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Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Haigh's, Sydney

So it seems my information sources were wrong and Haigh's actually opened today!

We ducked up at lunchtime and were impressed by the efficient but friendly staff in crisp white uniforms, the goodie filled windows and, of course, the chocolate heaven inside.


I didn't realise that Haigh's are the only chocolatiers in Australia who start with raw (imported) cacao beans: roasting, grinding and then conching them into a velvety smooth bliss. And did I mention that John Haigh trained with Lindt & Sprungli? No wonder their chocolate tastes so good!

Meanwhile, in the swish new Sydney store, a huge assortment of chocolates had me running around in circles unable to come to a decision. Thick slabs of dark chocolate with ginger? Or peppermint? Milk chocolate chunks with roasted almonds? Hazelnuts? Fruit and nut?

What about peanut brittle? Rocky road? Peppermint creams?

Oh and is that chocolate counter beckoning me to come hither? Ordered flanks of chocolate armies marching towards me and my puddle of drool? Truffles of sparkling shiraz, plum liquer bites and logs of peppermint truffle... where does one begin?

I exercised modern restraint and ended up with a bag each of milk and chocolate pastilles ($7.20 for 200g) and a peppermint truffle log ($1.95). The pastilles are perfectly delicate, smooth and melt-in-the-mouth. And the peppermint log is minty, buttery-rich and satisfyingly decadent.

Three varieties down. About 82 to go. And I've definitely got my eye on those bright and shiny foil-wrapped giant chocolate frogs ($16.00 for a 375g frog). Incredible chocolates. Now if only they'd update their website.

Haigh's Chocolates
Strand Arcade, 412 George St, Sydney
Tel: 02 9221 6999

Open Mon-Fri 8.30am-6pm (Thu til 9pm)
Sat 9am-5pm, Sun 11am-4pm.

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posted by Helen (AugustusGloop) on 6/21/2005 11:00:00 pm


17 Comments:

  • At 6/22/2005 12:14 am, Blogger Clare Eats said…

    oh I am so jealous right now... I wish they were open late

     
  • At 6/22/2005 8:55 am, Anonymous Sue said…

    Haha! I was there too, smiling sweetly at the man giving out free samples. Mmm dark chocolate goodness. I bought nothing though, but did ho into my stash at home last night since it is no longer sacred and I go get a dark choc fruit and nut anytime I want to.

     
  • At 6/22/2005 1:53 pm, Blogger deborah said…

    mmmm... thanks for the heads up!

     
  • At 6/22/2005 2:59 pm, Blogger Daniel Hatadi said…

    The most common letter in these comments is ... wait for it ...

    M

    Mmmmmmmmmmmm

     
  • At 6/23/2005 10:49 am, Blogger tytty said…

    Hi! *sorry how do I address you*

    Funny, I was there yesterday and took the exact same shot of the Haigh's store. I remembered when I was at the Adelaide store and you could buy broken pieces of choc for a cheaper price.

    Didn't buy anything though but had a free sample of dark choc coated almonds. (-:

    Sydney bloggers, you guys should try the Italian Majani choc range sold at Fratelli Fresh, Dank St., Waterloo.

    Blog on! (-;

     
  • At 6/23/2005 1:47 pm, Blogger Niki said…

    Haigh's is interesting. I like it but I don't love it. It's definitely better than stuff you buy in milkbars, but not as good as chocolate from smaller chocolatiers.
    I tend to stick to their dark chocolate there - esp. the mint dark choc frogs...mmmm...and I don't particularly like mint. My one exception to my dark choc rule is their milk choc coffee crunch slab. Yum!
    I bought a few filled chocolate and truffles last week, and was a little disappointed. The fillings tasted a bit commercial and overly sweet. I probably won't go for their individual chocs again, but when Koko Black is down the road, and the same price (with best choc truffles and dark raspberry ganache chocs in Melbourne) that's where I'll go.
    Of course, I'll probably get thumped about the head by my bf who grew up in the same suburb as the Haigh's factory and adores them if I express this view!

