Friday, 2 October 2015


I’ve been pronouncing Xocolatl incorrectly for years now. The correct pronunciation is ‘Sho-ko-la-tl’. The Partsioglou family’s love of chocolate is clearly evident at their Melbourne cafés where they combine tradition and innovation to create their products. I frequent their Canterbury establishment but they have another retail outlet in Kew East. Don’t forget to look up when you visit to admire their beautiful ornate roof and chandelier. 

Xocolatl is a perfect place to have morning or afternoon tea with some of their chocolates. They have an enticing hot chocolate menu made with Belgian dark couverture. Because I love to keep my life spicy, my favourite is the Chilli Hot Chocolate which is infused with Mexican chilli. Afterwards, purchase a ‘Passionfruit block of chocolate made with Venezuelan single origin couverture ($9.95)’ to take home and share with your family. Well, maybe you should buy two...

Our lattes ($3.70) made with Five Senses Coffee were extremely luscious and delightful.  


Everyone I have encountered at Xocolatl has been very friendly and knowledgeable about the products.  

Address: 123 Maling Road, Canterbury, VIC

Phone: 03 9836 3100

Trading Hours:
Mon – Fri: 8.00am – 5.30pm
Sat: 9.00am – 5.30pm
Sat: 10.00am – 5.30pm

Xocolatl Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

P.S. Other eateries nearby are Bohemia CakesThe Maling RoomBambaleros, and BetweenUs...

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Ripe Cafe

When I visit Ripe Cafe in Sassafras, I always say ‘Hi Pop’ because when he used to come over from England to stay he would want to dine at Ripe all the time. Now that he has passed away, I definitely feel that this is one of the places he would be ‘dropping by’ to relive happy memories. He would always order the ham and cheddar baguette and maybe a slice of lemon tart as he was known for his spectacular lemon curd recipe. Ripe is located just down from Miss Marple’s. Sitting in front of the open fireplace in the winter is the place to be but in the summer a table on the rear deck is fantastic. They take bookings which I strongly suggest doing, especially on the weekends! On the way out, you can buy some excellent products that are made in the Yarra Valley to take home.

·        Semolina and Vanilla Bean Porridge served with poached apple, stone fruit and berries sprinkled with toasted flaked almonds ($12.50)
·        Tuscan Terrine Baguette – layers of basil pesto, sun-dried tomato pesto and cream cheese ($10.00)
·        Olive tapenade, marinated artichoke and goat’s cheese baguette ($10.00)
·        Linguini Marinara with fresh mussels and pippies, prawns, scallops and calamari tossed with extra virgin olive oil, garlic and fresh herbs ($22.00)

The lunch menu changes daily with most items priced at $22.00. They also have an amazing ‘Baguette Menu’ too. I picked my favourite baguette, the ‘Smoked Salmon, homemade mayonnaise and capers baguette ($10.50)’. The baguettes are big so if you have a small appetite, then I suggest sharing with a friend. Quality ingredients make their baguettes a delight to eat. They add lots of capers too which I love with smoked salmon.

Smoked Salmon Baguette

My dining companion chose the ‘Cranberry, chilli and plum relish, free range chicken breast and brie baguette ($10.50)’. This was also delectable with the addition of the cranberry, chilli and plum relish enhancing the other ingredients.

Chicken and Brie Baguette

We decided to share a cake afterwards. For dinner parties, I often make a cheesecake for dessert as you can make it ahead of time. If you have been to one of my dinner parties, you have probably finished the night with my reliable Black Forest Cheesecake... Anyway, if I get a craving for a slice of cheesecake I know that Ripe have some scrumptious, freshly made cheesecakes to choose from. On this occasion we went with the ‘Sour cherry Cheesecake ($7.50)’. The cake arrived with real cream which is an absolute must! Again, this was a brilliant cheesecake.

Sour Cherry Cheesecake

I love their ‘White Chocolate Lindt Hot Chocolate ($5.00)’. There is also milk and dark chocolate too if that is more your thing... A great coffee is few and far between in the Dandenongs. However, my latte ($3.80) at Ripe has been consistently wonderful.   


The service has improved so much over the last year or so. It used to take ages for someone to take your order but now it is running like a well-oiled machine. 

Address: 376-378 Mount Dandenong Tourist Rd, Sassafras, VIC

Phone: 03 9755 2100

Trading Hours:
Mon – Sun: 8.00am – 5.00pm

Ripe - Australian Produce Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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