Guylian Belgian Chocolate Café in The Rocks has a prime location for foot traffic, whether it’s tourists from the many cruises that ship in and out of Circular Quay or regulars who recognise the area as a regular haunt. As a chocolate-cafe chain (they have two other locations in Sydney, both by the water), Guylian are relatively new to the scene, but the brand is just as well established as Lindt or Max Brenner and has been for a very long time in Australia, thanks to those magnificent chocolate sea shells you grew up with an addiction for.
Taking what we know and love about Guylian and expanding that into a full cafe menu, complete with some savoury options, has been met with success so far. Walk past The Rocks location any day of the week and there is always a scene of generous dessert-sharing going on both inside and outside of the cafe.
The inside is dotted with many small tables, most facing the counter where you’ll find a colourful display of cakes and other desserts, instantly showcasing the attention to detail they put into the presentation, especially of the more showy desserts which unsurprisingly happen to be the most popular options day in and day out.
Aside from the display of eat-in desserts there’s also a range of Guylian products from chocolate tablettes to hot chocolate powder, sea-horse shaped bottles of Guylian Liqueur to assorted macaroons, making this as much as a chocolate shop as it is a cafe.
The menu is one large two-sided sheet detailing all that’s on offer, with the latest menu overhaul being a tidying up of the savory options, mainly including various waffles, baguettes, and salads. I’d suggest going for the Croque Monsieur ($19) Belgian waffles with ham and gruyere cheese toasted in a crispy, soft waffle. The cheese is oozing out from the side of the waffles, as with all great Croque Monsieurs, and it brings a very rich, smooth taste to the melt-in-your-mouth waffle sandwich. If that sounds a bit too much for you – and I wouldn’t blame you, especially if you’re also ordering up some desserts – then the Smoked Salmon ($18) waffles is another worthwhile choice, although make sure you ask them to hold back on the horseradish cream as too much can completely mask the taste of the otherwise fresh, smoked salmon.
Other savory options include the Rare Roast Beef Baguette ($18) and Seasonal Quiche ($16); there’s even a Cheese Platter ($28) for sharing. There’s also a few breakfast options like the Three Egg Omelette ($1750) and Guylian Granola ($14.50).
Though, if you’re here it’s likely to finish off an afternoon (or night) with indulgent desserts, of which there are plenty to choose from. The most popular option is the 100% Pure Pleasure ($18.50) with Belgian chocolate mousse, Guylian chocolate icing, and almond panna cotta, and it’s not hard to taste why; in addition to being the most attractive dessert on the menu – and in the display counter – it’s easily one of the best chocolate desserts. in that price range, that you’ll find across Sydney – smooth with some added texture from the panna cotta, rich but not excessive, and deliciously gooey in the centre. Equally irresistible is the Guylian Bombe Au Chocolate ($17.50) (lead image) which is a shiny chocolate dome with Belgian dark and white chocolate mousse and Guylian praline.
There is also a variety of shakes, iced chocolates, and hot chocolates on the menu alongside your standard tea and coffee offerings. If you’re aching for some more chocolate you’d be best grabbing a Banana and Caramel Hot Chocolate ($9) or a Peanut Butter and Belgian Milk Chocolate Milkshake ($12.50/$9).
It’s not hard to lose yourself in a dessert state of mind at Guylian, from the moment you walk in the aroma of fresh chocolate is wafting around the room. The savoury options are decent for the price, but you can tell most of the effort has gone into the chocolate dishes, and rightfully so.
Guylian Cafe – The Rocks
Address: 91 George St, The Rocks
Contact: 02 8274 7500
Hourse: Sun to Thurs 8am – 11pm; Fri & Sat 8am – Midnight