Monday, August 31, 2009

Indochina, City Central

This was the third hot chocolate I have consumed at the huge foyer that is The Precinct on Waymouth Street. While they did not advertise their hot chocolates and coffees I did notice the espresso machine in the corner so though I would ask for a hot chocolate. I believe I was charged only $2.90 for a large mug with a good froth and sprinkle of chocolate on top. This makes it into the $3 hot chocolate category. The froth was good but the drink was too weak and watery. Nevertheless this was the best value in terms of price per volume that I have reviewed.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Citrus, Hutt Street

Your reviewer went to Citrus for another long lunch in Hutt Street. Citrus is another fine eating venue with a good service and atmosphere. The Marmadukes sat inside where we could admire the stone work of the old building and look out of the floor-to-ceiling window that was next to our table. Your reviewer chose the fish from the short lunch menu. He was amazed by the large plate on which it was served and a little disappointed by the small quantity on the plate. A photo of a small portion of snapper lost in the middle of rather large plate has been included. It tasted good nevertheless.

Of course you can have hot chocolate with anything and your reviewer chose to have one with his fish. The $4.50 hot chocolate came in a small glass with no marshmallows. There was no napkin as was served with a similar glass at the Earl of Leicester, but the chocolate was only lukewarm so there was no threat of burnt fingertips. The froth was tasty and there was a sprinkle of cocoa but the drink was weak and disappointing especially given the waiter had referred to it as an Italian hot chocolate.

This venue seems to have closed and is now on the list of disappearing hot chocolate venues.

Citrus on Urbanspoon

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Stax, Waymouth

Stax at 36 Waymouth Street is modern café with plenty of seating on two stories and sells a range for sandwiches and salads. This outlet of Stax is bigger than the one I reviewed previously and has a bigger menu.

Stax on Waymouth Street offered a range of hot chocolates in standard, medium and large sizes. Along with the standard hot chocolate Stax offered white hot chocolate and a mint hot chocolate. The Vienna hot chocolate appealed to your reviewer on this day. The drink was $4.30 and was only available in the medium size. It came in a huge mug with mountain of whipped cream and cocoa sprinkled on top. The hot chocolate was milky but had a good chocolaty taste, although there was sediment left at the bottom. This was only the second Vienna chocolate reviewed in this blog. This one impressed because of a lighter whipped cream than the Lunch Club offering.

Net Adventures

Many Adelaide readers will be familiar with the "Net Adventures" column produced by "The Advertiser" journalist Samela Harris. Samela has given "Dark Desires" a mention in her latest edition of this column.

Unfortunately this excellent column is often hidden away in the pages of "The Advertiser". This edition seemed to be missing completely from today's paper until Myrtle found it tucked away on page 52. Readers can see today's edition of Net Adventures at,22606,25992863-5012604,00.html

Friday, August 28, 2009

Al Fresco East End Gelateria & Pasticceria

Al Fresco's has been a long standing establishment on Rundle Street. It sells gelati, pasta and pizza. I went there looking for an Italian Hot Chocolate but made the mistake of not specifying Italian hot chocolate as I could not see any menus with the Italian Hot Chocolate listed. Later I counted 15 menus in the establishment and did find one with "Italian Chocolate" listed. This review will talk about two hot chocolates. The first is the standard hot chocolate I had on the first evening and the second is the Italian chocolate that I sampled after returning the following night.

The standard hot chocolate was $3.50 with no marshmallows. The froth was creamy and came with sprinkle of chocolate but the drink itself was too weak. It was served in a Coffex coffee cup.

The Italian chocolate was $4.00 also with no marshmallows. It came in a tiny glass, probably about the size that would contain a short black coffee. It was full to the brim with the very dark Italian hot chocolate. No froth or decoration. The chocolate tasted dark, smooth and rich. It went very well with my bowl of rum and raisin gelato. I was very glad to have found another venue that provided thick Italian Hot Chocolate. It was a different experience to the one at the Adelaide Coffee Bar but it was still a delight.
Al Fresco on Urbanspoon

Religion and Hot Chocolate

The following is an extract from a posting on chocolate and religion. The full posting can be found at

In the beginning, the Lord created chocolate, and he saw that it was good. Then he separated the light from the dark, and it was better.
Oh, divine chocolate!
They grind thee kneeling,
Beat thee with hands praying,
And drink thee with eyes to heaven.
~ Marco Antonio Orellana, 18th century

Chocolate is a divine, celestial drink, the sweat of the stars, the vital seed, divine nectar, the drink of the gods, panacea and universal medicine.
~ Geronimo Piperni, quoted by Antonio Lavedán, surgeon in the Spanish army, 1796

So noble a confection, more than nectar & ambrosia, the true food of the gods.
~ Dr. Bachot, 1662

The Greek term theobroma (Latin name for cacao) means literally food of the gods. Chocolate has also been called the food of the devil, but the theological basis of this claim is obscure.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Café Paesano

Café Paesano has recently moved from one side of O'Connell Street, North Adelaide to the other. It has always had a good reputation for Italian cooking. It has always been one of the main drawcards for the O'Connell Street restaurant strip and now it has gone a bit upmarket at its new location. The new accommodation has lots of pizzazz, with glistening marble, glass and metal.

