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Crunchy Betty Challenge Update

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So I’ve been doing the Crunchy Betty Honey Challenge for a bit over a week now and washing my face every day with honey. I’m sad to say I haven’t exactly been having terrific results. I’m going to give it the full two weeks though, and we’ll see what happens at the end. For now though, on with the review:

 

Food:

I love honey. I mean, I really love it. It’s so sweet and tasty and wonderful and nuanced. The raw manuka honey I’m using is a little bit expensive, but I’m only using a finger full and I suspect that the bees that make it are likely happier and better looked after than the home-brand stuff I usually buy (I’m told that industrial beekeeping operations often kill the bees when winter sets in rather than feeding and looking after them all winter before they become active again in spring).

Sadly it’s just not having the intended effects. My skin is both dry and pimply. How does that even work? At first I thought the dryness could be from the cold, but it’s not. I can feel my skin suddenly get so much drier as I wash off the honey. And as for the pimples, I was tempted to attribute them to my red-headed friend coming to visit last week. You know, surfing the crimson wave, Aunt Flo coming to visit, code red, the communists are in the fun box. But no, they persist. Maybe my skin will have gotten used to t after another week? Maybe?

 

With:

I’m fast becoming a Crunchy Betty convert. I’m not going to be using all of her suggestions, but I really like trying new things, and I really like food, and I see no reason why something that’s a food may not also be good for other things. Lots of things can be used for more than one thing – see elastic, or hemp, or the internet.

 

Feeling:

I’m very sad it’s not working out, because I love how fun it is to was my face with honey, and the way it smells. I feel like a kid, like a rebel, like a hippy, a bit silly but okay with that. It feels so fun and nice that I’m gonna keep looking into ways to make it work for my skin. We’ll see.

All I know is that I’m excited every time I put on a bandanna to keep my (newly red) hair out of the way. And I like that.

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A Special Birthday Edition Review of Kitami Japanese Restaurant

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I haven’t posted for a while, it’s true, but I have excuses. Reasonable excuses, fantastic excuses, phantasmagorical excuses! But alas, this blog post is far too full already to go into all that. So instead I’ll leave it at: I turnt 21 and I went out and did stuff. One of the things I did was go to dinner at Kitami with some dear friends (and forget my camera, *facepalm*). And so, as well as a bit of an outline of what I want to do with my blog over the next little while after this brief unexpected hiatus, I present to you a Special, Birthday-Edition Review of my favourite Japanese restaurant in town – Kitami.

Cooking:

Fantastic. I’ve been hankering after some decent Japanese food for quite a while now and this really hit the spot. Three friends, my brother, and I got four entrees and two mains to share between us, plus I had some miso soup.

We had spider rolls, tempura prawn rolls, california rolls, and a plate of mixed sashimi for entrees. The rolls were all great, the meat in the spider rolls and tempura prawn rolls was crispy and good and the pickled ginger was as delicious as pickled ginger always is. The sashimi was fresh and delicate and lovely.

I also nicked one of J’s tako yaki balls which were just as rich and tasty as I remembered.

For mains we had a plate of stir-fried beef and a plate of stir-fried pork. They were both lovely with wonderful thick sticky sauces, though I’ll admit I was lusting after some of the chicken dishes on the table, the kara age in particular – it was remarkable last time I ate there. Sadly they don’t use free-range chicken, or at least they don’t say they do and that’s something you advertise. Eating purposefully takes a bit of work and sacrifice though, and it’s only non-free-range chicken so far that I’ve totally ruled out of my diet, so I can hack it.

With:

A most  delightful crowd. There were about fourteen people in all from very different parts of my life – my little brother to the ladies I’ve known since my first year in Law, right through to a new friend from the Linguistics department at Uni. Plenty more great people sent their apologies, and of course J was there too.

It really made me appreciate how fantastically lucky I am. Life is fragile, but it’s easy to forget that with all of these wonderful, supportive, caring, loving people around me. Without these people, my family, my friends, my partner, would I be sitting here at the kitchen table sipping tea and looking out at the dazzling blue of the Australian sky? Would I have the luxury of this blog, this computer, this safe welcoming home?

And who would cheer me, teach me, support me, reason with me, or make me laugh? Who would talk to me when I feel like I’ll bust if I don’t have a chat to someone but but I have nothing particularly interesting or new or relevant to say? Who would make me feel valuable and good?

