Today I was a guest of Shane Hills and the team at Koko Black. It was a revealing and extraordinarily delicious window into Koko Black's bold move across the Nullabour. The Claremont store is located in the New Claremont shopping centre, an upmarket venue but one in which the stylish design of the store will fit in nicely.
Although I had tried samples, I was not sure just how the experience at the new store would live up to what I hoped to find. Certainly I had an open mind, but I was very pleased to find that the product and the approach exceeded my expectations.
Actually, for the pre-opening visit today the decor was hard to imagine, the store was in its final fit-out stages with a horde of frantic tradies edging their way between us and the staff. Apparently though, it will all be completed tonight in time for the opening tomorrow. Between the tradies and their tools and the boxes of furnishings, the final look of the store was not even possible to imagine.
Most people though will go for the chocolate over the decor - and so they should. We were treated first to the two specialty truffles that will be made in the store using Western Australian ingredients. First the stout truffle using stout malt and then the Truffle (a capital T truffle!) using WA truffles as a subtle ingredient.
Both of these were stunning and followed by tastes of the milk and dark single origin chocolates.
The highlight however, and what is sure to be a great attraction, was the Queen of Hearts High Tea, a selection of sweet and savoury treats that was genuinely first class and served with a Belgian hot chocolate that was probably the best I have had in Australia.
It was a far cry from the chocolate experience that most of us have and I think Koko Black will be a fin addition to the WA food scene. It is good to find a company who respect the freshness of their ingredients and use the advantage of that in their products. These are not chocolates you can put away for a long periods of time, they are a fresh food and need to be used within a week or so of purchase, but they are delectable.
I predict that this winter, the experience of the high tea - especially with friends, will be something that many people will come to enjoy.
I enjoyed it so much that we are going back next week - and I think we need a Perth Food Blogger's meetup at Koko Black ASAP!
Koko Black Claremont opens 22 March. I'd head down in the afternoon to be sure they have had time to get the full display of treats into the cases
It is in the Lane, in Claremont Quarter on St Quentin Avenue
Hours of operation (seriously impressive! late not choc treat anyone?):
Monday – Thursday (8:00am – 10:00pm)
Friday (8:00am – 11:00pm)
Saturday (9:00am – 11:00pm)
Sunday (10:30am – 10:00pm)
I think we need a Perth Blogger's meetup at Koko Black ASAP