening. The restaurant is now looking well established at its Unley Road location. It has a short menu of expensive but delicious meals and good table service.

The hot chocolate came in a cream ceramic small Aja tea cup, while the coffees are served in a white ceramic LaVazza coffee cup. The Aja logo is in the centre of the saucer while the LaVazza logo is in outised drinker-facing position. The hot chocolate was topped with hardly any froth at all and a sprinkle of very dark chocolate powder. The consistency was thin rather than creamy but the flavour dark and chocolaty. The cost was $3.50.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Balfour's Café

After the demise of Coffee & Cream in Citi Cross, your reviewer has been waiting to see what takes it place. A Balfour's Café has been established with its menu of signature bakery items such as pies, pasties and frog cakes. According to the Tourism SA web site it has been 10 years since a Balfours Café has been established in the CBD.

The hot chocolate was $3.20 and came in good sized cup and saucer. The drink was topped with a white froth and semicircle of chocolate powder. There was plenty of chocolate in the drink and sprinkled on top. It was a rich and creamy hot chocolate.

Merkel Revealed

Merkel Marmaduke conducts his visits to hot chocolate venues without revealing his identity. This helps ensure unbiased reviews for his readers. Recently Merkel and Mytrle visited Fiefy's, where Fiefy, the young and energetic proprietor, asked Mytle whether she was responsible for this blog. Merkel revealed he was the author. This is the first such occasion this has happened face to face although many venues have now received the "Hot Chocolate:Dark Desires" business card. Well done Fiefy, for identifying Merkel and producing a great Chilli hot chocolate with dark Belgian chocolate.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Gallery on Waymouth

Merkel and Myrtle returned to The Gallery after visiting it soon after its opening last year. There were many changes over the 12 months. There are more furnishings, a new Tapas menu, new artwork and new crockery. The crockery was of note because the side plates were based on scalene triangles albeit with rounded sides. These were reminiscent of the eccentric side plates at Regattas. The rooftop café is now finished and open at night time. This is more like a fine restaurant with good décor and table service.

The hot chocolate also was different. It came in a glass and saucer. It was chocolaty and creamy and was topped with a brown froth and sprinkle of chocolate powder. The cost of the hot chocolate has dropped to $3.50.
Gallery on Waymouth on Urbanspoon

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Café, Carvery & Chinese

Café, Carvery & Chinese (CCC) is located at 94 Curries Street, Adelaide, which is opposite 83 on Currie. CCC is on the location of the old Hawaiian Snack Bar. It is still basically a snack bar with a good takeaway business and enough tables to have a significant dine-in business. There is a good variety of food at reasonable prices.

The hot chocolate came in a LaVazza coffee cup. There was plenty of white froth and a dusting of chocolate powder. The chocolate flavour was rich enough after a good stir and a little sweet. If your reviewer's maths is correct it cost $3.10.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

The German Arms

The Hahndorf German Arms Hotel has a very interesting interior with lots of different types of timber and multiple levels. A huge restaurant and bar are behind a fairly conventional shop frontage. The building has been there since the 1830s.

The hot chocolate came in a mug and saucer. Pink and white marshmallows were provided in the saucer. The froth was bubbly and not particularly tasty with a dusting of chocolate powder on top. The chocolate was bland but not too sweet. The cost was $3.50.
German Arms Hotel on Urbanspoon

Friday, March 25, 2011

Swish on Terrace

Swish is part of the Stamford Plaza hotel at 150 North Terrace just above TG's. This is a table service restaurant and lunch and night-time venue. The big glass windows make the view of over North Terrace to Parliament House a key feature of the scenery. The menu provides a good range of reasonably-priced meals.

The hot chocolate comes in glass mug and saucer. It is topped with a white froth and liberal sprinkling of chocolate powder. Chocolate syrup is viewable through walls of the glass mug. The taste is not chocolaty enough and the syrup makes the drink too sweet but the drink had a good creamy texture. It cost $4.50.
Swish on Terrace on Urbanspoon

Thursday, March 24, 2011

FoodWorks Burnside

FoodWorks is has grocery stores throughout South Australia. Some of them such as the Grote Street store also have Cafés attached. Merkel and Myrtle attended at FoodWorks Burnside one morning at 541 Glynburn Road, in picturesque Hazelwood Park over the road from Suzette's. This is a popular Café with seating on the verandah and footpath.

The hot chocolate was $3.20 and came in glass mug and saucer. The drink was topped with a creamy brown froth with a liberal sprinkling of chocolate powder on top. The drink was a little too weak and too sweet for Merkel's taste.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Welsh Café

The Welsh Café is part of the shopping centre and the corner of Goodwood Road and Cross Road in Cumberland Park. It is a basic café with a range of snacks but also some Welsh specialties like Welsh Rarebit and Welsh Sausages. Photos of Wales adorn the walls.

