I’d like to think that I make the most of a bad situation. However, at times it can be quite the challenge to find that thread of silver lining from a vast canopy of looming storm clouds. Like when you have tickets to the Open Air cinema during a depressingly cold and wet summer.
Watching a B-grade movie, exposed to the wind and the rain as you’re left flapping in breeze in cheap, disposable plastic ponchos that are issued to you in lieu of the option for a refund. Rustling like cantankerous rattle snakes caught in discarded, foil-lined packets of crisps is hardly conducive of a good cinema experience. An optimist may find some way to prospect and mine that monofilament of silver. The more pragmatic on the other hand would sidestep the storm, forfeit the tickets altogether, and seek the solace of a warm meal, and perhaps even indulge in a hot mug of cocoa and some dessert at Max Brenner.
We’d opted for the soul-restoring pragmatic route. Though, in the pursuit of making the most of a bad situation, things may have gone a little too far.
In stark contrast to the temperament of Mother Nature that evening, the cheery graphics that adorn the walls and the warm, inviting tones of the wooden interior of Max Brenner were welcome relief for the weather-worn spirits of our party of three – Lady JoKR, the Sister and I.
For the uninitiated, Max Brenner is an establishment devoted entirely to the pursuit of enjoying chocolate in all its various forms, whether it is desserts, confections and beverages, both hot and cold.
Tutti-Frutti Waffle ($14) – As a child, I was never able to pin down what exactly tutti-frutti tasted like or why it was so popular that it was incorporated into a Little Richard song. To this day, even with the assistance of Internet resources like Wikipedia, I still have no idea.
The ambiguous amalgam of fruity flavours that is attributed to tutti-frutti, if defining an ambiguous amalgam makes any sense at all, is worlds removed from the simple and straightforward fruity pairing of banana and strawberry. Unless you have a particular disliking for bananas, strawberries, waffles, chocolate or life, I think few will be disappointed with what this dessert has to offer.
American Marshmallow Hot Chocolate ($6) – The signature hug mug has soft curves that caress the hands as much as your hands caress it. It’s an ideal vessel to draw deeply from as your hands snuggle in its radiant warmth. I’m not sure where the American part of the name comes into it but if you like that sticky-sweet foam of molten marshmallow floating on your hot chocolate, you can’t go wrong with this.
Chocolate Soufflé ($10) – In my mind, this more closely resembles a chocolate fondant cake, in that it’s more dense and rich than light and fluffy as one would expect from a traditional soufflé. The strawberries were an additional $3 though they’re worth the expense as a much needed foil to the rich, gooey core.
Chocolate Lick ($2.50) – A molten pot of pure chocolate gold, the Chocolate Lick is probably the best bang-for-your-indulgent-buck that you’ll likely ever come across in Sydney. Available in both milk and dark chocolate varieties, it’s served with a lollipop-shaped paddle from which one may dip and lick its luscious lava of liquid love.
On their own, each of these desserts make for a sweet treat, capable of satisfying most chocolate cravings.
It’s a sexy thing, isn’t it?
Well, that is until you take your first bite and realise how rich the combination of these desserts are.
In the pursuit of making the most of a bad situation, somewhere along the way a line was crossed; a disgustingly debaucherous divide that transformed these decadent desserts into something that was way too rich for me to handle on my own. Sometimes you can be too clever for your own good. Having said that though, this double-barrelled delight still makes for a good dessert, albeit one that is very much over-the-top.
Having weathered the forces of rain and gluttony, we left the church of chocolate content, leaving our safe haven at the eye of the storm ready to face the elements once more with spirits renewed.
If one can attribute a moral to this tale, if you do decide to delve into the depths of dessert debauchery, bring some people to share it with. Also, it’s a good idea to order the side of strawberries as they serve as a much needed foil to counteract its richness.
Oh, you might also want to avoid the whole outdoor cinema “experience” too if next year’s summer is as crazy as our last.
Max Brenner (Westfield CBD)
Level 6, Westfield Shopping Centre, Corner Pitt St Mall and Market Street, Sydney
(02) 9238 0022
Sun-Thurs: 9:00am – 10:30pm
Fri-Sat: 9:00am – 12:00am