Sunday, 5 October 2008

Monty's, Paddington - Chocolate Heaven

The days when a block of chocolate from the supermarket was a treat are long gone. Today, when we are looking for something special when it comes to chocolate, the words that come up are more likely to be single origin, coverture and free trade. It's all about high quality product because what other food can you taste the best of for just $2?

And if you want to taste the best, head to Monty's Chocolates, a new establishment on Latrobe Terrace. It's in the complex that includes the Antique Centre and the whole strip of shops seems to be undergoing a renaissance.

Monty's has seriously good chocolates. Owner Steve Sheldon opened the doors about five weeks ago with some very exclusive lines, but he says its all about the taste. Simple things with the highest quality ingredients that transform the flavour.

The shelves are filled with the most attractive looking boxes of goodies - just perfect for a present or a special treat. Think pink champagne roses by Rococo, chocolate balls as served in Gordon Ramsay's restaurant and realistic hand painted chocolate crocodiles. Steve is a distributor for the Pralus brand and welcomes inquiries.

I started by sampling the hot chocolate which Steve makes using a mix of hot chocolate base, fresh ingredients, secret spices and coverture chocolate. It comes with extra chocolate drops and the instructions to put these in the drink and stir. It's silky smooth, chocolately but not overly sweet, and deeply satisfying. On Steve's recommendation, I sample one of Gordon's balls before the drink. After the slightly bitter cocoa of the exterior, it's caramel centre explodes in my mouth - yum!

There are so many things to try - a cabinet full of chocolate treats, praline filled mushrooms and quail eggs. Chocolate covered almonds that look like olives, mini cup cakes and other treats by the wonderful Judy C and Leif chocolate blocks from Noosa.

The coffee is Byron Bay organic and there's a range of teas from which to choose.

Bottom line: Don't waste anytime - get your chocolate fix from Monty's soon!

Monty's Chocolates, 155 Latrobe Terrace, Paddington. ph 3369 3135.
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