I did a double take when I walked past Princess Coco on my way to the Darling Quarter for dinner – were those crystal chandeliers hanging from the ceiling? Plush purple velvet lounges and endless rows of neatly arranged truffles and pralines? It looked way too fancy to be a café but this specialty chocolatier is much more than that – it’s a temple for chocolate indulgence with a unique chocolate fountain to prove it!
Princess Coco opened in late August but there was already quite a crowd of chocolate lovers when we visited for some after dinner treats. The design of the place reminds me of the La Duree macaron store we visited in Paris, with the ornate golden touches on the décor evoking an atmosphere of French grandeur.
Quite a lot of their store space is dedicated to their chocolate display counter, so there are not a lot of seats available for large groups though we manage to squeeze 8 of us onto one of their tables. With the limited number of tables they have, I’d say that Princess Coco is more suited for couples and intimate small groups.
Their attentive and well-groomed waitstaff are friendly, taking us through the menu to select a range of their hot chocolate offerings and their signature desserts. We start with the Chocolate Fondue set which comes with delectable melted Valrhona dark chocolate to dip the fluffy house made marshmallows, petit chous, strawberries and caramelised banana pieces into. The set was impeccably presented, with some hot rocks keeping the chocolate sauce at optimum temperature. My favourites were the petit chous which were little cream puffs that burst in your mouth.
Fondue au chocolat, $15
Our next dessert consisted of very interesting flavours like salted palm sugar icecream and chocolate with warm citrus sauce. In my mind, I expected these flavours to clash badly but surprisingly the salty sweet ice cream worked and somehow the citrus sauce did not curdle the dairy component of the chocolate. All the elements of this dessert combined to produce a lovely mix which made the most of the Valrhona chocolate used.
Fondant au chocolat citron vert, $15
The cake which followed this one featured the more traditional flavour of mango, enveloped in a delectably soft mousse and blended with some smooth chocolate. I didn’t catch the name of this dessert because it was a daily special suggested to us by the waitress, but it tasted absolutely divine.
Mango Mousse cake
Rounding off the desserts for the night was the signature Princess Coco dessert where the waitress presented a superbly constructed chocolate sphere atop a crunchy base and proceeded to pour hot Earl Grey chocolate sauce over it so that it melted in front of our astonished faces. Continuing the citrus theme of the night, this cake featured the fresh zest of a mandarin compote and was very satisfying.
Reve de Princess Coco, $17
We paired our destruction of all these heavy chocolate desserts with yet more chocolate…this time in the hot liquid form. I liked the sound of the Jivara milk chocolate which was enticingly described with words like “seduction” and “perfect harmony”. Luckily, the drink lived up to the description as the smooth hot cocoa delivered the promised malt and sweet vanilla flavours to create a comforting hot milkshake in a cup.
Jivara chocolat au lait, $8.50
Then there’s the Earl Grey dark chocolate drink which is perfect for those caffeine addicts who love both chocolate and tea, with classic hints of flowery bergamot coming through the cocoa base.
Earl Grey chocolat noir, $8.50
I actually came back a few days later and tried their Coffee flavoured chocolate drink as well as their hot chocolate with a hint of spice. Surprisingly, I preferred the latter even though the scent of chai/cinnamon was quite strong at first but it melted into a comfortingly warming drink in the end. The Coffee flavoured chocolate was really a mocha and a bit too bitter for my tastes.
Valrhona Cafe noir au chocolat (front) and Chocolat noir epice (back), both $8.50
I’m really pleased that the city finally has such a gorgeous new dessert hotspot without the crazy queues you see at places like Max Brenner’s, though I expect the crowds will be flocking here as the word spreads. All in all, Princess Coco is a lavishly decked out chocolaterie with strong attention to detail, making it a perfect place to relax with some delicious after dinner treats. It will most definitely become a favourite destination of mine!
Princess Coco Chocolaterie
158-166 Day St
Sydney NSW 2000
Phone: (02) 9269 0881