The Hot chocolate was four dollars without marshmallows. It was served in a glass but came with no napkin wrapped around the glass for protection from the hot but it was not that hot anyway. The froth and chocolate sprinkle was good. It was creamy too. Often the froth ends up being fairly tasteless. The drink itself was creamy but not chocolaty enough for this reviewer.
Cafe Paesano on Urbanspoon

Super Premium Sipping Chocolate

I had a friend bring over some Super Premium Sipping Chocolate from the Gingerelli Chocolate Company recently. This company does not seem to have much of a web presence. The chocolate powder was purchased from the Lobethal Bakery in the Adelaide Hills. I added the powder to some hot milk to make a smooth and rich drink. It is not sweet, but has good complex taste including a piquant after-taste. This was a class above your normal hot chocolate powder.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Earl of Leicester

There are two eating areas at the Earl of Leicester Hotel, Leicester St., Parkside. Liars' Restaurant & Courtyard is good for fine dining and an extensive menu and Lucky Leicester's Bistro for quick meals and the salad bar. The hotel is famous for its huge schnitzels. The Marmaduke family visited the Bistro recently. The junior Marmadukes each had the small schnitzels. Lady Myrtle and I chose the barramundi. Of course I accompanied my meal with a hot chocolate.

The first pleasant surprise was that the Earl's hot chocolate fits into that three dollar category that I have mentioned in previous postings. The second surprise is that the extras include a white marshmallow, a pink marshmallow and a fortune cookie. The glass was small and came with a napkin wrapped around it. As mentioned earlier the napkin is essential for keeping one from burning ones fingertips on such a drink. Good waiting staff can perform a feat of origami that defies gravity by wrapping a napkin around the glass in such a way that it stays half way up the glass without falling off. I have also observed this at the Duthy Street Deli. The chocolate came with the usual froth and sprinkle of cocoa. The taste of drink itself was watery and unsatisfying, but the fortune cookie was a good innovation.

The Earl of Leicester also provides complimentary coffees and hot chocolates in their poker machine lounge. This comes in ceramic cups with a thin froth and you can help yourself to a biscuit in the shape of bear. The hot chocolate is not too bad and better than the Highway poker machine lounge complimentary hot chocolate. The machine uses Jolt coffee and mixes.
Liars on Urbanspoon

Hot Chocolate in Japan

According this article Japanese consumption of hot chocolate increased by 198.3% between 1994 and 1998. This might explain the unexpected discovery of a couple of Japanese songs on the internet about hot chocolate. The lyrics have not been reproduced here because frankly they are not particularly edifying, but the songs are catchy and worth a listen.

The songs are
"Hot Chocolate" by Shonen Knife:

"Hot Chocolate" by Rip Slyme:

You can still see the lyrics at these locations:,

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Café Mondiali

The distinctive décor of Café Mondiali (also known as Mondiali Café Ristorante)is the first thing that confronts the visitor. The large glass doors with the coloured glass inlays are very avant guarde. Inside, the place is big, like a barn, but there are paintings on the wall and a large work reminiscent of Salvador Dali front and centre.

The hot chocolate also looked like an artwork. It came in a glass with a good froth and intricate spider-web design on the top rendered in chocolate syrup (see photo). This might be a rendering of the Mondiali logo that appears on their website. When hot chocolate comes in glass the waiters usually provide a napkin or paper wrapped around the glass to stop the drink burning the patron's fingers. This was missing in this instance to the detriment of my finger tips. The froth with its syrup was tasty but unfortunately the drink itself was too weak. The hot chocolate cost $3.50 and came with a marshmallow.
Mondiali Cafe Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Monday, August 24, 2009

Café Ela'te, Topham Mall

Topham Mall is a group of shops between Waymouth St and Currie St. In there are a couple of Cafes. Ela'te serves a small choice of pasta meals and plenty of seating. The hot chocolate was only three dollars which puts this hot chocolate in a special class which I have reviewed before. The chocolate came in an "Aroma Fresh" coffee cup with a heap of froth and chocolate sprinkled on top. There were no marshmallows and the drink was a bit weak for my taste. There was no extra chocolate powder at the bottom unlike my previous three dollar hot chocolate.

Brillat-Savarin and the Wonders of Hot Chocolate

Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin (1755-1826) gained fame as an epicure and gastronome. He was given part of the credit for founding food writing. The TV Servies "Iron Chef" has made the following quote of his even more famous.
"Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you what you are."

It is good to see from the following quotes that he had a high regard for the wonders of hot chocolate and had high regard for its healthy properties.
"If any Man has drunk a little too deeply from the cup of physical pleasure; if he has spent too much time at his desk that should have been spent asleep; if his fine spirits have temporarily become dulled; if he finds the air too damp, the minutes too slow, and the atmosphere too heavy to withstand... let him be given a good pint of amber-flavored chocolate"

“People who habitually drink chocolate enjoy unvarying health, and are least attacked by a host of little illnesses which can destroy the true joy of living.”

"Chocolate... is above all helpful to people who must do a great deal of mental work, to those who labor in the pulpit or the courtroom, and especially to travelers."

