Note to self: do NOT enter a small artisinal chocolate shop if you are the only customer present. Not unless you’re willing to overspend on some extremely expensive chocolates because the staff (whose attention will be all on you) is friendly and gives you samples, and you end up feeling too damn guilty not to buy something. That happened last year, when I ended up spending almost $60 on a box of chocolates at Lisa Lou’s. More recently I had a similar experience at Koko Monk. The latter is a small chocolatier located near Kits beach offering handmade artisinal chocolates, drinks, and various pastries. It was empty when I entered, and I was immediately greeted by a lady who provided me with samples of their caramel and chocolate bars. Although I had initially only intended on getting their pastries, I just felt too guilty/embarassed now not to buy some of their chocolates. I ended up getting a few of their individual chocolates (Musee L’amour, Salted Caramel, Koko Turca), pastries (Chocolate Raspberry Brownie, Salted Caramel Chocolate Tart and Sour Cherry Tart) and a Matcha Bar for my mom. In total, I ended up spending about $35, almost $20 of which was on 3 small pieces of chocolate and a small chocolate bar.
Musee L’amour ($2.50):
In-house made raw pistachio praline with calamansi.
The chocolate was of high quality and melted in my mouth, and had a nice bittersweet flavour. The pistachio was rich and creamy while the the calamansi provided a wonderful citrusy fragrance.
Salted Caramel ($2.50):
Salted caramel, himalayan sea salt and raw sugar.
The chocolate was bittersweet while the caramel was sweet with a wonderful toffee fragrance. The texture of the caramel was a bit different from what I’m used to: in the past caramel is usually either runny or chewy. Here, it’s more like a paste.
Koko Turca ($2.50):
Turkish coffee and irish cream infused chocolates with nuts (almond and cashew)
The chocolate was again good, and melted in my mouth. Unfortunately, I really did not care for the flavours here: it had a strange, almost pungent scent that I really did not like. This did not work for me.
Chocolate Raspberry Brownie ($4.79):
This consisted of brownie with raspberry perserves and a layer of chocolate ganache. The brownie as nice, dense and fudgy. The raspberry preserves were filled with seeds and paired very well with the sweetness of the chocolate.
Salted Caramel Chocolate Tart ($4.79):
This consisted of a shortbread crust filled with a layer of caramel and one of chocolate ganache. The shortbread crust was tender and cut easily, although it was a bit bland on its own. The caramel just had a wonderful fragrance while the chocolate ganache melted in my mouth. I also quite enjoyed the cereal balls on top, which provided a nice bit of crunch.
Sour Cherry Tart ($4.79):
This consisted of a shortbread crust filled with cherry perserves and topped with strussel. Again, I did find the shortbread to be a bit bland. I did really like the filling however, which had a nice balance between sweetness and tart, and contained large pieces of cherry, while the streussel had a nice buttery flavour.
Matcha Bar ($9:49):
My mom had most of the bar, but I was able to sample a small piece thanks to the staff and oh wow, the matcha flavour in this is seriously INTENSE! I don’t think that I’ve ever had any matcha-flavoured dish where the matcha is so prominently featured. They use really great quality too. I strongly recommend checking this out if you are a fan of matcha-flavoured desserts. Just be warned, it is pretty expensive – a small 75g bar will set you back almost $10.
The food was very good and you can tell that they are made from high quality ingredients. I do have to warn though: the prices for their chocolates are very steep: I ended up spending almost $20 for 3 small pieces of chocolate and a small bar. All in all, this is a very good independent store that I’d recommend checking out if you have enough money.