Simon and I have recently been on a trip to Australia to visit my grandparents who live on the Gold Coast. We were so disappointed at the lack of good cafes and restaurants; nothing really popped out at us. The place is definitely more about getting tourists when they aren't lounging on the beach to spend their money at the theme parks or on souvenirs - everywhere you go photos are taken of you which cost $20 a pop to purchase!
However, we still had a great time and we discovered Max Brenner which is an Israeli Chocolate Shop chain. The fist branch we saw was in the Robina Town Shopping Centre but we had just eaten! So, we vowed to come back one night for dessert; how could we not after seeing two massive vats of melted chocolate with pipes running straight to the counter? We found another Max Brenner in Southbank while we were up in Brisbane but when it is midday and super sunny a hot chocolate isn't what you're after. We went back later at night and the place was packed - queues out the door. We would try our luck back on the Gold Coast.
We ended up going back to the Robina branch one night, it was super busy but we were kinda expecting that after seeing the line at the Southbank store so we sucked it up and waited. This was horrible because it meant more delicious treats kept catching my eye - I swear I changed my mind about my order at least a dozen times. I ended up getting one of their fudge brownies which comes heated and drizzled in melted chocolate and one of their hot chocolates that comes in a hug mug – it is designed for a chocolate drinking ceremony and so called is the perfect shape to cup and warm your hands with. Simon ordered some kind of strawberry shake which came in a cute 'Alice Cup' and some pancakes.
If I could visit this place again I think next on my 'to try' list would be the Chocolate Fondue or one of the Chocolate Molten Cake Pots. Max Brenner has stores in all the major Australian cities as well as in America, the Philippines, Singapore and Israel. Check out their website for locations and to take a look at their tempting menu.
As well as being a cafe, you can buy chocolate products here - truffles, gift boxes, the specialty mugs they use in store and so on. Simon bought me some of their powdered hot chocolate mix to make me hot chocolates at home :)