The landscape of Swanston Street changes so often that it’s hard for me to keep up. Even the areas of the street that I’ve passed a thousand times are a blur of noodle shops and fast food outlets such that I’ve never noticed Cacao Green, a store near the corner of Lonsdale Street which opened about seven months ago.
I thought at first the name ‘Cacao Green’ was a cheeky pushing-the-line reference to other well-known chocolate shops in Melbourne (for you lawyer geeks out there, I immediately thought ‘hmmm section 52 of the Trade Practices Act?’) but it turns out it’s a chain that’s arrived from Korea. The city store is their first foray into the Australian market and there are plans to expand to other areas of Melbourne (Glenferrie is slated for September) and interstate.
Thanks to Nuffnang a bunch of food bloggers and I gathered at Cacao Green to sample their frozen yoghurt, chocolate, desserts and coffee. Their frozen probiotic yoghurts are made on site with organic no-fat milk and powder imported from Italy and as such the starting point for the yoghurt flavours is called Italian Original, with a rotation of seasonal flavours – currently Brazilian chocolate, Japanese matcha and strawberry.
The yoghurt is like a very creamy soft serve icecream with a very subtle tang and for $6.50 the portions are very generous (the picture shows a regular serve which could easily feed two people). You can top your yoghurt with a selection of toppings ($1 per topping or $2.50 for three) and I had crunchy granola with my Japanese matcha.
The yoghurts also feature in the parfaits which are layered with fresh fruit and organic granola ($6.70). They are marketed as an alternative to breakfast, lunch or dinner and while I have a sweet tooth I’m not sure that a parfait is a suitable substitute for a meal! It makes a nice afternooon tea snack or dessert though.
Their other specialty is waffles. Once again these are huge and easily a dessert for two, thus making it a very economical sweet treat for around $9 between two people. The waffles are made fresh to order and are drizzled with frozen yoghurt and various toppings. I tried their signature organic dark chocolate and the blueberry/raspberry compote and walnut (the third flavour is crispy almond and walnut). They were not too wet and doughy inside but I prefer my waffles with a crispier outer coating – these were more like the kind of waffles I’d expect from Japanese (maybe Korean?) dessert shops.
Their organic fair trade Brazilian hot chocolates are similarly huge and you can choose between 45%, 60% and 75% cocoa (from $5.80). Again it was pleasant enough but no match for the hot chocolates made by other establishments in Melbourne in my view.
I didn’t sample their coffee but they advertise that they use organic Mr Espresso oak wood roasted beans and organic milk in their Synesso machine.
Having traipsed through significant part of their menu I will return to Cacao Green for the frozen yoghurts but I think they have strong competition in the vicinity for waffles, coffee and hot chocolates. Nevertheless as they are open till 10pm on a busy main street I suspect that they will do well with the where-do-we-go-after-dinner-if-not-a-bar crowd.
Cacao Green, 258 Swanston St, Melbourne +61 3 9654 9674
Mon – Wed: 10:00 am – 10:00 pm
Thurs – Sat: 10:00 am – 11:00 pm