It really pains me to write a bad review, especially of a place that I had such fond memories of. Not only is it owned by two young entrepreneurs, this business also breaks many stigmas and promotes Filipino produce and culture in such a great light. Tonight however, poor customer service let this place down. I have been one of the loudest advocates of this chocolate shop for the longest time... and had associated it with exactly the same emotions conjured up when you think of hot chocolate - warmth and love. Tonight, this place was totally devoid of both.
I went to Boon chocolates with a few friends after dinner at A Tavola and gelato across the road at Messina. As it was starting to rain, we decided to make a detour to Boon Chocolates as I had been raving about this place for ages. I have to admit, it's been a while since I've been. In fact almost two years have passed since I went during their first few months of opening back in 2009. I know; people and places change.. as much as we hold onto great experiences, sometimes it is better just to remember how it was..
I have to say though, that I'm sooo disappointed. I can't believe how much the place has changed. Whereas before, this brother and sister team was so passionate, humble and excited about starting their new chocolate business venture, tonight it felt tired, pretentious, cold and unhapppy. Maybe it's the energy and excitement that comes with something new. Maybe they were just exhausted tonight. I don't know, and seriously, I don't really care - I don't think anyone should ever put up with bad service. If they're tired, go sleep! I paid my money for an experience, the least you could do is be nice. And I don't mean fake nice. I mean happy smiley thank you for your business nice.
That said, their chocolates are still as delicious I remember. 5/5 for taste. Let's start the review.
As you walk in, you are greeted with rows and rows of beautifully presented chocolate praline squares, arranged in perfect rows. It seems almost wrong to take one and displace the set. We talk amongst ourselves whether or not to break the sequence. Ok maybe my friends and I are just a little OCD.
They had on display this handbag made out of chocolate and gold foil. I saw a similar bag there two years ago. I wonder if it's the same one... surely chocolate can't last that long.... could it? I ask if I can take a photo of it. Fanny replies with a "No". I think she's joking, until I catch a glimpse of her face as she points to a small sign at the front of the counter with a tiny "no photos" picture. Fine, I respect that. But I think to myself, it's only chocolate.. Now I'm forced to steal an image from google.
After browsing the chocolates on offer, we head upstairs where Alex takes out order. The dining area is opulent with an old world charm. It kind of reminds me of New York. or Hotel Intercon. or Shang-ri La.
Alex takes our order, and I try to make conversation. I mention it's been a long time since I've been, and ask how is business going. He replies, wow it's been a long time. Then silence. Strange since they were both so chatty last time. So we order one each of the Tsokolate ala Negros, Grenada and Madagascar to sample. Each came with a shotglass of chocolate mousse, and a small chocolate praline square. I ask for soy but he explains to me that these only come in full cream as soy destroys the flavour of the chocolate.
The chocolate mousse is sweet and light, a perfect contrast to the hot chocolate. As for the hot chocolate, they are served in small espresso looking cups, and have very distinct tastes:
Tsokolate ala Negros - Very sour, almost like soursop
Grenada - Bitter and sour
Madagascar - Bitter and sweet
At 10:20pm, the upstairs venue is full. Alex comes around to tell everyone that the place closes at 10pm. We think he is asking for last drinks, until we realise it is actually AFTER 10pm. He might have actually been better off had he given us all warning at 9:50 rather than rushing everyone out.
I go downstairs to pay for our bill and Fanny asks if we had the three hot chocolates for $25.50. I think for a moment and say we did have 3 hot chocolates, but I thought it cost more than that. She fiddles through the receipts and I point out to her we had the Grenada etc, and she pulls out the bill for $27.50. She looks over and asks in a sarchastic tone, am I sure or do I want her to recalculate the bill, coz she can you know? WTF?? Did I not just save you $2 bucks??
So, after all this, can you blame me for NOT RECOMMENDING this place anymore? Such a damn shame. I really miss and want the old Boon back. It's like revisiting a childhood place and realising it's not the same. You question yourself, was it really as good as I remembered, or did I just have really low standards?
251 Victoria Street, Darlinghurst, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9356 8876
Tuesday to Wednesday 12noon - 8.30pm
Thursday to Saturday 12noon - 10.30pm
Sunday 12noon - 7.00pm