Choc drinks at Cacao Lab and lunch at +39 Pizzeria

Cacao Lab

Cacao Lab is one of the cafés owned by Cacao Fine Chocolates and Patisserie. They have many cute éclairs, cakes, macarons and chocolates but we were most interested in trying their de-constructed iced chocolates. They’re served divided into three separate beakers, and then you mix them together… kind of like the lab experiments we do for our chem eng subjects, except more edible 😛


iced choc salted caramel

Iced Chocolate – salted caramel (~$9)

This iced chocolate had the addition of salted caramel for extra sugary goodness. The ‘salt’ flavour didn’t really come through but that’s understandable in an iced chocolate drink. Overall it tasted great and the different textures of the ice cream/milk/melted chocolate were very enjoyable.

iced choc original

Iced Chocolate – original (~$9)

The original iced chocolate was similar to the salted caramel one. We discovered that while it’s fun to play with these drinks, it’s easier to mix it all together while the chocolate sauce is still warm and runny. However there’s always the option of just eating it with a spoon 😀

hot choc

Hot Chocolate (~$6)

The hot chocolate didn’t have the ‘lab’ experience that you get with the iced chocolates but it tasted great, especially in the chilly Winter weather. This hot chocolate was especially satisfying because it was nice and chocolatey without tasting too sweet.

melted choc and milk

Shot of melted chocolate with milk

This is what you order when you really just want melted chocolate but you want to pretend that you’re getting a drink. It’s okay we won’t judge.

three macarons

Macarons: volet & cassis, pistachio and NY cheesecake. ($2.5 each)

The macarons at cacao have a good range of flavours and are a decent size. The textures were very nice; light, crispy shell and soft on the inside. Of the three we had during this visit, the pistachio was probably the weakest flavour as it was very subtle. The violet & cassis flavour was good and the New York cheesecake flavoured macaron was delicious, however our favourite Cacao macaron flavour would have to be ‘cookies and cream.’

Verdict: Definitely worth a visit. Next time we want to try their cakes and eclairs.

Location: Driver Lane, CBD. Open 7 days per week. They have a website and Facebook page.

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+39 Pizzeria

This Italian restaurant is open for both lunch and dinner, but the prices go up a fair bit on the dinner menu so we recommend coming here in the afternoon. This pizzeria has traditional style thin-crust pizzas as well as a number of classic pasta dishes. The atmosphere is cosy and one of the walls features a shelf lined with big Nutella jars, just in case you weren’t hungry enough! (If you do find yourself craving Nutella, you can buy one of their Nutella donuts.)


Spaghetti alla Carbonara – eggs, pancetta, parmesan, black Pepper & extra virgin olive oil ($15)

mushroom pizza

Tartufata Pizza – cream of mushrooms, fior di latte, mushrooms, rocket, truffle oil & parmesan ($16.5)

mushroom pasta

Pappardelle ai Porcini – porcini mushrooms, parsley, parmesan cheese
& truffle oil ($19)

The carb heavy look and smell of the dishes was entirely drool-worthy. We seemed to have ordered dishes with a similar theme of mushrooms and white sauce, but they each had a distinct flavour. The pizza had a thin crust but did not overload with topping so it was a nice ratio between the two, and the rocket balanced out the cream of mushroom sauce. The pasta sauces tasted creamy, but they didn’t contain actual cream so they didn’t feel too heavy on the stomach. Yay!! Half the Italian restaurants in Melbourne don’t seem to realise that carbonara isn’t supposed to contain cream.

Verdict: Overall, we were very happy with the quality of the food. This is a good lunch option if you’re craving Italian food.

Location: 362 Little Bourke Street. They have a website and Facebook page.

You can also view +39 Pizzeria on Zomato.

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