Create your own break at the KitKat Chocolatory at Melbourne Central.
There’s a reason why we describe joyously happy people as being ‘like a kid in a candy store’ – candy stores are a fantasy land of delight – but after spending a delectable morning at the KitKat Chocolatory at Melbourne Central, I’m starting to think ‘like a thirty-something in a KitKat store’ might be a more fitting idiom for unbridled merriment.
Walking through the doors to be greeted by a literal wall of KitKats of various flavours – from humble to haute – and all the toppings my little heart could poke a stick at, I felt like I’d found a golden ticket – although my results may have ended up looking a little more Dr. Frankenstein than Willy Wonka.
After the overwhelming success of the temporary KitKat Studio pop-up store that launched at Melbourne Central in 2015, a permanent KitKat Chocolatory has opened, providing chocolate lovers with a chance to create handcrafted KitKats from a rotating roster of premium ingredients. Browsing through the ingredients on the touch screen kiosks, I was super excited to try some of the more unconventional toppings (crushed tortillas, anyone?). But, for the less daring of palate, old favourites like crushed cookie and raspberry are also available.
Now, I know my way around a KitKat. Like many little Aussies, I grew up on them. I once even dragged my husband halfway across Tokyo to find the elusive butter flavoured KitKat (it’s actually really good!), but nothing comes close to the fun and excitement of creating your own gourmet treat. And the best part about the creation process is that you can’t really go wrong no matter what concoction you throw together, thanks to the brilliant minds behind the Chocolatory carefully curating a selection of ingredients that all pair well together. Best of all, they cycle through new flavours every six weeks, so you can create new combinations every time you visit.
As a huge fan of salty-meets-sweet, I couldn’t resist creating a milk chocolate KitKat loaded with crushed potato chips, pretzels, and caramel. For dessert, I created a white chocolate KitKat with caramel popcorn, dried hibiscus flower, and some raspberries for a pop of colour. I even got to choose the packaging and the personalised message on the box. Even as an adult, this was heaps of fun, and a trip to the Chocolatory would make a fantastic school holiday activity – and at just $15 for a custom KitKat, it’s an affordable luxury that the kids will love.
After selecting my chocolate, ingredients, and packaging, it was off to the kitchen to bring my creation to life. With the patience of a saint, Head Chocolatier Connie Yuen helped me pipe the chocolate into the mould and artfully arrange my toppings. In addition to having the coolest job title in the world, Yuen – a pastry chef by trade – has pretty impressive credentials, having previously worked her delicious magic at Melbourne icons the Hopetoun Tea Rooms and the Grand Hyatt, before turning her skills to the art of the KitKat.
Once complete, the KitKats went into the fridge to set. This can take a little while – about 90 minutes – but fortunately Melbourne Central has plenty of entertainment and shopping to fill the time until staff at the Chocolatory text you to collect your creation. You could even catch a movie if you have little ones in tow.
For those on a tight schedule, the KitKat Chocolatory has a huge range of pre-made KitKats available including seasonal special editions. The current limited release hot cross bun KitKats are to die for! There’s also a gorgeous selection of gift boxes and variety packs at a range of price points.
Best of all, KitKat uses 100% UTZ certified sustainable cocoa that not only tastes great, but also improves the lives and livelihoods of cocoa farming communities in Ecuador and Côte d’Ivoire.
So your KitKat doesn’t just taste good, it feels good.
The KITKAT CHOCOLATORY
Level 1, Melbourne Central Shopping Centre
Open from 10am, 7-days