The glowey warm interior of Butlers was a welcome respite to the bitter weather of the last few days. The heady chocolate wafts and gorgeous display of treats of this Irish chain are always a draw card if I’m in the Willis precinct. Admittedly, I have never sampled the food here, but one doesn’t really come here for the food, especially given their meagre offerings in the cabinet. It’s the good Allespresso coffee and the accompanying boutique chocolate that I’m after (they also stock the gorgeous T-Leaf teas). After ogling the rows of handcrafted chocolates I ordered the flat white ($3.90) and carefully selected the dark hazelnut ganache. M ordered a mocha ($4.50) and the dark peach sorbet. We obediently wait at the counter for our coffee – they don’t deliver to your table, but given the size of the café and the large ‘take-away’ customer base it’s understandable. Anyway I’m happy as I am often entranced by the cauldron of velvety liquid chocolate on the bench that gets whipped into hot chocolates (available in white as well) and the mochas. The coffee is good – the flat white is strong and not too milky, and the mocha is chocolatey without disguising the coffee. My chocolate was just alright, the peach one was delicious and tasted like old fashioned sherbet. The cafe is tiny and while the mirrored surroundings (which are slightly disconcerting) give a roomier feel, they also make the cafe a little sterile. The chocolate ‘porn’ that plays on loop on the flatscreen TV is just a little too commercial, but otherwise a nice place to drop by. You will have to go and see the chocolates for yourself – the owner wouldn't let me photograph the piles of delicate delights under the counter (I think they thought I was going to steal their ideas!).
(This one is from their website)
Butlers Chocolate Café
103 Willis Street