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Max Brenner (Westfield CBD)

A photo of an assortment of chocolate desserts from Max Brenner

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.

Photo of the interior of the Max Brenner cafe

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.

A photo of the tutti-frutti waffle & a couple of hug mugs

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.

Photo of the chocolate souffle & chocolate lick desserts

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.

However together…

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

Trading Hours
Sun-Thurs:  9:00am – 10:30pm
Fri-Sat: 9:00am – 12:00am

Max Brenner on Urbanspoon

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{ 17 comments… add one }
  • sonia June 29, 2012, 10:12 am

    **It’s a sexy thing, isn’t it?**


    The alliteration alone in this post is deserving of a gold star! I do like their souffles, particularly on cold, stormy days as you have described here.
    sonia recently posted..TGIF! High Tea, Like AN asthmatic gazelle and backing up your work

    • Simon June 30, 2012, 3:26 pm

      Thanks Sonia! I might do the souffle/lick again but maybe be a little less gungho with the amount I pour next time :)

  • Tina@foodboozeshoes June 29, 2012, 10:26 am

    You’re back!
    I used to go to MB a bit, but I just can’t handle all that sugar and richness anymore. Best for hot choccies and a shared (not-overly) chocolatey dish, I think.
    Tina@foodboozeshoes recently posted..Go the schnitty at Essen Restaurant and Beer Café

    • Simon June 30, 2012, 3:24 pm

      Yes! Glad to be back at it.

      The waffle was certainly less sugary than the souffle/lick combo, though that’s not saying much :)

  • Christine June 29, 2012, 11:27 am

    Yum! Gorgeous photos as always. I worked at the Manly MB for a couple of months when I was a teenager. Loved coming home smelling of chocolate.. Oh and all the free desserts. Easy way to gain some extra kgs! Haha.

    From memory, the American hot chocolate didn’t have anything particularly special to it – I think it was just a regular hot chocolate with marshmallows really.. I suppose the marshmallows made it “American”?
    Christine recently posted..Heston’s Macaroni and Cheese

    • Simon June 30, 2012, 3:23 pm

      Thanks for the info on the American Hot Chocolate. I couldn’t find anything specific online either confirming or denying the association so maybe you’re right.

  • Sara (Belly Rumbles) June 30, 2012, 9:08 pm

    I haven’t actually been to a Max Brenner. Love the look of the hug mug that holds the hot chocolate. Seems a very chocolately experience.
    Sara (Belly Rumbles) recently posted..Weekly Rumbles

    • Simon July 3, 2012, 4:28 pm

      Hug mugs are great. Always enjoy drinking out of them, especially on the colder days :)

  • Heather July 2, 2012, 11:06 pm

    My fave thing about MB? The hug mugs. Cafe Ish had them too, only without a brand or logo. I never found them anywhere and want a couple so badly!

    It’s blazing hot here today, but I can still picture a lovely hot chocolate in a hug mug :-)

    • Simon July 3, 2012, 4:25 pm

      I guess you could go an ice chocolate or milkshake with similar effect :)

      I like the hug mugs too. I’ll have to talk to Josh to see where he’s gotten his mugs from. However, if you don’t mind the branded ones, they’re available online.

  • Nic@diningwithastud July 3, 2012, 12:08 pm

    Oh the wonder of chocolate porn :D
    Nic@diningwithastud recently posted..Nuts about Sweets! July #SABH

    • Simon July 3, 2012, 4:09 pm

      It is indeed a wondrous thing :)

  • Christina @ The Hungry Australian July 23, 2012, 9:59 pm

    So happy that you have returned to blogging. Wonderful words and sexy, sexy photos. Yes, you crossed the line. But sometimes it’s fun to see just how far you can push it ;)
    Christina @ The Hungry Australian recently posted..Mushroom Mania: The Pot, Hyde Park, Adelaide

  • JackieB, YummyStuff (@YummyStuffGoesH) August 26, 2012, 2:01 pm

    I think I need to come up to Sydney for a visit when the weather warms up. Look at all these places popping up. This is a must try place. Yum at the awesome choc sauce… and your gorgeous pics!
    JackieB, YummyStuff (@YummyStuffGoesH) recently posted..Happy Birthday Daz! Lunch @Hoggy’s

  • Andy September 6, 2012, 5:24 pm

    MB is awesome… in small amounts :P

    Some guys in Newtown are boycotting it though.. not sure why?

  • Vivian - vxdollface October 11, 2012, 1:34 pm

    ooh hehe i like the sound of the chocolate lick and it does look like the best value for money option too!

    • Simon October 13, 2012, 2:27 am

      The chocolate lick is great. So many augmentation options yet to be explored :)

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