The hot chocolate comes in a Griffith's branded cup and saucer. The brand on the cup is on the inside drinker-facing position and the brand on the saucer is in the centre under the where the cup normally sits. The drink was topped with a white froth and dusting of chocolate powder. It only cost three dollars but was a little too weak and watery.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Koko Dream, Irish Cream

Merkel and one of the junior Marmadukes returned to Koko Dream in Hallet Cove Shopping Centre recently. After sampling a wonderful Belgian deluxe hot chocolate Merkel felt the responsibility to try the hot chocolate flavours available. The flavour could be applied to the standard hot chocolates $3.60 a cup or the Belgian hot chococolate at $5.50. The flavour cost sixty cents extra, included such flavours such as Irish Cream, Vanilla, Mint and Butterscotch.

Merkel went for the Belgian Deluxe hot chocolate with an Irish cream flavour and Merkel Junior had Vanilla flavour. Irish cream is just not the same without the alcohol. The decision was unanimous that the sweet flavourings do not add much to a great Belgian chocolate. The Marmaduke family recommendation is to stick with the plain dark Belgian hot chocolate and save the sixty cents.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Mamma Carmela, Glenelg

Mamma Carmela has two Cafés in South Australia. While Merkel has been to the Unley Café on many occasions he only visited the Glenelg Café recently. This has a similar set up to Unley with a big serving counter and TV screens. It serves Italian food at a great location overlooking Moseley Square in Glenelg next to Europa Ristorante.

The hot chocolate was $4.20 and was a reasonably rich milk chocolate flavour. It came in a glass mug on a Ducale saucer with a pink and a white marshmallow on it. The drink was topped with a white froth and a liberal sprinkling of chocolate powder.
Mamma Carmela Restaurant & Pizza Bar on Urbanspoon

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Espresso Room Café

This is an innocuously named Café near the West end of North Terrace adjoining the City West campus of the University of South Australia. This should not be confused with 227 Espresso Café near the other end of North Terrace. It used to be an old post office and is a small well furnished stone buiding. There are different eating areas at the front, in the garden out the back and a couple of rooms inside.

Espresso Room Café does an excellent dark chocolate flavour hot chocolate. It is served in a ceramic cup and saucer. It is topped with a brown froth and a sprinkle of chocolate powder. This is a good option for those who want to avoid the paper cups of the University cafes. The hot chocolate is also superior to that of most other Adelaide cafes. The cost was $3.80.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Hahndorf Inn

The Hahndorf Inn is a Stone building built in the 1880s. Reindeer heads adorn the walls in a couple of places. There are plenty of meal options including traditional German fare.  There is plenty of seating inside and outside.

The hot chocolate was fairly expensive at $4.60 and came in a tall glass with no handle, making it hot to hold. It was served on a saucer with pink and white marshmallows.  It was not chocolaty enough and your reviewer preferred the better chocolate at a better price over the road at the Hahndorf Pizza House.  If it is luxurious chocolate you are after, then Chocolate at No. 5 in Hahndorf is a must.
Hahndorf Inn Hotel on Urbanspoon

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Blefari, Iced

Blefari is proving a popular café on Victoria Square. Its good location and popular selection of meals and snacks seems to be a winning combination. Merkel tried the iced chocolate there recently. It came in a big glass and was topped with a couple of small scoops of creamy ice cream and a sprinkle of chocolate powder. The drink was clearly more chocolaty at the bottom and more milky at the top creating a layered view through the glass. The chocolate was not too sweet and made for a refreshing drink. The cost was $4.50.

Earlier Merkel had a hot chocolate which was particularly photogenic because of the fern leaf design on the froth. Blefari do not consistently attempt this artwork but it is a nice touch when it happens.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Palace Cinema

Merkel and Mytrle saw "The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets Nest" recently. This is the third in a trilogy of Swedish films of the famous "Millenium Series" of novels by Stieg Larsson. The first film of the series "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" was probably the best. The second lacked plausibility and direction and the third was comparatively tame and drawn out, but tied up all the loose ends. The character of Lisbeth Salander, the tattood computer nerd with an aversion to attachment and heaps of attitude, is still a winner.