The following couple of quote come from his "The Physiology of Taste" published in 1825.
“The Spanish ladies of the New World are madly addicted to chocolate, to such a point that, not content to drink it several times each day, they even have it served to them in church.”

“When you have breakfasted well and fully, if you will drink a big cup of chocolate at the end you will have digested the whole perfectly three hours later, and you will still be able to dine..Because of my scientific enthusiasm and the sheer force of my eloquence I have persuaded a number of ladies to try this, although they were convinced it would kill them; they have always found themselves in fine shape indeed, and have not forgotten to give the Professor his rightful due.”


Sunday, August 23, 2009

Alfonso's Continental

I returned for a long lunch in Hutt Street recently. It was a sunny day and was pleasant sitting under the big umbrellas outside this restaurant. Alfonso's offers an extensive menu of Italian food so I was surprised when the hot chocolate cost only $2.90. Regular readers will know that the $3 hot chocolate is one that I have tracked especially. It came with a marshmallow, a good froth and sprinkle of chocolate.

Unfortunately the chocolate tasted weak and watery until I got near the bottom and realised it had not had much of stir. I had a similar problem with the Duthy Street Deli hot chocolate. Why go to the trouble of making a hot chocolate and not stir it? I do not want to destroy the barista's craft by stirring the drink as soon as I get it. I prefer to preserve look of the froth and decoration so I expect my hot chocolate to be mixed before getting to my table.

Valentine Poem

On this blog site there is plenty of Haiku poetry and some limericks. I got the idea of Valentine poetry from another website and decided to produce one myself.

Roses are red
Choc'late is hot
I think you're sexy
Your mother is not

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Manna Café

There was a time when Manna Café was the only Café on Waymouth Street. Now there are probably a dozen. It has stood the test of time offering good Italian food and service. Merkel enjoyed his antipasto with his hot chocolate.

The hot chocolate came in a tall but fairly plain glass on a saucer. There were no marshmallows but about two centimetres of bubbly froth and chocolate sprinkled on top. The drink was reminiscent of the one at Kappy's but not with the same elegance. At $3.50 this was reasonable value for the size and taste of the drink.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Chianti Classico

The Adelaide Review is a free monthly journal that is often available in Cafes and other shops. "Notes on Adelaide from the Long Lunch in Hutt Street" is a regular column by Alistair C in this journal which takes a satirical look at Adelaide's establishment and the issues of the day. Chianti Classico on Hutt Street rates a frequent mention in this column and you can imagine this is where the people in Adelaide with time and money to spare may choose to dine.

The service and surroundings in this restaurant are excellent. I imagine the menu is good and the wine racks on display suggest the wine list is extensive. Your reviewer, however was here for one reason, to sample the Italian Hot Chocolate. He also ordered a dessert that was tasty but miniscule, costing $14.50.

The hot chocolate was $4.90 and came in good sized ceramic cup with no marshmallows. It was presented with a tasty brown froth with a cocoa stripe through the middle. The taste was full and rich. It certainly stood up to the standard hot chocolates your reviewer has tasted however it did not meet the expectation of a thick Italian Chocolate that had been set by the Italian hot chocolate at the Adelaide Coffee Bar or even the homemade Fräus hot chocolates. Your reviewer did however receive a free takeaway hot chocolate for the road because the staff had an excess after the first one. A gesture that was much appreciated.
Chianti Classico on Urbanspoon

Tom Hanks Hot Chocolate

Tom Hanks performed a song called "Hot Chocolate" for the animated movie "Polar Express". The lyrics by Glen Ballard and Alan Silvestri are not much more than:

Here, we've only got one rule:
Never ever let it cool!
Keep it cookin in
the pot,
You've got-
Hot choc-o-lat!

The song has a good jazzy groove to it though. To see the film clip click on the following:

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Caffe Paparazzi, Unley Road

This is an Italian restaurant with a proper kitchen and a separate coffee and sweets bar. The hot chocolate costs $3.70 and comes with a pink marshmallow in a Coffex coffee cup. It has a good froth and sprinkle of chocolate. The drink was not particularly rich and had some sediment at the bottom.

Chocolate Milk and Other Vices

Your reviewer became aware of the Rufus Wainright song "Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk" recently. The first couple of verses are below.

Merkel Marmaduke does not condone smoking however he can relate to having his hot chocolate a little bit stronger and a little bit thicker. While the calories may be a concern previous postings suggest there may be some health benefits.

Cigarettes and chocolate milk
These are just a couple of my cravings
Everything it seems I likes a little bit stronger
A little bit thicker, a little bit harmful for me

If I should buy jellybeans
Have to eat them all in just one sitting
Everything it seems I likes a little bit sweeter
A little bit fatter, a little bit harmful for me

For the rest of the lyrics see
For a performance of the song see

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Jardine's, Burnside Village

"Jardine's On the Square", is shop 5 in Burnside Village and faces into an open area in the middle of the shopping centre. There is some seating inside plus good seating on the covered plaza area outside.

The hot chocolate is $3.50 and came with a delicious wrapped dark chocolate and a pink marshmallow. Jardine's gets the prize so far for the best extras. The hot chocolate was presented with a good froth with a semicircle of cocoa in a ceramic Vittoria coffee cup. Merkel would have preferred the drink to be creamier.

