Saturday, September 27, 2014

Theobroma Chocolate Lounge and Emily's Place, Melbourne CBD by Bureaucrat

There are coffee drinkers, tea drinkers and then there are hot chocolate connoisseurs.  In my pod at work, hot chocolate reigns supreme.

Theobroma Chocolate Lounge is located in a slightly out-of-the-way part of Melbourne Central.  I remember the spot used to be a giftware store (MoMA) which I quite liked.  But ever since TCL took up residence, I never was curious enough to go in there to check it out.

First impressions is that TCL is a less luxe version of Max Brenner.  There are similarities - there’s handmade chocolates, drinks and snacks on offer.  But the fit out and little details aren’t as nice – think more utilitarian tables and chairs, handwritten labels that lack presentable penmanship, and it definitely feels more like a franchise than a decadent den of delicious chocolate experience.

However, the hot chocolate here was better than I expected.  I got the chilli hot chocolate.  Proper melted chocolate in the cup, piping hot, a nice warming buzz from the chilli and most importantly (for me, at least) it wasn’t sickeningly sweet.

The other drinks we got included a milk hot chocolate and chocolate spider milkshake.

And, on this occasion, we were joined by Little Miss P who got a baby hot chocolate and a macaron.  While we were all expecting the baby hot chocolate to be mostly milk, it seemed like it had more (or at the very least, the same amount) of the melted chocolate in the cup than the regular sized hot chocs.  So much so, that Mr P had to spoon out some of the melted chocolate to minimize the sugar high that Little Miss P was thoroughly enjoying.

A week a so later, we headed out to Emily’s Place, which is also in Melbourne Central.  It’s a cute little cafĂ© serving up small meals and hot chocolate.

The hot chocs here were a bit more average – more what you typically get in most cafes.  Made from powder it lacked the smooth richness of a hot choccie made from actual chocolate.

For Theobroma Chocolate Lounge
Food – 7.5
Ambience – 7
Service – 7
Price – 7

For Emily’s Place
Food – 6.5
Ambience – 7
Service – 6.5
Price – 6.5

Of the two places, TCL is the better one for hot chocolates.  Although TCL doesn’t appear to be as luxe as Max Brenner, I’d definitely rate its hot chocs ahead of the [hot] chocolate by the Bald Man.

The service is friendly at TCL and seems to be run by a family.  While there’s a nicer interior at Emily’s Place (you could easily pretend you’re somewhere in Europe) the service is a bit abrupt.

Theobroma Chocolate Lounge
North side
Melbourne Central
211 LaTrobe St
Telephone: 9662 2778
Theobroma Chocolate Lounge on Urbanspoon

Emily’s Place
Melbourne Central
211 La Trobe Street
Telephone: 9654 7971
Emily's Place on Urbanspoon

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