Posted by Tom Campbell
19. Nov, 2010
Ah, the choc-top, the crown jewel of any movie combo. Enjoyed in the dark with a giant coke and popcorn, or on it’s own as the lights dim and the curtain draws. In all its variations – waffle or wafer, chocolate or boysenberry, one scoop or two, the choc top is an Australian institution. Whilst most choc-tops are mass-produced certain cinemas, including some of the larger chains, still take pride in their handcrafted iced treats. I spent a happy week sampling the wares of Melbourne’s cinemas, and this is my guide to the Top Of The Chocs.
Hoyts and Village Cinemas are the biggest cinema chains in Victoria. They outsource their choc-tops from a company called Roweena, who supply many Victorian cinemas. Though neither experimental nor exceptional, the Roweena choc-tops are the classic staple choc top.
Flavours – vanilla, chocolate, boysenberry and choc mint.
Verdict – Though they can be hit and miss, for the most part the ice cream is smooth, the flavours rich and the chocolate has a satisfying crunch.
The Kino Dendy (45 Collins St) outsource the stock standard flavours from Roweena but also supply some home made options that will melt in your mouth.
Flavours – Vanilla, chocolate, choc mint, cookies and cream, macadamia and boysenberry.
Verdict – If you’re going to a cinema with home made choc-tops how can you say no? Try the Macadamia, perfect for all the film nuts out there.
Greater Union Cinema (131 Russell St) is the home of Bollywood in Melbourne. They outsource the basic flavours and recently held the ‘This Is My Choc Top’ competition, giving movie lovers the chance to design and name their own choc top.
Flavours – Chocolate, vanilla, coffee, ‘This Is My Choc Top’ winner- Triple-choc Tango.
Verdict – Great competition, great winner. The Triple-choc Tango raises the bar for indulgent flavour and puts Greater Union up there with the best.
The Nova Cinema (380 Lygon St, Carlton) screens a wide range of independent and foreign films while serving an impressive variety of top quality, delicious flavours that complement it’s taste in films.
Flavours – Tiramisu, cherry ripe, Baileys Irish cream, creamy cinnamon, rocky road, chilli chocolate and if ice-cream is not your thing, Strawberry frozen yogurt.
Verdict – With so many great flavours you will be holding up the candy bar and miss the opening of your film. But you won’t be disappointed.
However, when all is said and done the ice-cream of the crop is the Astor Theatre in St Kilda (1 Chapel St). The Astor specialises in holding a different double feature (yes, a DOUBLE feature) on most evenings of the week. They make their choc-tops, or ‘Choc-ice’ as they call them, in house and have done so for years.
Flavours – Chocolate, Wild Berry, Vanilla, Arctic Banana
Verdict – Arctic Banana has to be one of the best choc-top in Melbourne. Banana ice cream covered in delicious white chocolate, rolled in shredded coconut and topped with a dried banana. You will be rushing out at intermission to grab another.