Notable Cocoa Quotes

Cocoa in most internet sites is synonymous with hot chocolate. I found it prompts some derogatory remarks about our favourite drink. The first is at least poetic.
Tea, although an Oriental,
Is a gentleman at least;
Cocoa is a cad and coward,
Cocoa is a vulgar beast.
~ G. K. Chesterton (English born Gabonese Critic, Essayist, Novelist and Poet, 1874-1936)

The second alludes to a poet.

Cocoa? Cocoa! Damn miserable puny stuff, fit for kittens and unwashed boys.
Did Shakespeare drink cocoa?
~ Shirley Jackson (American Writer, 1919-1965)

I suspect Shakespeare did not drink cocoa as I have not found any reference to it in his work. However someone with true genius and talent did like cocoa as evidenced by the following quote.

I'm not very keen on Hollywood. I'd rather have a nice cup of cocoa really.
~ Sir Noel Coward (Playwright, Novelist, Song Writer and Director,


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Biga Panificio, Hutt St

This Café does not have much seating inside but has ample seating in the closed-in veranda on two sides of the Café. It offers a range of sandwiches made from Italian forms of bread such as Focaccio and Piadina.

The hot chocolate was $3.20 and came in a small cup. In this blog I have repeatedly referred to generous mugs and generous cups. This one could best be described as stingy. The handle was so small that even Myrtle could not insert her dainty digit through it. The chocolate was good, chocolaty and rich. The froth and sprinkle was well executed but there was just not enough drink to quench my desire for a hot chocolate.

I had high expectations for this establishment after listing it in an earlier posting as one of the few places in Adelaide to get an Italian Hot Chocolate. Alas, the new management at Biga Panificio is no longer providing this beverage. I asked the friendly waiter and he suggested that Chianti Classico down the road does this gluggy delight. Stay tuned to hear more from Merkel Marmaduke on this.
Biga Panificio on Urbanspoon

Hot Chocolate Haiku Continues

Dear readers, you may have thought you had seen the last of hot chocolate Haiku after the previous postings on this poetry form. I have to draw your attention to a website which includes a seven verse Haiku and a recipe for French Hot Chocolate. The Haiku verse includes
Back at the cottage
Steaming hot choc'late awaits
The fire ablaze

Myrtle points out that the last line has only four syllables unless you pronounce "fire" with two. This did not stop her trying to deliver the recipe on the website with some variations.

The recipe called for 2 ½ squares of chocolate. We were not sure how much 2 ½ squares of chocolate was. Different chocolates have different sized squares. We checked out some other internet recipes and figured that 100g of chocolate should be enough and we added vanilla essence to taste. In the end we were in too much of a hurry to whip the cream. So it probably was not much like the original recipe after those variations but it produced a creamy, chocolate drink with a pleasant sweetness.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Funk Coffee

The Funk Coffee outlet at 80 Flinders Street is one of a number of coffee shops on this Street. It looks small from the outside but there is plenty of seating inside and good service.

The regular hot chocolate is $3.20 but larger sizes are available. The hot chocolate comes with an elegantly patterned froth with cocoa sprinkled in a heap to one side (see photo). No Marshmallows were provided but a couple of packs of sugar were available. The taste of the chocolate was good and creamy.

James Beard

This quote seems to ring true from someone who knows about food:

A steaming cup of hot chocolate with buttered toast is surely one of the most heart warming, body warming, and taste-satisfying combinations known to man.
--James Beard
James Beard operated a cooking school out of his apartment in New York, wrote dozens of books on cooking and food, and hundreds of articles on food for many different magazines. He is recognized as the father of American gastronomy

The hot chocolate he was talking about was made with just two simple ingredients, pure dark chocolate and creamy milk.


Sunday, August 16, 2009

Pulteney Street Café

This is small Café at Shop 3/241 Pulteney Street. There is plenty of seating although Myrtle and I were the only people eating in when we were there. There seemed to be some language gap as I ordered a chicken, avocado and tomato roll which came without the avocado or tomato. I ordered a medium sized hot chocolate for $4.10. I am not sure how they came up with this price as the takeaway cups on the wall suggest it should $3.50 for a medium cup plus 30 cents for hot chocolate. Perhaps having a real mug cost an extra 30 cents. I am sure the extra 30 cents for we hot chocolate drinkers is discriminatory anyway.

That is enough of the whingeing. The hot chocolate was not too bad. It was a reasonable sized mug with a good froth and a sprinkle of cocoa. No marshmallows. The drink tasted creamy but the chocolate tasted a bit artificial and there was sediment on the bottom.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Mooi, Mitcham

Mooi is a coffee shop in the open area of Mitcham Shopping Centre. It has modern décor and provides reading matter for its patrons. The hot chocolate is $3.20 and comes in an elegant cup and saucer based on a square with round sides. The reader might have to refer to the photo if this description of the shape does not seem to make sense. The hot chocolate comes with a light froth, a sprinkle of chocolate and a marshmallow. The drink is sweet and creamy but not chocolaty enough for your reviewer's taste.

