“ Address: Lakefront of 50 Beach street / Queenstown 9197 / New Zealand / Tel: (03) 4429066 „
Queenstown is packed with cafes and it's nice to find somewhere that stands out. Recommended by Lonely Planet as a good place to sample chocolate, this place certainly made its mark on us.
Patagonia has a good location in Queenstown, just past the main street and facing onto the water and beautiful mountain scenery. There is seating outside onto the open area around it.
As you enter the café, there is a dedicated ice cream counter right in front of you, and as this is usually packed you have to ease your way past to the left and around to the main food counter. Against the windows around this are seating areas, each table holding 4 people. Against the window onto the square is a narrow seating area where you sit in a line looking directly out. The place was packed and so we found ourselves settling for an outside seat.
The main counter is quite interesting as it's dominated by a glass case display of many flavours and types of chocolate, more than I could mention here, but here's a few to whet your appetite. Dark Chocolate and almond, white chocolate and fig, milk chocolate and citrus peel, dark chocolate and hazelnuts, passion fruit truffle, hazelnut truffle 71% Belgian dark chocolate with caramelised nuts and citrus peel, 71% dark chocolate and ginger, dark chocolate and chilli, dark chocolate with sesame seed ... and that's nowhere near the full collection. Basically you order what you want and they weigh it and you pay for the weight.
However, other things can be ordered such as drinks, sandwiches, pies, desserts and waffles. Ms Larsbaby went for passion fruit cheesecake with a chai latte. The cheesecake was delicious. Beautifully presented with a large drizzle of passion fruit sauce, a blob of strawberry jam and with artistic swirls of dark chocolate all around the plate edge, it was light, full of flavour, smooth and creamy. I went for a single chunk of dark chocolate with mixed peel and nuts and a chai latte. The chocolate was very tasty too, with an orangey taste and a crunch from the nuts. Definitely a quality product.
The chai lattes came in a large white cup on a saucer, with a small butter biscuit perched on the side, which went very well with the drink with its dense sweetness. The top was decorated with a semi circle of cinnamon powder sprinkled on top, showing a similar artistic flourish to the cheesecake. This was quite a mild and milky chai latte, pleasantly sweet. I liked it a lot; these are usually quite strong in New Zealand and this was a nice change to the norm.
As a postscript, there was also a branch in Queenstown airport and I tried hokey pokey ice cream. Hokey pokey is a kiwi speciality, and this type is best described as small balls of honeycomb centre like a Crunchie bar with perhaps a bit more chewiness. The vanilla ice cream with it was decent quality, with the hokey pokey balls adding a pleasant crunch and honey-like taste.
This was a very popular spot for coffee, ice cream and of course, chocolate, and provides an interesting experience. It's definitely worth a visit if you're in Queenstown, whether you fancy lazing around for lunch or just pop in and out for ice cream. The quality and attention to detail on display certainly impresses.
50 Beach street,
Tel: (03) 4429066
Website : http://www.patagoniachocolates.co.nz/