A relatively new addition to the Melbourne St dining precinct, The Chocolate Taperia has taken on the Spanish and Mexican inspired offerings we have seen becoming extremely popular on the Eastern seaboard over the last few years and created a themed dessert bar that should tempt the tastebuds of chocolate lovers everywhere.
Decked out like an ‘Aladdin’s cave of chocolate temptation’, stepping inside on a bright day, it is dark and cosy. This is definitely a ‘dessert bar’ as opposed to a ‘cafe’ and would present a great alternative for late night diners or those who want a ‘night out’ but not at a loud and gregarious ‘night spot’.
The menu has a good selection of hot drinks with coffee’s a good selection of tea’s and an even better selection of hot chocolates which include milk, dark and white selections of Belgian chocolate with various flavourings such as orange, peppermint and chilli. There are a number of cold drinks on offer too such as the traditional Mexican Horchata, fresh Lemonade, and a variety of Frappes and Milkshakes.
On the food front, this place has a number of Mexican and Spanish desserts which are chocolate based such as the Churros, Chocolate Fondue and even a tasting ‘platter’ with a selection of sweets.
Horchata – Traditional Mexican Rice drink infused with Coconut and Cinnamon
It took a while to work out what the Horchata reminded me of, but when I did, the description made sense. The flavour is almost exactly that of a traditionally made Spanish rice pudding however in a drink format. It comes in a carafe served with lots of ice and is cold and refreshing. If I had a complaint, it would be that the ice in served in the drink tended to water it down so that by the end of it, it was much thinner and watery than when it arrived at the table. It was pleasant enough though and provided an appropriate accompaniment to the food.
Churros – Spanish donuts covered in cinnamon and sugar
The Churros are similar to the cinnamon donuts that we are used to here in Australia but they are in a different shape and served with a dipping chocolate. The flavour was great and what I expected of Churros but perhaps a little chewier than I had hoped. I have had the chance to sample good Churros in Barcelona and those in Spain had a crispier exterior and a softer and fluffier interior. The dipping chocolate was exactly like I had experienced in Spain which is typically thicker than what we normally expect owing usually to the addition of cornflour. Whilst this is traditional, it is not usually to my liking. It’s flavour however was good.
Frito – Churros, Empanadas with Dulche de Leche and Chocolate and Banana Bombolini
The tasting plate was perhaps one of the better ways to sample a number of items on offer at Chocolate Taperia. Again, we had the Churros but also tried the Empanadas which were filled with Dulche de Leche which is a sweetened and thickened caramelised milk which is flavour of the month for all sorts of recipes all over the web. If you want to try it at home, the easiest way is to buy a jar from a local grocery shop such as El Choto on Port Road. Served within the Empanada, it was a perfectly adequate sweet although when first arrived at the table it was searingly hot. The Bombolini were fine.
Being more of a savoury than sweets type of person, I was starting to feel a little overwhelmed by the end of our stay and that this sweets binge had well and truly sated this particular chocolate craving for the time being. That being said, for those who love their sweets and I know plenty of people who do, Chocolate Taperia dessert bar Adelaide will make a pleasant night out.