Hot Chocolate Limericks

In Merkel Marmaduke's pursuit of hot chocolate poetry, your reviewer searched the net for hot chocolate poems in Limerick form. Alas, the search found nothing worth publishing to his erudite readership so here he has contributed the following of his own.

What in the world do you think
Is the bev'rage for Merkel to drink
No cup of weak tea
Nor coffee for me
A choc'late with marshmallow pink

A busy hot choc-o-late buyer
Said he once put out a big fire
With milk and a froth
The flames just went off
I think he was prob'ly a liar

A man from Adelaide City
Tried writing a trivial ditty
On Choc'late to drink
The rhyming did stink
And the rhythm's a bit of a pity

Friday, August 14, 2009

Chocolate @ No. 5, Hahndorf

I had been looking forward for some time to visiting this shop as its Hot Chocolate was well renowned. The trip to Hahndorf from Adelaide takes about half an hour and it is well worth the visit. There are a range of Cafés, restaurants and specialty shops along the main road and Myrtle and I had a wonderful walk through the town sampling the wares in a couple of locations.

Chocolate @ No. 5, is a cottage from the early history of Hahndorf with sandstone walls and roughly hewn wooden ceilings. The interior is cosy and the staff eager to please. The Belgian style hot chocolates are available in Milk, White, Dark or Mocca. I went for the dark hot chocolate. It was a great tasting chocolate in a large ceramic cup. It was decorated with an even froth with the "No. 5" spelt out on top with chocolate sprinkles. It was not just rich but had the right sweetness and lighter tastes (perhaps hazelnut) within the hot chocolate. There were no marshmallows but they were not required because the chocolate was perfect as it was, and the dessert Lady Myrtle purchased to go with it was quite sweet enough.

Dark Desires on Blog Leader Board

Earlier, this blog explained that the appearance of the spoon icon in some of the hot chocolate reviews indicated that the review was included in the Urban Spoon reviews. I have the pleasure to announce that "Hot Chocolate: Dark Desires" is now second on the Blog Leader board for this excellent restaurant review site.
Hot Chocolate: Dark Desires Adelaide restaurants

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Eat Street, Gawler Place Adelaide

This is a very busy little lunch venue that does a range of sandwiches and other goodies. I visited in the midday rush hour and ordered my usual hot chocolate. The hot chocolate was only $3.20 and came in a generous ceramic mug. It had a good bubbly froth and chocolate sprinkle on top. Oddly it also came with a plastic spoon that looked big enough to be a dessert spoon. This seemed excessive given its function of stirring hot chocolate. The drink was good and chocolaty and was good value despite the odd stirring implement.

One More Set of Hot Chocolate Haiku

After postings one and two on hot chocolate haiku I feel compelled to do one more.

Miss Ginsu's Ode to Hot Chocolate
Cup warms my fingers:
Dark and silky,
this bitter- sweet winter escape.

From Darwin Michener-Rutledge
Snowman with daddy
then drinking hot chocolate
wet clothes by the stove

Lady Myrtle Marmaduke's contributions
Chilli packs a bite
Funny it's in hot chocolate
Aztecs got it right

Hot choc'late is good
New blog with his dark desires
Merkel tastes it all

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Lunch'n Latte, Waymouth St

I was able to sample another café serving three dollar hot chocolates recently. Lunch'n Latte is a new establishment providing pre-packaged lunches. The hot chocolate came in a good sized brown cup. It had a very elegant presentation with swirl of brown and white froth and clear stripe of chocolate across the top (see photo). The taste was a bit watery but this chocolate was the best presented so far in three dollar field.

Fräus Hot Chocolate

During a trip to Hahndorf with Lady Marmaduke we wandered into the Just Chocolate shop and was delighted to find a large selection of the Fräus range of European hot chocolates mixes. Avid readers may recall that I first encountered this range at Cocolat, Hyde Park. Cocolat were selling this only by the box and as you may imagine the Marmaduke household pantry is already full of hot chocolate. Just Chocolate sold this product by the sachet. So for a minimal investment I was able to purchase a sample of the different Fräus flavours on offer.

The first I tried was the "Classic Classico" hot chocolate. The sachet cost $2.80 and it is simply mixed with 150ml of milk. This makes the hot chocolate a small drink but it is rich and thick and it is unlikely you will feel unsatisfied consuming your hot chocolate. The style is clearly Italian hot chocolate, almost as good as the one I had at the Adelaide Coffee Bar. I note that the product, packed in Australia by the German-named Fräus, is still labeled as "Product of Italy" so the reader can have some comfort that this is authentic Italian hot chocolate.

The next flavour I tried was "Mela Cannella Apple Cinnamon". This had the same richness but the apple and cinnamon flavour was not particularly appealing. The "Peperoncino Chilli" hot chocolate on the other hand packed a punch but could have done with the sweetness a bit of cinnamon would have provided. The last one I tried was "Fondente Extra Dark" which had a darker chocolate flavour and a slightly bitter after-taste.

It was great to be able to sample these different flavours but for me the Classic was my favourite.

Some time later I tried the Fraus banana hot chocolate. This was a taste reminiscient of a banana split and was a pleasant variation on the Classic. The orange and cinnamon was not quite so tasty but it was still a nice drink.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Fontana Di Trevi

This restaurant has been serving pasta and Italian meals to Adelaide patrons for many years. Its lunch deals are very reasonable and they cater well for work groups.

