I almost didn't notice the shop front, in the space that used to be occupied by Oh Calcutta, but this indeed was the building I was after - the home of Boon – The Chocolate Experience.
This is best enjoyed by reclining back in a comfortable chair on The Boon Terrace Lounge because you will need to prepare to be amazed by Fanny Chan’s unique take on chocolate. Marrying a heritage of Chinese, Filipino and Australian influences with a Belgian chocolate education from Patrick Mertens (one of Belgium’s top ten chocolatiers); Fanny has created a selection of perfectly sized chocolate squares that will substantially elevate your expectations of chocolate in the future.
I began with a Hot Chocolate ($7.50), served with a Boon praline of choice and an airy, rich mousse. I also enjoyed a Chocolate Teaser Plate ($7.50/ 5 pieces) which can be self-selected or left it in the hands of the experts. Fanny’s charming brother Alex Chan gave my palate quite a workout (and clearly can't count to five). He also told me a lot about the Philippines, which is actually on the route the Spanish galleons took back from South America (where they liberated chocolates from the Aztecs) to their home country. The Philippines gave Mexico the mango this way too, so it was not all one-way!
But I will stop nattering and get on to the chocolates. My pinnacle was Balsamico (pictured in the back row, middle slot) a combination of milk chocolate, balsamic vinegar, strawberry praline and a clever sprinkle of salt and pepper. The Kurobiko (pictured in the front row, second from the left) flavoured with roasted sesame is like the perfect end to a Japanese meal. The delicacy of the beautiful hand-painted Mira (the red one) of white chocolate ganache, strawberry and Tasmanian pepper berry made me ache for more.
The swirling balance of passionfruit and caramel in Pash was memorable - in fact, I arranged this experience after trying this particular chocolate at launch of the Kings Cross Festival. It seems to swirl the two quite distinct flavours in your mouth - first passionfruit, then caramel and back again.
Those with money to burn can buy a memorable chocolate handbag (must be pre-ordered at a price of $140). They’re conveniently located for taking a box of bliss to someone worthy at St Vincent’s Hospital; but I prefer to eat my own Box ($30/16 pralines) in private.
Their Easter treats are pleasantly small; for the discerning chocoholic where quality matters more than quantity.
Boon – The Chocolate Experience
251 Victoria Street, Darlinghurst
Ph: (02) 9356 8876