08 Apr Charisma Workshop, Melbourne CBD
Charisma Workshop is a passion project of the Ko family, headed by Jonathan who flaunts his skills in cakes and patisserie, honed through study at the Savour Chocolate & Patisserie School.
The cabinets are filled with handmade cakes and chocolates, and the intimate cafe provides a pleasant place in which to savour them over a hot drink. Try a smooth and creamy hot chocolate, or a matcha latte made using matcha imported directly from Japan. The milky matcha drink is strong, but not too bitter. Black sugar syrup can be provided if you want to round it off further.
The Pancetta Croquettes are great value. The creamy interior includes a piece of pancetta, and although they’re quite fragile things, it’s because they possess a lighter, cheesy texture.
The meat of the Confit Duck Leg pulls off the bone easily. A tangy coffee red wine reduction comes in a separate dish, though I personally prefer the dish it as is – the protein is quite tasty in itself. The Ratatouille Baked Egg is packed full of vegetables, and instead of toast, you get a stack of herbed and crispy polenta chips.
Where the Ko family’s real passion lies, however, is in their sweets. His focus is on simpler flavour combinations rather than ones that are too complex and overwhelming, and his cakes tend to please the Asian palate as they’re aren’t too sweet. They’re a labour of love too; each small cake can take 3-5 days to construct.
The Matcha White Chocolate Torte is a delicious combination of almond marzipan, matcha white chocolate sponge and matcha white chocolate mousse. Jasmine Raspberry Pillow contains Bavarian cream made from Jasmine tea infused milk – no artificial flavours here. The rich chocolate and orange flavours of the Love Me Tender also delight.
Nestled just off 206 A’Beckett Street, Charisma Workshop is a hidden gem.
Disclaimer: I was invited to Charisma Workshop as a guest, however, opinions expressed here are purely my own, and are based on my experience at the time
3 Frederick Way
Melbourne, VIC, 3000
(03) 8764 6663