Friday, July 22, 2016

Chocolate Boutique Cafe, Parnell (New Zealand) by Bilby Blue

I have been visiting the Auckland suburb of Parnell for many years, and over that time the Chocolate Boutique has been one of the must-visit places for locals and tourists alike. It is in the “quaint” part of Parnell Village, just by the old-fashioned red telephone box, with tables spilling out onto a small terrace, and shaded by trees in summer.

Chocolate Boutique Cafe, Parnell - chocolates packaged in noodle boxes
If you can squeeze in through the crowds you will see colourful displays of sweets in jars, rows of chocolates in cabinets and the beribboned Asian-style “noodle boxes” (each colour denoting a different variety of sweet treats). Its own brand chocolates are made in New Zealand from Belgian Callebaut chocolate, and the shop also stocks fine European chocolates, such as Valrhona from France and the Belgian Cavalier diabetic chocolate.

However the really popular attraction is the café, and in particular its signature Italian denso.

Chocolate Boutique Cafe, Parnell - the signature Italian denso
Think of a hot chocolate that is so thick you need to eat it with a spoon. A hot chocolate that is exactly like drinking melted dark chocolate. A hot chocolate that would more than satisfy the cravings of any chocoholic. That is the Chocolate Boutique’s Italian denso, topped with whipped cream and chocolate shards, accompanied by a small milk chocolate coated marshmallow. So rich… Utter bliss.

Chocolate Boutique Cafe, Parnell - selection of other sweet treats
The café also has a huge range of desserts: cakes, cheesecakes, waffles, mousses, sundaes, puddings and a chocolate fondue. There are gluten free, dairy free and diabetic options.

Obviously the Italian denso is not a drink that lends itself to pairing with a dessert – that would just be overkill. You need something that isn’t too rich, and is a good fit with dark chocolate. On my most recent visit I paired it with an Anzac biscuit.

Chocolate Boutique Cafe, Parnell - Anzac biscuit
This Anzac has only a passing resemblance to the traditional ones I make at home, buttery with sweetness from golden syrup and chewiness from rolled oats and coconut. The Chocolate Boutique version is big – around 10cm in diameter – is half dipped in chocolate, and has the added flavour elements of dried cranberries and pepitas. It is a substantial biscuit and very scrummy.

If you were inclined to try one of the desserts, I suggest having coffee or tea rather than one of the chocolate drinks.

Chocolate Boutique Cafe, Parnell - no WiFi, enjoy life!

Chocolate Boutique Cafe, Parnell, New Zealand

Service was super fast – but I was there quite early, before the big evening rush.


We loved it
We loved it.


This is a great place to get together with friends for afternoon tea or for a late night sweet indulgence. Of most appeal to chocoholics, there are also options for those with special dietary requirements.

Note that the café is very, very popular – in peak times be prepared to queue for a table, and then there may be quite a wait for your treats.

Find it at

Chocolate Boutique
Shop 1
323 Parnell Road,
Parnell Village,
Auckland 1052
New Zealand

Chocolate Boutique Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

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