The Palace Cinema off Rundle Street provides food and beverages in its waiting area and at the front of the cinema. The hot chocolate was $4.00 but Merkel had his with a cake for the special price of $7.00. The drink came in a LaVazza coffee cup and saucer. It was topped with a white froth and a sprinkle of the chocolate powder and it was creamy and chocolaty.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Café BooBoo, Red Opus Art Space

Boo Boo is apparently Korean for "husband and wife". The Café is at the back of the Red Opus Art Space gallery at 119 Payneham Road, St Peters. The gallery is packed full of contemporary art works. When Merkel and Mytle visited for breakfast it was an ideal place for browsing while the meals were being cooked. The Café menu includes Korean and Japanese meals and was missing traditional western breakfasts like scrambled eggs or muesli, but the ugly blueberry pancakes were nice.

Your reviewer scoured the 'net for a euphemistic term for the second hand, often mismatched crockery that is bought from garage sales or op shops. This contributes to the retro chic that is part of the offering at places like Café Komodo and Espresso Royale. The best he can come up with are adjectives like "vintage", "classic", "legacy" and "estate".

The hot chocolate was provided in an estate cup and saucer. The drink was topped with a white froth and a liberal sprinkling of chocolate powder. The drink was rich enough but too sweet. The cost was $4.00.

Monday, March 14, 2011

42nd Street, Tea Trea Plaza

Merkel ventured to Tea Trea Plaza recently and stopped at the 42nd Street restaurant. This restaurant has plenty of seating and provides table service from young friendly staff. It does a range of meals and beverages.

The hot chocolate was $3.80 for cup and $4.30 for marshmallows. It was fortunate that Merkel invested in the 50 cents for the two marshmallows because the hot chocolate was not particular palatable. The drink looked the part in a white ceramic cup and saucer topped with froth and a sprinkle of chocolate powder. Unfortunately the drink itself was weak and watery.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Federal Bar, Mecure Grosvenor Hotel

The Federal Restaurant & Bar at the Grosvenor Hotel is at 125 North Terrace, a few doors of East of the Sebel Playford and opposite the Intercontinental Hotel. The restaurant has a good outlook over North Terrace and provides a short lunch menu of good meals.

The hot chocolate came Piazza D'Oro glass without a handle which was a little too hot to handle. The glass was on a saucer that did not quite fit the glass but it included a tasty wrapped chocolate mint. The drink was topped with a brown forth and sprinkle of chocolate powder. The taste was creamy and chocolaty and the drink cost four dollars.
Federal on Urbanspoon

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Melt CBD

Merkel & Myrtle have passed by Melt in Hyde Park a couple times and found it booked out. Having not the forethought to book ahead they were happy to be able to walk into Melt CBD at 38 Waymouth Street and be ushered to a table. Melt does pizza and tapas which are both food to share. It provides good table service and tasty food.

The hot chocolate came in a small ceramic cup and saucer. It was topped with a swirl of white and brown froth. The drink was creamy and chocolaty and cost $3.50.
Melt CBD on Urbanspoon

Friday, March 11, 2011

Cibo Minus the Cream

I recently tried the Cioccolata Italiano at two Cibo outlets. One was King William Street and the other was Mosely Square in Glenelg. "Cioccolata Italiana" is the wonderful thick hot chocolate that most outlets of Cibo provide and costs $4.50. The standard menu mentions it is served with a dash of cream and indeed the dash of cream has been in evidence until recently. The cream is a good accompaniment to the thick dark chocolate. When I drew the waiter's attention to the lack of cream at the busy Glenelg outlet, I was advised that cream was extra. Perhaps next time I will not be in such a hurry and find out how much extra.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Another Year, Another Chocolate Bean Hot Chocolate

The movie "Another Year" was showing at the Palace cinema on Rundle Street recently. Merkel, Myrtle and a couple of friends met there. "Another Year" was a movie divided into four seasons, featuring a sublimely happy ageing couple and their desperately lonely dysfunctional friends. Sitting through this movie was at times like being a part of some strange family's extended and fairly tedious dinner party. Nothing really happens and there seems to be no story and few surprises, but it does develop some very good characters with some highly skilled acting performances.

After the movie the group adjourned to the the Chocolate Bean in nearby Union Street for refreshment. Merkel had the ginger bread hot chocolate. The Belgian chocolate was topped with a bubbly forth and dollop of whipped cream. The ginger bread flavour was quite discernable. This was a sweet milky hot chocolate rather than the earthy ginger flavour of the Bliss ginger hot chocolate

The ginger bread hot chocolate is photographed here with the Chocolate Bean iced chocolate glass which is decorated by melted chocolate drizzled on the inside of the glass. The ginger bread hot chocolate was $4.80 and the iced chocolate was $5.20.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Stirling Hotel

The Stirling Hotel is easy to spot on a drive through Stirling on a warm evening. It is one of the more obvious signs of life in the quiet town with the bright lights and the hubbub emanating from the patrons sitting outside. The bistro provides a good menu and plenty of seating inside and outside.