The hot chocolate came in a tall glass with a handle reminiscent of the glass I enjoyed at Spats. It came with a good froth and a sprinkle of chocolate. The hot chocolate was not mixed properly but fortunately the sediment on the bottom was quite visible in the glass so I gave it a good stir. The cost was $3.80.

This venue seems to have closed and is now on the list of disappearing hot chocolate venues.
Fontana di Trevi on Urbanspoon

More Hot Chocolate Haiku

In a previous posting I presented some great Haiku poetry. The word "Chocolate" is a bit problematic as it can be pronounced with two syllables (choc'late) or three syllables (choc-o-late). I guess I am happy with either.

From Renatta Pellack
Yum, marshmallows, PLEASE!
Don't burn my tongue or my lips.
Warm on a cold day!

From "Point"
dark luxurious
liquid hot between my toes
bathing in chocolate

A fridge magnet haiku is displayed at flickr
winter makes man
shiver and man devour drinks
of hot chocolate

Erin Zimmer claims that hot beverage poetry does not get enough respect and contributes:
once just a powder
but hot liquids transform you,
brown winter mustache

Monday, August 10, 2009

Taste on Pirie

Taste on Pirie is a small city Café on Pirie Street. It serves a range of simple lunches. The hot chocolate is $3.20 and comes in a bright red cup. This is a change from the ubiquitous white or beige cups and mugs. Its hot chocolate had a good standard taste. It came with a good froth and a sprinkle of chocolate on top.

Hot Chocolate Haiku

The Japanese poetry form of Haiku with its 5-7-5 syllable pattern, can provide some brief and insightful observations on the world. Here is a contribution from Yrene:
Soft marshmallows float
On warm, luscious, brown liquid
Oh dear Hot Chocolate!

From Catherine of New Zealand

my favourite mug
steaming hot chocolate with
fluffy marshmallows

From Olivia Bartilucci

Building a snowman
Sipping warm hot chocolate
Taking a long nap

Here is a piece of brilliance from the book "Zombie Haiku: Good Poetry for Your...brains"
by Ryan Mecum.
blood is really warm.
It's like drinking hot chocolate
but with more screaming.

Sunday, August 9, 2009


Cikolatte is a Turkish themed coffee and chocolate shop in Melbourne Street, North Adelaide. The surroundings are comfortable with a choice of soft Ottoman sofas and conventional chairs and tables. There is plenty of reading material on hand and an internet point of presence.

I ordered a Medium mug of chilli hot chocolate for $4.70. I could have requested a smaller or larger drink for $4.20 or $5.20. The mug was generous and came with a good froth and sprinkle of chocolate. The drink was fairly milky and did not compare to the richness and spice of the Bracegirdles Chilli Chocolate. It was a nice drink though. The chilli had a punch at the beginning of the drink but had little impact towards the bottom of the mug.

Çikolatte on Urbanspoon

Cloud 9

Cloud 9 sits at the top of one of Falls Creek's main ski runs in the Victorian ski fields. It is a large restaurant overlooking the Kiewa Valley and caters for snacks and lunches for the skiers. The junior Marmadukes visited Falls Creek with their school friends recently. The fearless and ever resourceful leader of the expedition negotiated a good deal to supply the group with hot chocolates. Spare a thought for the Cloud 9 staff members who were then faced with providing around 100 school children with a hot chocolate. Apparently they achieved this task with honour. My budding reviewers advise that the chocolate was delicious even though the marshmallow came already dunked and the beverage was served in paper cups.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Spats Café, 108 King William Road, Goodwood

Spats Café is a place of special memories for your reviewer. He first took his Lady Myrtle Marmaduke there on their first date 20 years ago. The Café is much like it was then. It is a place of great character and charm and perfect for intimate coffees and dinners. The Marmadukes returned there recently.

The two hot chocolates on the menu were the standard hot chocolate ($6.00) and the hot chocolate with Baileys Irish Cream ($9.25). As readers will know Merkel Marmaduke never shies away from new hot chocolate experiences so he chose the hot chocolate with Baileys. It was worth the expense. The hot chocolate came in an elegant glass with a handle and a saucer. It came with a marshmallow and was topped with cream sprinkled with cinnamon and cocoa. The hot chocolate was creamy and the Baileys gave it just the right sweetness and intoxicating after taste.

The great taste will make this hot chocolate a contender for the Merkel Awards although the price would mean it could not be an everyday experience.
Spats Coffee House on Urbanspoon

Friday, August 7, 2009

Hot Chocolate in Adelaide for $3

From your reviewer's research it would seem that $3.00 is inexpensive for a good hot chocolate. In this article Merkel Marmaduke reviews three hot chocolates that meet this benchmark.

Gelato Bello, Malvern Village, 259 Unley Road, Malvern.
If he had insisted, Merkel could probably have got a ceramic cup but he took pity on the young serving assistant and settled for the paper cup. Larger cup sizes were available. The drink came with good froth and chocolate sprinkle but it was a fairly weak and watery chocolate.

This venue seems to have closed and is now on the list of disappearing hot chocolate venues.

