If there’s one thing that turns an average day into a hella good day, it’s chocolate. But when you take chocolate and make half of it taste like a Nigella Lawson spongecake, and the other half taste like Jamie Oliver’s famous cocoa sauce, well that friends, is somethin’ special. New York City claim the much-loved chocolate fondant to be their own, while the French are certain they made it first. Either way, we are forever grateful that it has ended up on Auckland shores.
Heads up, boys—fondant is the dessert you and your beau need to be indulging in, ASAP. To help you out, we’ve rounded up the best eateries in Auckland for scoring yourself a hot plate of choc fondant. If skipping the main and going straight to dessert sounds like a bit of you, this list is about to make you one very happy chappy.
O'Connell Street Bistro
O'Connell Street Bistro do fondant the way we love—dark chocolate-style. Rich and oozing with cacao goodness, this is one dessert that isn’t fit for the faint-hearted. Accompanied with fruit and a scoop of pistachio ice cream, this may be our dream pudding. The talented kitchen team never fail to bake this bad boy to perfection—spoon in and watch the lava centre ooze onto your plate #foodporn. Friday nights just got a whole lot tastier, right?
This Sandringham cafe-turned-restaurant is a favourite amongst locals and it’s no surprise why. With a dinner menu boasting some of the finest platters around, Petit Bocal is the eatery to let your French feels run free. Grab your beret and begin the night with a plate of fresh mussels cooked in white wine, garlic and cream, served with kumara chips and a crusty baguette. To finish, the chocolate fondant is essential. Served with crème anglaise, ice cream and confiture de lait, it's perfectly balanced, with the ice cream perfectly complimenting the chocolate lava. Would it be rude to order one to-go too? We think our tomorrow-self will be having withdrawals.
Finding fondant on a Japanese menu is not all that common…but our friends at Ebisu pull it off with ease. As expected, they put a unique spin on this classic dish. The traditional milk chocolate has been replaced with a miso-infused white chocolate—yep, miso! Top it all off with blueberry coulis, strawberries, chocolate soil and a dollop of raspberry sorbet. Is there anything better suited to finish a night of sushi-rolls, tempura and teriyaki? We think not. Pro tip: Embrace the food coma and go to town with copious servings of steamed prawn dumplings. You will not regret it.
The Blue Breeze Inn
Ponsonby Central’s favourite eatery, The Blue Breeze Inn, boasts a menu equipped for a king. From cocktails served in coconuts to expertly handmade wontons and sticky glazed pork buns that’ll take your taste buds on a joyride—we can’t say we’re surprised by the expertise of their chocolate fondant. Known as the ‘Blue Breeze Choc Pot’, this bad boy comes equipped with rhubarb, coffee syrup and enough chocolate to feed a fam of four on Easter morning! Slight exaggeration but ya get the point, this fondant is certainly not for the faint hearted. Pro tip #2: Arrive very hungry. You need all the room ya belly has to offer.
This Mediterranean restaurant serves fondant New York City-style. Classic and simple yet utterly scrumptious, La Vista takes this dish back to its roots. A perfectly shaped chocolate fondant served with vanilla bean ice cream and lashings of chocy sauce—what more could ya want? Calamari for the entree, a creamy pasta for the main and an oozing choc pot for dessert, I think we’ve gone to heaven. Wash the evening down with a few glasses of Italian red and you’ve got yourself an evening of pure indulgence. Mmm mmm.
The newly opened Giraffe on Auckland’s viaduct has quickly risen to the top of a foodies bucket list. Not only is the restaurants interior oozing with class, but the menu is an extensive list of classic dishes, taken up a notch of course. From oysters and trevally to a mammoth dollop of smoked kahawai butter on fresh-baked ciabatta, you’ll find yourself spoilt for choice. We know one thing for sure though, a night at Giraffe has to end with chef Simon Gault’s famous chocolate pudding. Beautifully served with rose and vanilla ice cream, it’s the type of dish you want served with a cappuccino and eaten by the fireplace with your SO.
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Image credit: Jaiden Bhaga at O'Connell Street Bistro