The hot chocolate comes in tall glass with a handle and a saucer. The drink is topped with a creamy froth and sprinkle of chocolate powder. The chocolate is rich and not too sweet and costs $3.50.
Bistro, Stirling Hotel on Urbanspoon

Monday, March 7, 2011


The Noshery used to be Amico Café at 333 King William Street Adelaide. Noshery is not a lot different with some minor changes to the décor and a slightly less formal setting. The Café still provides friendly table service. The restaurant provides a short menu of tasty Italian meals and snacks. There is seating inside and outside.

The hot chocolate comes in glass on a saucer. It is topped with a brown froth and sprinkle of chocolate powder. The drink was rich enough but a little too sweet. The cost was $3.60 which was less than Amico but came without the fancy glassware.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Suzette's Gourmet Caffe

Suzette's has been in Adelaide's daily paper "The Advertiser" for the wrong reasons so it was interesting to see Samela Harris's enthusiastic review from some time ago displayed on the cafe wall. Suzette's is in a great location at 540 Glynburn Road, Burnside, just before the Waterfall Gully turn-off. There is plenty of outdoor and indoor seating that provides for a nice outlook from the high side of the road. The café provides all sorts of meals and gourmet foods.

The hot chocolate came in Liberty Caffe coffee cup and saucer, with the logo facing the drinker on the outside of the cup. The chocolate was rich but a little sweet. The drink was topped with a white froth and a line of chocolate powder.
The drink cost $3.50 and came with a small wrapped Italian biscuit. It was noted that the date stamp on the biscuit wrapping was "1/2008" which suggests it was over three years old.  The biscuit tasted good but it reinforced the concern that Suzette's has problems with not disposing of old stock.
Suzette's Caffe on Urbanspoon

Friday, March 4, 2011

Koko Dream

I had a tip from a reader that I should make the trek out to Hallet Cove Shopping Centre to try the hot chocolate at Koko Dream. It does not seem to have website but it does have a youtube video. It is a litte shop with clean and bright décor. It sells chocolates and desserts and has a mini chocolate factory. As I visited the shop just before closing one evening the waitress needed a bit of convincing not to give me a takeaway cup.

Koko Dream does a range of hot chocolates. There is the standard hot chocolate with a number of different flavours for around $3.60 a cup. I was drawn to the deluxe Belgian hot chocolate for $5.50. This came in a tall glass with a white froth and an elegant chocolate syrup pattern on top. The glass sat on a saucer which included two marshmallows and a wrapped chocolate. The best part though was that it was good rich creamy Belgian chocolate and it tasted great. This was a hot chocolate with all the trimmings but the trimmings were little more than a distraction from a quality drink.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Fiefy's Jaffa

Having had great Belgian hot chocolates at Fiefy's before, your reviewer return to this little coffee shop for the Jaffa hot chocolate. This was presented in the ceramic cup and saucer with the signature "F" in the froth and a marshmallow in the saucer. The orange flavour was good and tasty with orange zest giving it tang. The texture was creamy and the chocolate still had a rich Belgian flavour. The Jaffa hot chocolate cost $4.50.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Crown & Sceptre Hotel

This hotel is at 308 King William Street, just next to Baretto Corte, and provides good meals and lunch specials. It is a venue for the 2011 Adelaide Fringe with a number of bands playing at the venue during the festival. This is an old hotel with a maze of rooms and there is seating inside and on the footpath. There is plenty of artwork adorning the walls.

The hot chocolate came in a tall glass with a handle and a saucer. The drink was topped with a swirl of froth and chocolate powder and chocolate patterns adorned the walls of the glass. The drink was chocolaty and not too sweet and cost about $3.50.
Crown & Sceptre on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Chinatown Espresso

Moonta Street is Adelaide's Chinatown. An observer can conclude this because in the middle of this laneway is a place called Chinatown Espresso. This is a little booth on the corner opposite the International Food Plaza where your reviewer dined for lunch. Refreshment Corner in the Food Plaza does not seem to do hot beverages any more so Chinatown Espresso is the nearest venue for a hot chocolate or coffee.

Your reviewer got his hot chocolate in a good quality Lavazza disposable cup. Ceramic cups were available but this hot chocolate needed to be transported back to the Food Plaza on the other side of Moonta Street. The hot chocolate was topped with a white froth and a sprinkle of chocolate but was too weak and watery to be worth the trouble. It cost $3.20.