 

I like birthdays and anniversaries, days that mark time passed. They remind me of just how cool it is that all that time was mine, to share.

Feeling:

Well back to the serious business. Kitami feels… unfinished. But it’s not so bad. It feels friendly, at ease. Like the restaurant itself is relaxed and happy to see you. There’s a little garden near the entrance that’s very sweet, with sand and rocks and bonsai trees. And the staff are super friendly. They’re really professional, sure, and all our meals came out promptly and deliciously. They even got some lovely plates and a tray set out for my friends who decided, sneaky things they are, to bring a cake and not tell me about it.

But more than anything the staff seem happy. Really genuinely happy to have you there. And that overwhelming feel of welcome means more than any decor.

 

—————

 

So, as I hinted earlier on, I’d also like to lay out what I plan to write to you about over the next few weeks. I’ve been lazy lately, taking huge breaks between posts, but now that I’m on Uni breaks for a few more weeks and most of my Big Stressful Things that needed doing have been done, I’m going to try and step back up to the plate – at least one post a week.

My next post will be one I started writing a week ago but didn’t really get to the posting stage with, then if I can find the pictures I took to go with it I have a post written a very long time ago with a modified carrot cake recipe that I was especially proud of. And after that I have some new musings to share, on choosing not to eat everything and healthy(-er) eating. So I really look forward to getting into that.

 

What are you looking forward to? And what makes you happy to look back at?

Would You Like Some Beer Or Chocolates With That Existential Crisis?

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An observant reader may have noticed that this is my first post in quite a while. You may be intrigued to know that during my last few months of radio silence a whole lot of stuff has affected, left or entered my life in one way or another. In case you’re interested, I’ve put together a list of some important developments, and the foods that punctuate them for me.

Pear and Vanilla Muffins and Engagement

If you’ve spent much time travelling in Western Europe you may be familiar with Paul’s. Strategically placed in major train stations and airports, Paul’s serves expensive but decent sandwiches and bakery treats to weary, hungry travellers.

Yes, trains. The one thing everyone sees in Europe.

And so it was, on a bench outside Paul’s in Montparnasse train station, that I said a tearful yes (under the watchful eyes of an elderly French couple who looked like they’d been together for millennia), grabbed a pear and vanilla muffin and settled into my seat on a TGV train speeding away from Paris. My brand new fiancé was within snuggling distance for the first time in months.

The flavour combination in that muffin holds an amazing number of good memories for me now. I even played around with it a little, making a Poached Pear and Vanilla Bean Butter Cake (recipe coming soon) that I am ludicrously proud of.

Mulled Wine and My First Romantic Christmas

This one is cheating a little bit. I mean, if cinnamon, cloves, star anise, vanilla and nutmeg don’t already remind you of the holidays, I have to wonder where you go in December every year.

Mulled wine spices simmering in syrup

These spices have been enjoyed for so long, you can find them in all sorts of cultures and cuisines. That special festive touch is not exclusive to the west!

But anyway, to go along with a magnificent Christmas feast for J and I, I made a pot of mulled wine (I used Jaime Oliver’s recipe from here). It was the first Christmas we had ever spent together, just the two of us. It was also my first ever cold weather Christmas. And this mulled wine was just one more special , decadent, holiday card style touch.

My First Romantic Christmas Dinner

Mulled wine is a nice for a traditional (or not so traditional) Christmas dinner.

Purple Noses and Existential Angst

In Belgium, as well as their delicious delicious chocolates, they also make other tasty confectionary like purple noses (also called cuberdon, apparently).

This image is from http://www.belgium-gourmet.com/ where you can apparently buy them. I had difficulty working out how, but I also got up at 6 this morning.

They’re a raspberry type flavour (though I believe you can get other flavours), kind of solid but flexible on the outside and liquidy on the inside, and utterly delicious. Unexpectedly so.

J and I had just begun our month and a bit of travel around Europe and I was encountering what became a theme of my musings throughout our travels – who am I anyway? What defines me as a person, and at this moment, where I could really become anything, what person do I want to be?

The kind of person who faces into the wind?

On the last day of the Brussels Christmas markets we picked up a 600 gram bag of super high quality Belgian chocolates on special for ten euro. And mixed in there were a nice helping of purple noses. And so I spent a night or two lying awake with some embarrassingly intense existential angst going on, sucking the liquidy goodness out of some purple noses.

