Koko Black, Claremont
Chocoholics unite! I’m a major sweets person – ask anyone I know and they’ll testify I consume abnormal amounts of chocolate. Give me a block of Toblerone and it will disappear down my gullet in an hour. So when Koko Black first opened their doors, I was in rapture – finally an up-market chocolate café had arrived to suit all my sweet tooth cravings! I always love going to Koko Black. Back when it first opened, my friends and family (and of course myself) were obsessed with our indulgent visits to the one and only chocolatier café in Claremont Quarter. As a result of our frequent visits, I had to undergo a chocolate detox and steer clear of Koko Black for a few months. When I returned, I was pleasantly surprised to find that they did seasonal menus. The new menus were smaller and contained a greater number of items from the glass cabinet, placed at the corner of the café. The particular night I visited, I was there with my family for my parents’ 25th wedding anniversary, a dessert session scheduled in after dinner at Zafferano’s.
I especially love the ambience of Koko’s – it is always warmly lit and elegant in its black leather and golden highlights. It was also perfect for an intimate catch-up or for a romantic date. There was also always plenty of space to sit – either just outside of Koko’s (indoors), in the space along the length of the food cabinet or inside the café itself.
The menu has altered since I was last there – I always love the variety that the seasonal menu had on offer. To start, our pleasant waitress popped down glasses of water and free samples of cinnamon handcrafted chocolates, resplendent in its shiny dark arches. I loved the crack of the delicate chocolate as we bit into it, giving way to a nutty aromatic cinnamon paste, pleasing my Chai tea obsessed sister. We had a truffle each in our party of six, and I managed to smuggle away an extra one as my brother wasn’t a big fan of cinnamon. They were delicious!
The Junior Belgian Spoil ($7.50) was my brother’s favourite. It had a mini chocolate mousse dome, chocolate ice cream and a milk chocolate teddy bear pop. As a child menu item, it was just as beautifully displayed as the “adult” Belgian spoil and tasted just as good. For an extra $3.50 we grabbed him a babycino, which he downed in about two minutes. Maybe a real hot chocolate for him next time?
The Summer specials include a drool worthy selection. Mum and Dad shared the ever reliable Chocolate Moelleux ($12.50), which was served with the lightest ever raspberry espuma. The moelleux sported its trademark molten centre, rich and caked in a moist dense chocolate pudding, chocolate oozing out with a puff of hot steam. The raspberry espuma was a whipped cloud of pink which added a sour element to the dish, reorganising the tastebuds and sweeping away the heavy decadence of the lava cake. A twisted tulle-like biscuit sat aside it all, the brittle twist also adding a structural component to the dish. The arch of vibrant green crushed pistachios provided a boyant liveliness to the dish, as well as a crunch. I’ve heard stories of moelleuxs exploding in microwave ovens, resulting in a mud-like slick covering the walls – this thankfully had not happen this time around, as the dessert came out in its allocated 15 minute time frame. The moelleux was a beautiful looking dish, which appears to be perfectly presented every single time we go to Koko Black.
The Belgian Spoil ($15) was a traditional chocolate platter including two pralines, florentines, chocolate cake, mousse and ice cream. The pralines were the dulce de leche and the Chai tea, which my sister reported were both quite sweet. The florentines were a bit disappointing and they were said to be a bit stale and dry. The dome of chocolate mousse was velvety and creamy, whilst the ice cream was beautifully presented (and rapidly melting).
The Belgium Spoil also had a slice of the Chocolate Alchemy Cake, which we caught a glimpse of in the way in. It had a slender portion of cake topped with a low row of milk chocolate pieces (it reminded me of a long piece of chocolate snapped off of a Cadbury bar). Sitting atop the row of chocolate was a small piece of golden foil – gorgeous! The cake itself oozed chocolate sauce, though the cake was a bit dry and could have done with another few more seconds in the oven/microwave as it was a touch on the cold side.
My absolute favourite was the Baked Chocolate Tart ($8.00). It was smaller than I would have thought (about the size of my palm), but it was a perfect size to devour without feeling like a chocolate glutton afterwards. It had a thin base of crumbly buttery pastry and had a warm chocolate cake-like interior. It wasn’t overtly saccharine (it uses a 64% Madagascan coverture chocolate, which of the dark variety and apparently has “notes of caramel, green banana, acidic fruit with a buttery finish”) and had a dense texture. The vanilla analgise came served in a little jug beside it, which the waitress poured on my plate for me. I loved that analgise – it was smooth, creamy and slightly chilled which contrasted nicely with the warm chocolate tart. You could also taste (and visually witness) the authenticity of the spit vanilla pod. Heaven on a plate!
The drinks were good as always – the hot chocolates, mochas and babycinos were warm with sublime froth. Their attention to detail with the drinks are always impeccable – the baristas never fail to spin out some pretty patterns, either flowers, love hearts or smiley faces using a combination of skill, chocolate powder and chocolate sauce.
Koko Black is not only a place that sells chocolate, but also merchandise, perfect for the resident chocoholics. They include hot chocolate mixes, boxes of truffles, speciality made chocolate bars and chocolate snowmen! The team at Koko’s are also happy to do packaging and have gorgeous lilac bags perfect for presents. It also has a viewing window for the curious connoisseurs, allowing them to oggle at the makers of chocolate delights and delicacies. In dark, romantic hues, Koko Black is welcoming, warm and cosy. There is always fabulous service at Koko’s – consistently the best in Perth, behind the scenes and at the front counter. The waitresses are always friendly, efficiently and eager to please. The lady at the front of the counter is always keen to hear about our feedback, and I only have wonderful things to say about Koko’s! It’s also a very family friendly environment – enough space to cater for large groups and a section of menu items for little kids. A must try for everyone in Perth!
Rating: 7 out of 10.
Address: Claremont Quarter, 23 St Quentin Ave, Claremont 6010
- Open Monday (9.00am to 6.00pm), Tuesday to Thursday (9.00am to 10.00pm), Friday and Saturday (9.00am to 11.00pm) and Sunday (10.30am to 6.00pm).
- Dessert Degustation available for two people (from $40 pp). Includes a selection of miniature desserts from our seasonal menu with the choice of any two hot or cold beverages.
- Gift vouchers available from $25 to $150.
- No reservations, walk in’s only.