Café One, Southern Cross Arcade, Adelaide
Larger sizes were available. It came in a ceramic cup but had a thin froth with a good chocolate sprinkle. It was too hot and too watery.

Café 146, 146 Gawler Place, Adelaide
This is good lunch place with plenty of seating. The hot chocolate tasted the best of the three reviewed here. It was served in a ceramic cup with a mountain of froth and a sprinkle of cocoa.

Merkel Marmaduke's conclusion is that one can get a good hot chocolate in Adelaide for only $3.00. Don't expect all the trimmings and choose your venues wisely. Café 146 was the winner on taste but an honourable mention should go to the $2.95 hot chocolate from Cocolat, Hyde Park for a good value dining experience.

For later updates on the best three dollar hot chocolates in Adelaides see this later posting.

Singing for a Hot Chocolate

Gilmore Girls is an American comedy drama series created by Amy Sherman-Palladino and starring Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel. The series made its debut on October 5, 2000. Gilmore Girls Episode 10 for Season 1 is Entitled "Forgiveness and Stuff" and contains the following dialogue.

[Taylor and carolers enter Luke's diner]

LUKE: Whoa, what’s going on?
TAYLOR: Well we were caroling around town and we got a bit chilly and we thought maybe we could trade you a song for some hot chocolate.
LUKE: You want free hot chocolate?
TAYLOR: No no, we’ll sing for it, any tune you like.
LUKE: And then I give you free hot chocolate.
LUKE: Tell you what, you can have your hot chocolate, and pay for it, then go next door and sing for the marshmallows.

Sources: Wikipedia, Java Quotes

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Cocolat, Hyde Park

Cocolat in Hyde Park (162b King William Rd) is a shop within a shop. It is hosted by Dariwell Farm, a gourmet produce retailer. Having a coffee shop within another shop is an interesting concept a bit like Café Foyerism but is not unheard of. The Borders book shop has been hosting an internal coffee shop for years.

Cocolat started out as a cake and dessert retailer. The combination of gourmet produce retailer and chocolate dessert shop allows it to provide an excellent Café experience. They do a good antipasto to have with your hot chocolate. I noticed they sell the Arkadia organic hot chocolate and Fraus rich European hot chocolate from their shelves.

At $2.95 this is the cheapest hot chocolate I have tried and it came with white and pink marshmallows. It came in ceramic cup with a good froth and sprinkle of chocolate. I would have preferred the chocolate to be richer. The friendly waitress advised that it was made from the Arkadia hot chocolate I had spotted on the shelves.

Lindt Hot Chocolate Flakes

Afer Lady Myrtle's successful experiment with the Spanish Chocolate your reviewer attempted his own Hot Chocolate in the kitchen. Being fairly inept at following recipes he chose to purchase a tin of Lindt Hot Chocolate Flakes. The flakes seemed to promise a drinking experience superior to powdered chocolate drinks because it was real chocolate.

The instructions required melting 6 teaspoons of chocolate flakes in a small amount of hot milk and then topping it up with further milk. The result was pretty disappointing in comparison with the Spanish Hot Chocolate. The milk chocolate did not taste rich enough. Still all was not lost as the flakes tasted delicious by themselves. Next time Merkel will add more Chocolate.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Mamma Carmelas

I have dined at Mamma Carmelas (Unley Rd, Unley) on many occasions. It does good Italian food and is always comfortable. On this occasion I ordered the veal and got the chicken so your reviewer was not in a particularly good mood.

The Hot Chocolate came with a good froth and chocolate sprinkle. They provided the drink complete with both the pink and white marshmallow. It was served in a ceramic cup. The drink itself was a bit disappointing as it did not meet my expectation for a rich chocolate taste. Mamma Carmela does not make the costs of her beverages easy to work out but I think this one was about $3.50.

Spanish Chocolate

My dear Lady Myrtle Marmaduke decided she would make me a hot chocolate using a Spanish hot chocolate recipe she found on the net. This was a fairly basic recipe and it can be varied to taste. The key ingredient is a large amount of good chocolate melted into a milky concoction. She used Cadbury dark cooking chocolate. The result was rich and pleasurable despite not worrying about the froth and presentation.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


I returned to the Café Precinct (Shop 6/11 Waymouth St., Adelaide) which housed the Un Caffe Bar outlet I reviewed earlier and tried another Café in this huge Foyer. Lena's shares the space with Un Caffe Bar and three other food outlets and prompted my thesis on Café Foyerism in an earlier posting.

Lena's does a regular hot chocolate for $3.20. It comes in a Vittoria coffee Glass with wire Handle with the usual froth and sprinkle of chocolate but no marshmallows. It was a good rich standard hot chocolate.

Healthy Hot Chocolate Revisited

“The superiority of chocolate [hot chocolate], both for health and nourishment, will soon give it the same preference over tea and coffee in America which it has in Spain..." Thomas Jefferson (1785) in a Letter to John Adams

I doubt that Thomas Jefferson's prediction on America's hot beverage preferences will come to fruition however his advice on the health benefits of Hot Chocolate seem prophetic.

It has been shown that hot chocolate has a higher antioxidant concentration than tea and red wine. This backs up the statement made on the Youtube video featured on my earlier post.