Chiko Rolls and Home

If there was one food I craved being away from the country of my birth, more than real milk, more than a nice kangaroo steak, it was a chiko roll. That luxurious tube of deep fried, gooey-centred goodness.

This image is from http://www.chiko.com.au

I have eaten approximately fifteen thousand chiko rolls since my return to the country, and there’s still not much else that makes me feel so comfy and at home inside. Being away from everything I knew and the culture that’s always surrounded me really made it clear to me how much I love living in Australia, despite all of its flaws. This is my home, and probably always will be.

The Best French Onion Soup In Paris

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I had read in a blog somewhere that the best French Onion Soup (Soupe à l’Oignon) in Paris is from the Luxembourg Gardens (Jardin du Luxembourg). And you know what, for me, it was.

French Onion Soup at the Jardin du Luxembourg

It’s not taste that made it the best though. Don’t get me wrong, it was delicious (although there was a bit too much cheese for my taste), and I haven’t tried it anywhere else so it could very well be the best.

The most important thing for me was the feel of the whole day. It was, is, my first full day in Paris and I spent it, for the most part, wandering around the Luxembourg Gardens. They’re beautiful and relaxing, at least for most people.

I'm not a creepy stalker

Eventually I got hungry and found the little café place to sit and have some lunch. It was such a lovely little place, and I sat in the shade of the trees and looked down off a little terrace at people wandering around and bright white statues. I know white marble statues aren’t authentic to Ancient Greece, but they are definitely authentic to the Jardin du Luxembourg.

Hercules at the Jardin du Luxembourg

Turns out I didn’t take any photos of the really white ones, but trust me, they’re there.
.

The service was a little slow, but very very friendly. I suspect that the waiter was having a bit of fun with my terrible French, which is very admirable considering how often he must have to deal with his language being mangled. I got grapefruit juice because I really wanted to say jus de pamplemousse, and then the reason I ended up there in the first place, the soupe à l’oignon, and finally a slice of tarte tatin with ice cream.

My juice came out first with two little sachets of sugar. I was surprised by that at first, but then I realised loads of people must see the word pamplemousse and need to order it, even though they know it’s too sour for them. And indeed, I used the sugar and enjoyed the juice much more after that.

The soup. Ah the soup. It was sweet with all of the cooked up onions, and you could tell they’d used really great French bread for the croutons (or maybe just average French bread, being really great Everywhere-else bread, I’m not sure). Like I said, there was too much cheese for me, but I can well imagine that being right up someone else’s alley. And as I sat there I thought about the fact that I’m in France, and I thought about how beautiful the gardens were, and how nice all the people I’ve met so far are, and how much fun I’ve had practising my French and riding the metro and everything. And I just felt fantastic. And of course, now that soup is etched in my memory with all of those feelings. You really can’t separate the food and the emotion in a memory like that. Or at least I can’t.

Then I had my tarte, and it was delicious as expected. More caramel-y than I expected, but I was certainly not complaining.

Tarte tatin at the Jardin du Luxembourg

It smelt too good to take a photo before I started eating.
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The whole thing set me back 22 €, so it was quite reasonable value too.

And there you have it. Any food will be good food for me right now, because I’m just busting to experience things, but good food is extra good!

Coffee on Crown: A Review

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I had a really fantastic day today, and (apart from voting for the first time ever and getting an amazing massage) I think it had a lot to do with finding a cool new café in Newcastle!

I had an appointment in on Hunter St (the aforementioned massage) but I was there about two hours early, so I decided to have a look around for some place to read my book and have a nice snack. I’m not sure if you’ve been on Hunter Street lately (or ever for that matter), so I’ll tell you; there aren’t a huge number of good cafés in there any more. I’ve got my fingers crossed that it’s making a come back though, and this place is an awesome sign.

It’s on Crown Street, you know, the little street just in front of the cinema. Pro-tip: it’s also the coolest place in town during the summer, because of the lovely trees and the angle of the buildings – sometimes by five degrees!

Now, I suppose I’ll use my two usual review categories: cooking and feeling.

Cooking:

Reading a book at Coffee on Crown

I got myself a skim mocha, because I’m trying to get used to the taste of coffee, and settled down at a little table to read my book. It was not too bad, which is a big complement coming from me. Perhaps a better piece of information is that my friend L, who actually likes coffee, says that it was very good. Also, I was talking to the guys who run the place and they spent an inordinate amount of money and research getting the best coffee machine around.

