Kensington Street might be the most condensed food destination in Sydney. It has a Thai-inspired cafe, more than six new restaurants, Reynold Poernomo’s cult dessert bar and a Singaporean-style outdoor hawker centre. And now one of Sydney’s best chocolate shops is moving in.
In the wake of the closure of Kakawa’s well-hidden CBD store (its flagship remains in Darlinghurst), a new shop is opening in one of the Kensington Street heritage terraces. “We really like the [CBD] site but it's been over three years, so we thought it was time to move on. We really needed a shopfront,” says Kakawa’s co-owner David Ralph. Mark Christopher Verhoeven (of Glider KS) and Clayton Wells (Automata) recommended Ralph move in. They know each other from their stints at Quay.” I already knew the area. It's booming and I just thought it would be a great match. There's not really any chocolate shops around,” says Ralph.
Although he’s not ruling anything out, Ralph says it will be retail only to begin with. Ralph and his partner (in business and in life) Jin Sun Kim will show off the same range of chocolates, bons bons and ice-cream sandwiches found at their flagship. “It will still be 80–90 per cent of what we sell at our William Street shop, but we've got some new products to launch with the store,” says Ralph. One idea is to do ice-cream sandwich tubs, each with a stack of five sandwich flavours. Another is to bring back something rather old fashioned. “We're playing around with ideas. We want to bring back chocolate mousse. Maybe something you can eat out of a tub,” he says.
Like its predecessor on Clarence Street, the new shop will be squeezed into a small space, so its popular iced chocolates or chocolate frappes may not be on the menu.
Kakawa Chocolate opens on Kensington Street on the May 22.