For years, I've known and heard of Boon, a chocolate cafe in Darlinghurst owned by a Filipino brother and sister tandem. What took me so long to visit? I don't know.
As a food blogger, I'm grateful for friends, blogmates and restaurant owners who message me of recommended restaurants to try, an "it" food to taste or a recipe to create. Such things are very helpful and always appreciated. I keep all messages, include all recommendations in a list I have which I go back to often. I visit a restaurant or cafe mostly based by chance. I like unplanned visits as it adds hunger (not the physical kind!) and excitement to a foodie like me.
Yesterday's after work meet-up with girl friend Pen turned into a wonderful chocolate experience. The plan was to get a bag of fresh Cherries from her (picked from the orchards of Orange, NSW) but we found ourselves walking the streets of Darlinghurst towards Boon's doorstep.
Oh what joy to finally visit Boon and to meet one of the creators, Alex Chan!While getting our orders, Alex spent a moment talking about Boon. He mentioned that other than making chocolates and managing a business, her sister, business partner and chocolatier, Fanny, have partnered with Opportunity Australia (an NGO supporting countries such as India and the Philippines) by saving a portion of their earnings to a trust fund that will aid those people earning less than two dollars a day.
Right now, their website also shows a link for those who would like to make donations for those affected by typhoon Pablo and tip bowl inside the cafe which all money will also donated to survivors of the typhoon.
While meeting successful Filipino entrepreneurs in Australia makes me always proud, I became more in awe of Alex (and Fanny) when he mentioned that in every interview and feature, they always request that it'd be mentioned that they are Filipinos. It's great to know that they are proud of where they came from.
They try to incorporate something Filipino thru their creations. Alex showed us a bag made of chocolate which they called "Harana Bag". They also make a Calamansi praline, which was unfortunately not availably yesterday. One of their must-try chocolate drinks is the Tskolate Ala Negros, inspired from the 19th Century sugar fields of Negros Occidental, Philippines.
Pen and I ordered a Tsokolate Ala Negros each which comes with mousse and our choice of praline. Since we wanted to try a few more pralines, we got a Chocolate Teaser Plate which consisted of four pralines of our choices.
The Tsokolate Ala Negros is made up of 80% chocolate with muscovado sugar. I've never experienced a chocolate that was as thick and strong as this one. I literally jolted when I had my first sip. It gave the right kind of kick that can only come from real cocoa. The mousse was a wonderful partner to the chocolate as it was sweet and light. The praline I chose was the Arabica (freshly roasted coffee praline).
I can't remember all the pralines we chose for our Teaser Plate but we did have the Kurobiko (roasted sesame with rice crispies), a mandarin flavoured one, a coconut flavoured-one and one that had a pine nut (I'm not really sure of the kind of nut). They're pretty to look at and tastes as wonderful.
They've got packed chocolates so I bought 3 pieces of Negros chocolate bars to bring home to the Husband (whom I will be bringing to Boon soon because he's the chocoholic between the two of us).
Chocolates wrapped in Christmas cheer are available in store. They're the perfect gift to the chocoholic.
A little afternoon adventure, thanks to Pen, where I got to finally walk the streets of Darlinghurst and Kings Cross and have a great chocolate experience at Boon.
251 Victoria Street, Darlinghurst
Phone: 02 9356 8876
Tuesday to Friday: 10:00am-7:00pm