I know, I know, its about time I had been to Lindt café. Ever since it opened its first store (in the world apparently!) in Martin Place, I had always been meaning to go and whilst I've taken away plenty of macarons (or delices as they call them) I'd never eaten in until today. But as my friends are the kind to watch what they eat, willingly wanting to go to Lindt café seems almost like surrendering to the dieting gods and indulging with abandon. Or at least giving up the notion of dieting which is not something that the girls will do often.
We arrive one Sunday afternoon and as its a beautiful day, Darling Harbour's Cockle Bay is packed. With spy one empty table and grab it. Its dog eat dog here and ruthlessness will be rewarded with chocolate. One needs to order at the counter so we go in to select our goodies. As its a Sunday, there is a 10% service charge added which is reflected in the prices. I can never go past a Delice (macaron) and today sees two new flavours. I order a Pistachio (my standby favourite), a Strawberry because its pink and the prettiest, and two of the new flavours: Lemon and Ginger & Lime (all $2.20 each, usually $2 each). The other flavours on offer are: dark and milk chocolate; hazelnut, coffee and champagne. I also order an Iced Coffee ($6.60). Teena orders a Ice cream sundae with praline and hazelnut chocolate covered with melted chocolate, whipped cream and praline shards ($9.35 usually $8.50). Gina orders a chocolate chip sable biscuit ($3.30 usually $3) and an Iced Chocolate ($6.60 usually $6). There are also slices of cakes and individual cakes that are $11 each.
We take our sundaes, delices and cookies away and we're told that the drinks will arrive shortly. I try the Lemon delice first and it lovely, light and lemoney but not overpoweringly so. Its as delicate as a butterfly's wing and is quite simply superb. I hope they become a regular fixture in the rotation. The Pistachio is next, always a favourite and it is slightly larger than the other which is a gluttonous bonus. Of course its gooey and soft inside and whilst not extremely pistachioey, its has a bit more filling than the others which I always like.
I try the prettiest one next, the strawberry. Its subtle strawberriness is lovely and it feels almost like a crime to bite into this beauty. I've saved the most curious one for last, the Ginger and Lime. Trying it I am perplexed. There doesn't seem to be any ginger or lime flavour. In fact all I can taste is the darkest, most bitter chocolate filling which overpowers any other flavour that might be present. Not a hit with me or anyone else at the table I'm afraid.
I try some of Teena's ice cream sundae. The hazelnut ice cream is strong in the hazelnut flavour whereas the praline is more subtle in its flavour. The praline shards add a nice texture to the sundae and its creamy, icey goodness.
_Chocolate sable biscuit $3 _
Gina samples her chocolate studded darker-than-dark cookie and she remarks that its the oddest thing-it has no flavour at all! Curious, we try some to see whether this is the case and indeed it is. I've never come across a cookie like this where there is no flavour to it at all. Its certainly dark and chocolatey enough!
_Iced Coffee $6 _
By this time our drinks arrive and I sip my iced coffee which is sans cream which is a bit of a visual disappointment as other Iced Coffees around me come with a cloud of whipped cream. Its incongruously coated in dusted cocoa which is bitter and spills on my cream dress before I can even take a sip. So I'm rather grumpy that one of my favourite dresses is stained with cocoa when I take a sip but once I do I find it oh so delicious and just the order for a hot sweltering day. I don't try any of Gina's Hot Chocolate topped with white and milk chocolate shavings but she seems pleased with her choice.
I haven't quite forgiven the injury to my clothes but I have a sneaking suspicion that the Delices and Iced Coffee will certainly beckon another visit.
Lindt Chocolat Café at Darling Harbour
124-125 Cockle Bay Wharf, Cockle Bay
Tel: +61 (02) 9267-8064
Sunday 10am-8.00pm (10% surcharge on Sundays)
Also a location at:
53 Martin Place Sydney City
Tel: +61 (02) 8257-1600