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Mar 10, 2007 04:00 PM

Chocolate in Sydney (or perhaps wider)

I'm really passionate about chocolate and have been trying to understand what the chocolate shops in Sydney are like. Having been helping my friend Paul (Paul A Young Fine Chocolate) in his shop recently I've been really spoilt. I was wondering if there is a chocolate scene (yes, I know that makes me sound like an idiot) in Sydney, but it's really thriving in London and I can't think of a better way to describe. Interest in beans, plantations and vintages is growing. Is this the case in Oz at all?

Feel free to tell me about Melbourne if that's the chocolate centre on Australia.

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  1. I can not call myself an expert in the chocolate scene in Sydney or elsewhere in Australia but we do have a number of excellent small boutique chocolate shops. Sydney has seen the arrival in the last few years of Haighs Chocolates originally from Adelaide( . It is located on George Street in the beautifully restored Strand Arcade. There is a lovely fine chocolate and patisserie store on Fitzroy Street in St Kilda (Melbourne) called Cacoa run by a Frenchman ( I'm not sure if they will be on a comparable scale to the UK but you will not have to give up your love and appreciation of chocolate while here.

    1. I have found in Sydney there are a few excellent places around doing speciality chocolates, eg Haighs as above, Colefax in Haberfield, Belle Fleur in Rozelle, Adora in Earlwood and a few more, however not sure if this constitutes having a specific chocolate culture. All of these boutique stores are small businesses, and many are not widely known about. However, Lindt 70% is getting more and more popular in the supermarkets, and as this article says, tastes are changing away from conventional milk chocolate and towards smaller, richer servings of quality chocolate.

      I know this article is a bit old, there have been more recent writings on the subject but I couldn't find them straight away.

      I know Simon Johnson, a popular, expensive food shop sells single origin chocolates, however few places advertise where their beans are from, as public knowledge isn't strong enough for that to matter. Yet.

      As it is now commonplace for speciality stores to label the origin of gourmet coffee, I am sure education on different chocolates is in the near future.

      1 Reply
      1. I've recently moved to Sydney from Adelaide. Adelaide's is the home of Haigh's and I must say Lindt is thus far the only comparable chocolate I have found. I trying to find where all the good shops are in Sydney. I haven't found there to much of a chocolate 'culture' but would love there to be. I found Belle Fleur in Balmain but to be honest didn't think it was amazing. Good but not great. They couldn't even tell me the percentage of cocoa on their product. If anybody can tell me the places to go in Sydney it would be much appreciated.

        1 Reply
        1. re: mjb100

          Well, as my username suggests, I am a bit of a chocolate fan! I have recently moved from London to Sydney and haven't found comparable chocolates as yet. Just this weekend I tried Haigh's - the chocolate on it's own wasn't awful but I did throw away half of the box that I was given. I don't want to be too harsh but they are very out dated - mostly creams, nougats and caramels. Some were so hard I couldn't actually bite them! Got to say, I have never thrown away chocolate...

          The Lindt cafes do a range of chocolates separate from their standard bars which look good but haven't yet indulged. I have however, tried their hot chocolate and that is absolutely sublime. I have seen 2 branches - one on Darling harbour 1 on Martin's Place (only mon - fri)

          1. re: purple goddess

            i am not a chocolate afficionado - i find the weather in Sydney too hot most of the time to really enjoy it, although the occasional indulgence here and there never goes astray. having said that, i have a little input, although I don't think Sydney would be a destination on a map of chocolates of the world!

            any sydney chocolate list always has just william on it but i have to admit i have never tried. as one other reader mentioned there are the lindt signature cafes that are cropping up in the CBD.

   seem to be "on the e-waves" a bit at the moment, but that doesn't necessarily mean a lot.

            there is currently the first lenotre qualified chef in australia working at the sofitel.

            my belief is, that you will find the occasional good chocolate at the end of a restaurant menu in the top restaurants - I know Quay has been credited with this in the past.

            oh, and one other idea is to visit the essential ingredient, not a choclatier, but they are bound to have something special in stock (i get my cocoa for hot chocolate there, and that satisfies my cravings


            Finally, not a chocolate shop, but arguably the finest patissiere in the metropolis is Victoire on darling street balmain. their croissants are unbeatable, and i do believe i have seen some house made truffles and the like there.

            hope this helps...

            1. re: kmh

              I might be showing my age here but does a restaurant called "Death by Chocolate" still exist?

              1. re: cankles

                The one in Toorak Road is looooooooooooooog gone......

                1. re: purple goddess

                  I haven't seen one in years, and they aren't listed in white pages. but i don't think that many chocolate connoisseurs were heading there even in the dark old 90's! it might be like sizzler and have survived in random suburbs...

                  oh, and one last tip, don't get sucked into Darell Lea - the chocolate is so so and after a feature on australian story recently, i find it hard to believe they are still in business!

          2. Some friends recently went on a Chocolate & Coffee tour in Sydney and they were impressed with the chocs they got to sample.