     
  • At 6/23/2005 1:57 pm, Anonymous Semele said…

    I recently went to the Lindt cafe and was impressed by their 'dark' hot chocolate.

    Are Haigh chocolates Dutch? I seem to recall my Oma and Opa giving me some as presents.

     
  • At 6/23/2005 2:41 pm, Blogger Helen (AugustusGloop) said…

    Hi Clare Eats - Hehe. It was good. We've been sharing and consuming our collaborative booty in the office. The peppermint dark choc slab gets a big thumbs up!

    Hi Sue - Lucky you! We got some scorched almond samples which were very more-ish. At first glance they seem pricey, but with every mouthful the price seemed more and more justified!

    Hi Saffron - Oh no problem. I'm always willing to consume chocolate products for the greater food-blogging community.

    Hi Danny Hawaii - lol. Lots of mmmm's going around the office with every mouthful.

    Hi Tian - lol. Just call me AG. Or GreedyGuts. Both work well =)

    Damn--I wish they sold broken chocolate! Then I could afford to buy more!

    I keep meaning to head over to Fratelli Fresh. I'll get there one day. Nice pics of all your booty though.

    PS. Let me guess--you're lefthanded? We rule.

    Hi Niki - Some interesting comments. I find their chocolate very smooth with a pleasant aftertaste (I had that horrible scorched feeling you get after cheap nasty chocolate).

    I'm not a huge fan of filled chocolates actually, and I did have a bit of the shiraz filled chocolate.

    You know you're getting old when you start preferring unflavoured/unfilled chocolate!

    I'll have to look out for Koko Black next time I'm in Melbourne.

    Hi Semele - Welcome to my blog and thanks for commenting!

    Have yet to try the Lindt hot chocolates. They look so rich! But good.

    No, according to the website Haigh's is an Aust company which has been trading within the family for four generations. I presume your grandparents are Dutch?

    Thanks also for linking to me from your blog. Keep your comments coming. I'm always keen for feedback and comments =)

     
  • At 6/23/2005 3:42 pm, Blogger tytty said…

    Hi again AG and all!

    In regards to Niki's comments, I believe it's good to explore as much as possible the chocolates available because although I like Haigh's dark choc, I found Majani's dark choc better. And although Godiva's chocolates are famous, their plain dark choc bar was only so-so but Godiva is pretty damn good in their filled chocs and choc coated range (available from Bon Bon at the QVB, Syd).

    Then there's Max Brenner Choc Bar which is great with their liquid chocolate but their packaged stuff taste kinda stale.

    Might bring my bf to Haigh's after work to see what he thinks. He has quite high expectations about things but not as high as mine (not exactly my best trait because I get disappointed easily).

    I might try Haigh's Coffee Choc out of curiousity sake and I should try other stuff from Majani before promoting it further.

    ps. GG, yep, a leftie .. it was the smiley faces wasn't it? Apparently we have shorter life span but at least we're more creative and in tune with our feelings. hahaha.

     
  • At 6/23/2005 9:10 pm, Blogger pinkcocoa said…

    ohhh AG!!!! Finally Haigh's is in Sydney! I like their choc-apricot balls :-D Definitely have to head to the city one day!

     
  • At 6/23/2005 9:15 pm, Blogger Niki said…

    Koko Black is incredible. I avoided it for a while bc of the media hype it was getting; a sure sign of something overrated and disappointing, but their truffles are mindblowing. And I even love their filled chocolates.
    I love the Haigh's chocolate frogs - any of their 4 types; delicious. But I got that nasty burning-in-the-throat feeling with their filled chocolate (particularly the pistachio creams), which I think was more to do with the filling than the chocolate. A shame.
    Their dark dessert block is particularly good for cooking, I've heard. As is their couverture - all available as slabs.
    And their chocolate coffee beans are excellent! I used them to decorate my chocolate coffee cake recently.
    PS - I'm lefthanded too. :-)

    Semele - If you or your oma & opa are Dutch, do you have a good honigkoek recipe? I'm looking for one that is better than what I've got. One from a Dutch person would be great! I've posted on my blog about it. (Sorry AG for hijacking your blog for my purposes!)

