Just Open: Kakawa Chocolates, Chippendale

Raspberry delight, chocolate nougat, and caramelised banana are some of Kakawa Chocolate's signature pralines.
Raspberry delight, chocolate nougat, and caramelised banana are some of Kakawa Chocolate's signature pralines. Photo: Edwina Pickles

If you've been feeling deprived of raspberry and mint crisps and passionfruit rocky road since Kakawa Chocolates vacated its Gaffa Gallery shopfront, good news. 

Redirect your footsteps towards Chippendale and you'll be able to get your inner-city fix of white chocolate and lemon jelly pralines, liquid sea salt caramel bonbons and Grand Cru chocolate bars. 

David Ralph and partner Jin Sun Kim decided that - after three and a half years at Gaffa Gallery - their business had outgrown the semi-hidden venue.

They needed a location that would directly hook people's attention and send them inside to the displays of hot chocolates, ever-changing pralines, single-origin couverture from 14 different plantations and specialty slabs (which range from strawberry and pink peppercorn to spiced orange). 

Jin Sun Kim, owner and head chocolatier, behind the counter of the new store.
Jin Sun Kim, owner and head chocolatier, behind the counter of the new store. Photo: Edwina Pickles

In their new Kensington Street location they're now neighbours with Spice Alley's hawker outlets, The Old Clare's restaurant complex (which includes Automata) and other eateries along the strip - such as Glider KS cafe and Reynold Poernomo's Koi Dessert Bar

So what makes the new Chippendale store different to the old outlet - and the main Kakawa Chocolates boutique on Darlinghurst's William Street that opened seven years ago?

"William Street is still our test kitchen, but Kensington Street will be our launching pad, before we put it on our William Street shelves," he says.

The Kakawa selection includes raspberry and mint crisp as well as tonka and vanilla bean pralines.
The Kakawa selection includes raspberry and mint crisp as well as tonka and vanilla bean pralines.  Photo: Edwina Pickles

They're currently working on an ice-cream sandwich box that will feature smaller versions of the sea salt caramel and milk chocolate ice-cream sandwich and other current flavours. 

"I would like to bring some old-school desserts back in a takeaway contemporary style as well," he says. 

"We are experimenting with some new tea flavours and how they match with single-origin chocolate and coming across companies like Rabbit Hole and Tea Craft who both have a really wide choice of teas for us to play around with."

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He suspects Kakawa Chocolates will blend in well with the mix of cafes and restaurants.

Plus, it doesn't hurt that some his neighbours are already familiar faces.

"I worked with Clayton [Wells from Automata] at Quay Restaurant in 2006, Mark and Pla from Glider KS I use to buy coffee from them at their Potts Point store when I opened [my Potts Point restaurant] Kim," says Ralph. 

The exterior of the shop's heritage-listed building.
The exterior of the shop's heritage-listed building.  Photo: Edwina Pickles

"Arnold from Koi I have met from his meals dining at Kim, so it's very cool to have this network of hospitality entrepreneurs all on a small strip who I have met before I open Kakawa."

Open Mon-Sat 10.30am-6.30pm; Sun 10.30am-4.30pm.

22 Kensington Street, Chippendale, 02 9211 1673, kakawachocolates.com.au