Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Mess Brennar!

A picture says a thousand words, and this is Fabian's. Fab is a lovely man who works very hard at his own business, which is architecture and construction, but you'd be forgiven for thinking he was into demolition if you ever saw him attack a plate of Max Brennar Tutti Fruity Belgian Waffles with chocoloatestrawberriesbananadoubleserveoficecreamifyouaskforitwhichidid. Watching Fabian or my father, who both consume this particular dish with something approaching lust crazed alacrity, is one of my all time favourite sights to behold. It's really quite zen, between all the mess and the speed and the slurping up of chocolate stickiness and ice cream, there appears to be a moment where they truly become One With The Waffle.

Now, with the exception of the cornflake and peppercorn square, which is genius, Max Brennar is not my idea of conossieurs chocolate, heck, it's not even my idea of good chocolate, but never mind, this place is so much fun all the same! It's for the young and the young at gut. Fab and I walked in shortly after 3, and the shop was full of excited children and parents, lots of tourists as well. You get transferred back to your childhood standing there amidst all the colourful boxes of cloistered chocolate, and the artful little concoctions of frozen chocolate, and the flowing bowls of soupy chocolate, and the chips of biscuity chocolate, and the perfect little squares of fancy chocolate, and if you don't, then the cartoonish chocolate pipe across the ceiling should get you going.
They take all this chocolate very seriously. In fact, I was admonished for taking the above photo, but there it is, anyway. The waffles, which are really the main attraction, can be served with your preferred shade of the goodstuff: dark, milk or white. It's a pretty hard assault on your pancreas sugar wise, but it is worth sampling this experience at least once.  The Max Brennar concept has been centered on the idea of creating a new chocolate culture. Even though that may sound like the mission statement of a first year student of sociology, they really have succeeded in doing this. The stores are a great place to come and really enjoy food in a whimsically decadent way. Food is usually a very haughty affair these days, to go somewhere fun and make a big mess in the process is a welcome change from the normal mood of dining in Sydney.
For those of us who don't waffle, there are crepes, biscuits, chocolate licks, cold chocolate drinks, hot chocolate drinks and one thousand or so other combinations and permutations of chocolate. The coffee itself is also simply a backdrop for more chocolate, it's generously drizzled over the froth with a little bar of chocolate dipped in for good measure. I have no idea how much extra chocolate would go into one of their mochas, or a hot chocolate for that matter. The coffee still comes with sugar on the side, they have somehow managed not to coat the sugar packet in chocolate itself, although i am sure it is an oversight they will soon rectify.
But here's the fun part: this is a pleased, cheshire cat looking version of the formerly tired Fabian 20 seconds or so after receiving his waffles.


This is Fabian after a minute or two into his waffles.
And this, is the aftermath...
Need I say more. I didn't include any of the photos of Fabian actually slurping the left over remnants of ice cream out of 2 of his little ice cream dishes. Some things are best left to the imagination. It's his birthday tomorrow, 27 years old! I was going to bake him a cake, but after the brennar showdown, I'm baking him a carrot. This is an experience that isn't just about taste, it's about the simple joy of food, how it looks, how you share it and how it brings people together: whether you're 6 or 60, you will always have it in you to gasp at a really spunky looking plate of something chocolatey. 

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