Small Bites: Koko Black | Claremont, homemade pumpkin soup & striploin steak
Since discovering the delights of Koko Black in Melbourne a few years ago & learning about Koko Black’s impending Western Australian arrival from Bowl of Honey, I was looking forward to a little dose of chocolate goodness for an after-dinner treat.
After navigating our way through Claremont’s revitalised shopping district (I don’t go to this area too often these days), we browsed the salon’s beautifully merchandised display shelves, immaculate rows of chocolates & truffles in refrigerated glass cabinets & an glass-enclosed pastry station.
Light hot chocolate. Freshly brewed to a traditional Belgian recipe, but using a light touch. Wonderful.
Poached pear brulee tart. Served with a ginger wine jelly & pear sorbet. The brulee was extremely subtly infused, to the point of barely discernible ginger; however the tart shell was beautifully crispy. The jelly & sorbet were superb.
St. Ali speciality coffee. One of the worst flat white coffees my husband & I have ever tasted. Overly bitter & burnt milk. I know St. Ali coffee is hugely popular in Melbourne, so I can only put this bad coffee experience down to an inept local coffee maker. Will try again next time to see if this was an isolated incident.
Highlight With plenty more delectable options to choose from, the pear brulee tart was an excellent introduction to Koko Black
Lowlight Very patchy table service. We almost gave up on being served & stood up to order at the counter until, finally, a wait staff realized there were a couple of patiently waiting diners sitting in the inside courtyard area.
Rating 2.5 chocolate truffles out of 5
Will we be back Yes.
As the year ticks over into Autumn & the evenings get cooler, thoughts inevitably turn to warmer, heartier meals. One of my favourite comfort foods is homemade butternut pumpkin soup. Thick, creamy, naturally sweet using homemade chicken stock – this was served with a couple of crusty bread buns, some cracked pepper, a dollop of cream &, a recent addition to our panty, a swirl of Joseph extra virgin olive oil. Heaven.
Steak, beans & green salad
After picking up a cut of Rangers Valley striploin from Mondo’s Butchers (& navigating through the long queue of customers waiting for a Saturday lunch hot roast roll), dinner that evening was a simply grilled striploin steak, homemade Béarnaise sauce draped over lightly poached fresh string beans & a side salad of mixed leaves tossed in a shallot & red wine vinaigrette. You know how much I love tender, flavoursome Rangers Valley meat, but this time the meat was tough & sinewy. Very unusual & most disappointing.