     
  • At 6/23/2005 9:17 pm, Blogger Niki said…

    Oh - and their divine dark chocolate rocky road!! Awesome!

     
  • At 6/23/2005 11:23 pm, Blogger Helen (AugustusGloop) said…

    Hi Tian -

    >> "I believe it's good to explore as much as possible the chocolates available..."

    Hear hear to that sister! =) I'm all up for chocolate research and verification!

    I really love Godiva's praline chocolate. It was sooo melt-in-the-mouth. You can also get Godiva from the city DJs (opp Max Brenner in the baement of the women's store).

    I'm just intent on trying every Haigh's variety I think. For research purposes.

    ps. Yes the smilie faces definitely gave it away. Funny how it's usually one of the hardest things to pick from typed text! I've read that the shorter life span has a lot to do with having to living in a right handed world, particularly when it comes to machinery controls and esp emergency levers!

    And yes, I do find that a lot of actors, designers, artists and other creatives are lefties!

    Hi Pinkcocoa - Choc apricot balls? Another one to try!

    Yes you'll definitely have to head into town to check 'em out.

    Hi Niki - I'm definitely looking for Koko Black now, and I'll have to get into the Haigh's chocolate frogs.

    I actually made a typo in my comment before. I meant to say "I hate that nasty", not "I had", which changes the sentence somewhat (and no, it wasn't a Freudian slip!).

    Choc coffee beans. Ok, I'm adding it to the list. lol.

    PS. Another leftie? Whoa. Bizarre. Altho perhaps I shouldn't really be all that surprised. Must explain our dogged commitment to food styling and camera angles huh?

    PPS. Yeah feel free to hijack, Niki! lol. No really, I'd be interesting in seeing the recipe.

    PPPS. We were a little wary of the rocky road. I'm a devout Rock-Lea road fan (Darrell Lea). I'm not a huge fan of glace cherries. But ok. Another one down for chocaholic research!

     
  • At 6/25/2005 12:02 am, Blogger Niki said…

    Ahh - I grew up with Darrell Lea Rocklea Road on special occasions. It's still my mum's favourite. I love the big chunks of chocolate you get at the base.
    The Haigh's one is also good, but the marshmallow is lighter and generally you don't get as much as the Darrell Lea, which is better value for money. It really the taste of the dark chocolate which makes it interesting.
    I also hate glace cherries, but these were ok. More gummy lolly than real cherry.
    It's worth trying, but you'll probably find it doesn't last as long as a block of Rocklea Rd.
    Now, if Darrell Lea would only bring out a dark choc version, everything would be perfect!!

     
  • At 6/25/2005 7:04 pm, Blogger Helen (AugustusGloop) said…

    Hi Niki - Yeah Rocklea Road is definitely up there. It's the chunky chocolate, the dessicated coconut and definitely the soft fluffy marshmallows.

    I noticed that the Haigh's version didn't seem to have much chocolate. I think that's why I put it back down! =)

    And btw, Darrell Lea did bring out a dark choc version of Rocklea Road. They also had white Rocklea Road. Maybe that didn't make it down to Mexico =) It was late last year, just before Christmas as I recall. I sampled both but I confess I have to be in the mood for dark choc, so I bought the milk version instead.

     
  • At 7/04/2005 4:01 pm, Blogger Niki said…

    Yes, the white chocolate Rocklea road has been widely available since last year, but I haven't seen the dark chocolate version. I'll have to take a look.

     
  • At 7/05/2005 9:07 pm, Blogger Helen (AugustusGloop) said…

    Hi Niki - I think it may have been a limited edition only, as I don't recall seeing it lately. But I hope you do manage to find some. I can see you'd be in heaven! =)

     

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