Far more to my taste was the little tiny anzac biscuit type thing that came with the coffee. Very tasty indeed!

A funny shaped brownie

The other thing I got was a chocolate hazelnut brownie. It was so rich and delicious and fudgey with a bit of crunch, just like a brownie should be. It was a funny shape, but I can forgive them for that.

Feeling:

Coffee on Crown is a pretty good name, first of all. It doesn’t stand out as much as some, but it’s really easy to remember. I didn’t forget it once, and I’m terrible with names.

It was quite nicely decorated and airy inside: far less dingy than all of the other cafés that I walked past. I’ll tell the truth and say it was a little generic, but still the pick of the bunch so far as I can see.

The two guys who run it were super friendly, and seemed very happy for people to just sit and use the free wireless, or read a book like me. They also seemed to really like working there, and they were very proud of all their products. While I was having a chat to them they let me smell the coffee (yeah, it smelled like coffee) and the white hot chocolate mix (amazing, I’m sad I didn’t have one) and I tried a chocolate-coated coffee bean (not as bad as I expected).

I does still feel a little unfinished since they’re still in the process of installing computers that will make up a little internet café section, but since they’ve only been up and running a few weeks that’s totally understandable.

—–

So it’s a bitter sweet sort of thing friends. I’ve found a fantastic new café, but I’m leaving the country in a week so I won’t be able to enjoy it for six months. And how will I ever be able to find tasty food or beverages in France?!

The Lindt Café: A Review

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Alrighty Ladies and Gents, welcome to the follow up from the Max Brenner Chocolate Bar Review I did last week. J and I visited both of these establishments just for you. It was a terrible sacrifice, but one we were willing to make.

Now as before, this review will contain a cooking section and a feeling section. However I’ve also taken on board a suggestion I got after the last review and included a with section as well.

So let’s get started shall we?

Lindt Cafe

Cooking

What I thought: I’ll be honest, after having eaten all that we did in Max Brenner about fifteen minutes before we arrived at the Lindt Café, we didn’t actually sit down and eat anything right there and then. I’ve eaten at a Lindt Café before, and so I’ll just pretend that was a part of this time as well.

Mmmm, creamy and chocolatey hot chocolate

The hot chocolate comes with a pot of melted chocolate and a pot of warm milk, so you can make it to your taste. It’s amazing, and I don’t know how they get it to be so smooth (much smoother than I can make myself at home).

The menu does offer a few non-chocolate lunches, for light-weights I suppose, but there was no way I was going to eat something that wasn’t somehow chocolate-y.

The degustation plate was a great way to try a few things in one go, and all of them were at least good, and some were great. It also included my favourite Lindt product of all time, a little biscuit-type thing they call a delice. They’re a bit expensive, but to my mind totally worth it. You bite into it expecting a normal sandwich-style biscuit, and instead there’s no resistance at all. Your teeth just glide straight through, and you don’t just get a melt-in-your-mouth experience, it’s as if it was never solid to begin with. Some magic was holding this liquid joy in the shape of a biscuit but as soon as it goes in your mouth that magic disappears, leaving gooey amazingness behind. They come in all sorts of flavours, and the two best that I’ve tried are hazelnut, and caramel and salt.

The selection of take-away chocolates is amazing. They have Lindor (those round ones you can buy in the shops with the liquid centres) varieties that I’ve never seen available anywhere else, and little chocolates in a variety of flavours that have something for any taste. Plus they have the delices of course.

I’m a huge Lindt fan, so maybe I’m biased, but they don’t put a foot wrong foodwise to my mind.

J’s opinion: A little bit vanilla.

Words change on people. The word ‘sick’ for example. Did you know that vanilla, as an adjective (or that movie is a bit vanilla) did not always mean what it means. A little bit vanilla used to mean, in those wild days of the Victorians, a little bit naughty. “With a dash of vanilla” used to describe sex with a touch of S and M.

Lindt Cafe Chocolate Plate

Note the delice biscuits…

So when I say the food is a little bit vanilla, I mean that in the very old, very fun way. It has been a while since I tried the sample plate, but I still have memories of rich chocolate sauce and creamy ‘vanilla’ ice cream, a layered chocolate cake, with seven or eight different textures that produced a complex yet subtle effect. Like a chocolatey cloud, with hard bits—much too good for my impotent prose. The takeaways were better yet. A wide variety ganashes, macaroons and forty dollar cakes. Everything, just every thing, was spot on. It was truly eating with a dash of vanilla.

