Newly opened in Kitsilano is Koko Monk Chocolates’ second location at 2883 West Broadway. This new store is a 1,100-square-foot space featuring a dedicated Hot Chocolate Lounge and an onsite production facility. The new location came to fruition after Koko Monk’s founder and chocolate maker, Paul Dicer, launched a successful Kickstarter campaign to raise $10,000 toward the cost of a new location. The original location, at 1849 West 1st Avenue, remains open.
Disclosure: I attended a media event at Koko Monk Chococolates’ second location.
The Art of Chocolate
Dincer draws inspiration from his comprehensive background and education in fine art, literature and philosophy in creating his chocolate products. His creations are one-of-a-kind, complex flavour fusions using raw chocolate (unadulterated, unprocessed cacao beans). The Koko Monk name highlights a philosophy of living and working with one’s environment and employing natural ingredients, rather than forcing synthesized solutions that go against their natural functions.
Hot Chocolate Bar
Koko Monk has drawn raves for its variety of hot chocolates (BuzzFeed ranked it among the “Greatest Places in the World to Get Hot Chocolate)”, and its new 16-seat lounge is the perfect environment in which to savour them. Koko Monk currently offers 14 unique — and uniquely named — flavours of hot chocolate, including “A Non-Conformist’s Plea for an Imaginary Summer” (tomato hot chocolate with rose and raspberry), “Strange Gravity” (oregano hot chocolate with melon and a touch of anise), and “Brunette Bangle” (curry hot chocolate with coconut liquor).
The specialty hot chocolates come in small ($5.95), medium ($7.85), and large ($9.50). Can’t decide on just one flavour? Go for a hot-chocolate flight featuring three mini servings, available every Saturday ($10 per person, minimum order of 2). I tried the “Istanbul Blues” (dark hot chocolate with ottoman ‘salep’ root and cinnamon), the “Cosmic Rose” (vegan coconut milk – dark hot chocolate with salted rose caramel and cardamon) and the sneak peak of 2019 Hot Chocolate Fest participating drink tentatively named “Love and Pain.” I particularly loved the “Istanbul Blues” with its floral flavours and would love to have it again. “Love and Pain” really tasted like its namesake being sweet but then turning into sweet, spicy and bitter afterwards.
Other Artisan Chocolate Products
Guests will also find other artisan chocolate products including individual chocolates, fruit and nut barks, vegan bars, and sugar-free selections plus Turkish coffee, espresso-based beverages, and locally-made pastries.
At the media event, our tasting plate included the “La Mer” (watermelon sea-salt infused chocolate), “Bacchanalia” (balsamic vinegar caramel with sea salt) and “Flirt” (salted red rose caramel with raw sugar and Himalayan sea salt). I particularly enjoyed the La Mer due to the uniqueness in incorporating watermelon flavour into chocolate.
In 2019, Koko Monk will begin to produce its “ready-to-brew” Hot Chocolate Cubes, which were part of Dincer’s successful Kickstarter campaign (offered as rewards for backers). The new creations will be available in both of Koko Monk’s locations, allowing everyone to stir up Dincer’s addictive creations at home at their convenience.
Koko Monk Chocolates
Address: 2883 West Broadway, Vancouver, BC