More information about the health benefits of chocolate can be found at the links below:

Monday, August 3, 2009

Kappy's Café Tea and Coffee House

Kappy's, formerly known as Kappy and Wright's, has had a long history in Adelaide extending back to 1932. It has had a number of owners and locations but it has always had a fine reputation for coffees and teas. This is evident when you go into the Café at 53 Flinders St and see the canisters of tea and coffee along the wall.

I have had a number of good hot chocolates at Kappy's. They traditionally serve it in a long stemmed glass with a couple of marshmallows. More recently they have been providing drinks to patrons in a mug but they are still happy to do it in the glass.

The hot chocolate cost $4.40. It had plenty of froth with a sprinkle of chocolate at its centre. The drink was rich and creamy from top to bottom. With the help of one of the marshmallows it was the perfect sweetness.
Kappy's Cafe on Urbanspoon

Arkaba Hotel

Merkel Marmaduke pitted his wits against the Mensa intellects at the Arkaba Hotel quiz night this evening. His team dropped to third after we got William Shakespeare's birth date wrong by one year. The hot chocolate was quite drinkable although a little bitter. It was presented in a tall glass with a handle but otherwise lacked some pizzazz in the presentation. The staff members were friendly and the evening entertaining.
Arkaba Hotel on Urbanspoon

Sunday, August 2, 2009


Bracegirdle's House of Fine Chocolate is somewhere that all hot chocolate connoisseurs should visit. Bracegirdles have Cafes at Glenelg, Toorak Gardens and their new location at Mclaren Vale. I visited the Toorak Gardens outlet with a mission to have their hot dark Belgian chocolate with Chilli. I could have had my choice of white chocolate, milk chocolate or dark chocolate. Another delicacy special to Bracegirdle's is the Chocolate Sipper which is warmed chocolate sipped through a straw, where the chocolate is kept warm with a candle.

The hot chocolate came in a generous mug with a brown froth and a chocolate sprinkling shaped to look like a chilli. A marshmallow was included with the mug. The taste of the chilli and cinnamon in the chocolate was great and the chocolate was creamy, rich but not overpowering. This was a great hot chocolate for a rainy day and the best your reviewer can remember. It was well worth the $6 and I look forward to returning to sample the chocolate sipper.
Bracegirdle's on Urbanspoon

Café a Go Go

Merkel Marmaduke and the junior Marmadukes enjoy going to watch the local football. Nothing is better on a cold day watching the footy enjoying it with a good hot chocolate. Sometimes a good hot chocolate is hard to find though.

With some trepidation I approached the Café a Go Go van. I was glad to see they went to a bit of trouble with their hot chocolate providing stirring sticks and optional marshmallows. The froth looked good but was a little tasteless and the chocolate was not as rich or creamy as I would have liked but it still went down well. The local team won on the day which made it all a good experience.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Italian Hot Chocolate

After his pleasurable experience sampling Italian hot chocolate your reviewer thought some research was in order to study where else to get such a treat in Adelaide.

I can recommend the Adelaide Coffee Bar from the earlier review. Other locations serving this delicacy in Adelaide are:
Al Fresco East End, Adelaide
Swiss Glory, Victoria Square Entrance to the Adelaide Central Market
Caffe L'Incontro, Gays Arcade, Adelaide
How Sweet It Is
Cibo Espresso (Various Outlets)
Caffe Buongiorno (Norwood Outlet)
A Cafe Etc, Brighton
The Mac Factory, Adelaide
The Grind@Central

The East coast of Australia seems to be better served with Italian Hot Chocolate places as discussed in Kokopop's Search for Italian Hot Chocolate. "Glutton Dressed as Lamb" on the West coast has resorted to making his own.

After some time searching for Italian Hot Chocolate places, your reviewer can verify that those venues listed above provide an Italian Hot Chocolate. Swiss Glory only does it in colder weather. Your reviewer heard that Martini's at Norwood server an Italian Hot Chocolate in the evenings but your reviewer has not been able to verify this.

An excellent source of Italian Hot Chocolates is the Cibo Espresso chain. Some Cibo outlets do not provided these in the hotter weather. The outlets on Rundle Street, Gouger Street, Hutt Street and Hyde Park all provided a thick Italian hot chocolate when reviewed.

Your reviewer has come across a category of rich hot chocolates that he classes as almost in the Italian hot chocolate but not quite. These are generally hot chocolates from powders that are not quite the thick consistency of good Italian hot chocolate. These are Ciocatto at Cafe Bravo, Coconat at Viva Espresso, the Ciocolatto Italiano and La Piazza Cafe and the hot chocolate at Chianti Classico.

Return to the Adelaide Coffee Bar

After a pleasurable visit to the Adelaide Coffee Bar last week I returned to sample the Italian Hot Chocolate that was being promoted there. The drink came in a small ceramic cup topped with large dollop of cream and sprinkled with chocolate. The chocolate was rich and thick and tasted a little like a chocolate mousse. The cream was a bit heavy and excessive for my taste and presented a problem about how to drink the delicious chocolate beneath. This is one of those drinks that you drink and eat making the spoon an essential tool. At $4.50 it was well worth the experience.