With

What I thought: Overall, J is a pleasant enough dining companion.
His conversation was free-flowing and jovial, and he seemed to actually enjoy spending time and evaluating each food place. He was also very good with having his picture taken and smiled very nicely at the little bird puppet that I used to attract his attention.

I did however find his unwillingness to gorge himself a little frustrating, since I could hardly eat until I was about to explode if he just ate a normal amount.

J’s Opinion: I have this reoccurring dream. It is pitch black. I can not move. And I hear a deep voice sounding incomprehensible words. I feel like I am standing before the devil. It scares me. I even know it is a dream but it still scares me. To get through it, I think of T. She is the answer to the devil, depression and boredom. She is magnificent and on the day we visited the Lindt café, she was no different.

Feeling

What I thought: I loved it.
Everything was so very fancy, which is exactly the atmosphere I want in a specialty chocolate café. The music was unobtrusive and calm, not the terrible poppy distracting music I hear in so many food places these days. And everything was decorated so stylishly, with clean and simple lines. It’s the kind of place that makes you stick your pinky finger out so far it kinda hurts after a little while.

There was also an almost ceremonial feeling as you bought chocolates to take home. They are mostly sold by weight, and so they are carefully weighed on some very fancy looking scales, and then carefully placed in a little box ready to go.

The staff were older than at Max Brenner, but they were very friendly I thought, and they clearly knew their stuff. I imagine someone might possibly find them a little snooty, but I didn’t. If anything it added to the fancy feel of the place. They were also a tiny bit slower than I would like, maybe because there were only two people serving in both the café section and the chocolate shop section combined. But with good company and so many delicious chocolates to look through and choose from, a tiny bit of an extra wait was no hardship.

J’s Opinion: Lindt Café is an exercise in austerity. This place takes itself way too seriously. First of all, it is pricy. Not that the quality isn’t there to justify it, but you are not getting a bargain. However, along with the seriousness, comes professionalism. The staff can all do their jobs. You get your stuff promptly and you get plenty of time to browse… Ah, this is all nonsense. Look it is fine place to eat. But like so many things, I could not fall in love with it.

There is a whole non-chocolate menu at Lindt. That pissed me off. It was like they were saying chocolate isn’t enough. Come on Lindt Café. Come on. I think the thing about chocolate is how it still makes you feel like a kid. With so many indulgences taken away from us as we grow up, chocolate is that last great playful joy. Eating chocolate, for me, is raiding your stocking early Christmas morning. It’s throwing Easter eggs against the wall to smash them up in the foil—why? Who knows? But boy I loved to eat the pile of chocolate chips when I opened up the foil. The Lindt Café however, doesn’t think of it like this. To the Lindt café, chocolate is serious business.

——
Well that’s the long and the short of it. I think the Lindt Café was the victor in this little comparison, but as always, it’s down to individual tastes.

(P.S. J wanted his own conclusion: T has big breasts. Big big breasts.)

Max Brenner Chocolate Bar: A Review

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There are two different things that I think a restaurant or café has to get right to have done its job: the cooking and the feeling. Those are, after all, the two reasons that you visit a restaurant or café (I’ll just say food place from now on, I think that’s easier), for the food, and for an enjoyable time. You don’t want to go to a sewerage plant for dinner, even if they brought in the chef from a hatted restaurant. Likewise, you don’t want to eat poo wrapped in thistle leaves, even if it is under the Eiffel Tower during a full moon with a string quartet serenading you.

So when J and I visited Max Brenner and the Lindt Café in Sydney recently, our opinions of them fell into these two categories.

I’ll start with Max Brenner first.

Cooking

What I thought: There were hits and misses.

The waffles we got were awesome, but not very chocolate-y. I also had waffles just as good for two thirds the price at a normal food place not too long before this, and they were much chocolate-y-er.

The soufflé was also amazing and definitely the star, but I was overcharged for it since I ended up paying for the ice cream when it should have come with it according to the menu (plus, $3 for a teeny scoop of ice cream?).

We also got a chocolate dome mousse thing, and it was not so great. For all its richness, it was much of a muchness to me. Also, there was no perceivable taste difference between the dark chocolate mousse and the crème brulée centre, which was weird.

