Take a walk down Lt Collins Street, heading towards Elizabeth St. When you spot the Ay Tea House, turn right into Hub Arcade, mosey right down to the end and you will find the Chocolate Fire Cafe. Most of the produce seemed to centre around dried fruit dipped in chocolate but the very chatty owner is looking to introduce 6, yes count them, SIX new lines each week. Where Koko Black is dark timber, elegance and ganaches nestled neatly under a glass counter, Chocolate Fire Cafe is colourful and bright with the dried fruit forming straggly lines. They also offer pringles thickly coated with milk chocolate and plan to feature chocolate-dipped pretzels soon. I didn't try the hot chocolate but the ower assures me that "...it's very popular with the Asian students" and that some have claimed that it's better than Koko Black's, which was voted Melbourne's best hot chocolate by the Herald Sun - big call!
My small selection of chocolate-dipped fruit took a loooonnnng time to purchase and for once this was not due to my indecision. The lady behind the counter resolutely kept her back to me, determined to show a very inexperienced new girl how to get a box ready for delivery before actually serving a customer in front of her. After waiting patiently for 10 minutes then asking her if this was a bad time and should I come back later in the afternoon, she replied huffily "Oh, are you in a real hurry?" then sent the new girl, who was absolutely clueless, to serve me. Hmmm, me thinks this area needs some improvements before they are ready to compete with all the other great chocolate places around Melbourne.
Go to Chocolate Fire Cafe if you have a really sweet tooth because you will need this to enjoy the combination of concentrated sugars in the dried fruit and chocolate. Or, go there if you want to test their claim about having the best hot chocolate. Koko Black is just around the corner so you could even do a head-to-head comparison!
Chocolate Fire Cafe
Shp8/ 318 Little Collins St Melbourne 3000
(03) 9663 5881
I had heard about Monsieur Truffe before but I only got the chance to visit his stall at Prahran Market two weeks ago. Charming us with samples of decandently dark truffles, the lovely Monsieur Truffe encouraged us to try the various flavours but we quickly fell for the chocolate caramalized almonds and brought a pack home with us. A. reckons that these are the best chocolate almonds around - big thumbs up!