Some days, the life of the roving reporter can be very good and today is one of those days. For those people who know me, they know I like chocolate and today I am reviewing Otello Chocolates in West Pymble. To give the business is full name it is Du Plessy Pralin and Otello Fine Handcrafted Chocolates and Patisserie. Tucked away at the back of Phillip Mall in West Pymble, it is a business with an old fashioned ambience.
My chocolate tasting partner and I walked in unannounced, so that we could get the full experience of a new visitor to this shop. As you walk through the door you are met by the most glorious smell of chocolate. It’s not overpowering, but a delightful smell in the air. There are small biscuits and cakes and some tempting looking gateaux, but the reason we are here is stuffed in to their main counter: hand made chocolates.
The friendly lady behind the counter explained that small samples of their chocolates come in two sizes; a take away bag that will hold half a dozen chocolates and a larger box that holds ten or more chocolates. Naturally, we opted for the box.
Now the hard part; how to select only ten chocolates from such a wonderful range? The choice was huge: Cointreau Truffle, Coffee bean, Bailey’s Truffle, Tosca, Honey Chocolate, Mandarin, Champagne and white chocolate. Yes, I was like a kid in chocolate shop…
We didn’t do well; rather than ten we ended up with more than a dozen of their finest pralin and caramel creations which were wrapped up in a gold box. The lady told me that would be $18 which I happily paid.
Just before we left we announced who were and the friendly owner came out for a chat. He and his family have been running this business for more than fifty years. Not only do they sell chocolates from their shopfront, they also wholesale them to clubs and restaurants. While we chatted, there was a constant stream of people coming and going from this little shop.
“You should try our signature product; chocolate slices. They are the thinnest chocolate slices made.” He goes on to explain that there are dark, dark and coffee, milk, milk and coffee and white with coffee slices in the box ($15.00). The impossibly thin chocolates have a handmade look about them and taste divine. He tells me that the white chocolate and coffee slice is often mistaken for butterscotch and he is absolutely right the delicate flavour does taste like butterscotch, it uncanny. Each box has about six of each flavour so they would make an excellent after dinner treat.
My tasting partner and I take ourselves out of the shop and station ourselves at one of the tables in the square and feast on chocolate; Champagne and white chocolate, a caramel mouse, mandarin. Each one has a distinctly different flavour; each one is wrapped in beautiful chocolate that melts in your mouth. The milk chocolate has a Swiss flavour to it, not as sweet as British chocolate and a silky, fine texture. The soft centres have a good taste which is not over powering and not too sweet. Their dark chocolate is strong without being bitter. I really liked their champagne and white chocolate which is light, a beautifully soft centre and hint of grape.
And then, far too quickly they were all gone. The price of Otello’s chocolates means that they’re not something for every day, and a treat like these really should be kept for special occasions. Now, when’s the next special occasion that I can think of?
Du Plessy Praline & Otello Chocolates Patisserie
17 Phillip Mall
West Pymble 2073
Tel: (02) 9498 8089