I got a milk chocolate frappé which was powdery and once again, not very chocolate-y, and J got a cappuccino which I can’t comment on since I don’t really like coffee anyway. Also I didn’t try it. It looked alright though.

Finally, the actual chocolates that you could buy to take away. We got some plain milk chocolate and a slab with nuts. The plain milk chocolate was very delicious, like a slightly thicker furry friend. Funnily enough though, I think I’d probably prefer a furry friend all else being equal (the packaging was pretty cool so that could interfere a little if I were truly making that decision). The nutty one was even nicer though, and far more unique. It had crispy bits and smooth silky chocolate, and it was so hard to stop eating it. We didn’t buy any little truffles or things like that though (except for a little box for J’s Aunty) because honestly, I couldn’t find any that appealed to me. I wasn’t really feeling the dark chocolate at that point (it’s something I really need to be in the mood for) so that was 70% of the selection gone right there. It was also a fairly small selection to start with. The dome thing with the mousse centre that we had gotten earlier had put me off mousse centres, so that got rid of another few choices, and in the end I just gave up.

J’s Opinion: For a chocolate bar, there wasn’t as much chocolate on the menu as you’d expect. Then again, I once went to the Taxi Club in Sydney and there where very few taxis so I suppose a name isn’t everything. And don’t get me wrong, there was still a lot of chocolate. Moreover, once you got over the slightly less amount of chocolate than expectations dictated, the food was of a high standard. The waffles (or waffle as it were; T only let me order one to share; we ‘had to save room’ supposedly) were excellent. They were light and crisp served with fresh ripe strawberries and banana, and creamy ice-cream. Every thing had a depth that only comes from quality ingredients. The next thing we had was a round ball. It was made of mousse I believe. It was nice as well, rich however. In fact it had the overt dark-chocolate-richness that is trendy in modern dessert. But while it may be sophisticated, I am a man of simpler tastes, homey tastes, clear, sweet and nice. This brings me to The Soufflé (uppercase intended). First of all, it was not really a soufflé but it was a light cake that they had reheated in a microwave. Secondly, it was brilliant. It was spongy, almost rubbery around the outside and fudgy on the inside. With the ice-cream, it felt really warm like a hug. It melted in your mouth and gave you a gentle chocolate-hit.

With a very serviceable coffee, it was quite the experience. Overall, I thought the food was, if not something you must write home about, something you should definitely post on a blog.

Feeling

What I thought: I wasn’t a fan.

I’ll admit, some of the decorations were cool, like the swirling vats of what they claimed was chocolate.

But it was really the staff that got me. They were young and clearly meant to be giving the place some sort of hip, cool, down-to-earth sort of vibe. But what they actually gave the place was the sense that they didn’t want to be there. I doubt they would have been less happy if they were working in McDonalds. The woman at the shop section seemed just vaguely irritated by my presence and how long I spent looking and making up my mind so I hurried and didn’t buy nearly as much as I would have otherwise. I just felt like browsing, but I don’t think she felt like it.

J’s opinion: Max Brenner wants to share his love with you. And, if you go to one of his cafés, he will. His love is chocolate of course. I know this because it is written on the wall of the café we went to. When we entered the café, we were greeted with large vats of melted chocolate. Pipes were attached to these vats. These pipes made their way up to the ceiling over to the counter where they dropped down. T and I had a debate about whether they were practical or ornamental, but whatever the case may be, they were certainly whimsical. Slightly less whimsical: the colour. There are lots of browns in this café, as it seems, there are in every café today. Again like most cafés, there was a mild friendly buzz. The staff were more or less competent. And everything was adequate. The problem, from my point of view, is that there wasn’t enough whimsy. I wanted more big vats of chocolate. Hell, I wanted a lake of chocolate, inhabited my mystical chocolate mermaids who enticed me into the chocolate lake where I chocolated their chocolates while T watched, while eating chocolate. Really, it’s just another café. A nice one I’ll admit so I suppose, if you wanted a place to hang for after-work treats or a particularly gluttonous lunch, then this is the place. Otherwise, it lacks a sense of occasion for a tourist.

—–

So that’s Max Brenner: nice, but not a magical fairy-land. I hope you’re all enjoying J’s little visit, I’m told his inoffensive niceness is a refreshing change from my almost constant vulgarity. Tune in on Monday for the second half of this series on chocolate food places: The Lindt Café!