Look away if you’re on a diet because Melbourne has received its first gorgeous, drool-worthy chocolate brownie café – and it’s the perfect place for a date.
Owner Julie Cooke began selling baked goods at local farmers markets near her Oakleigh home, before opening The Brownie Bar at Prahran Market in 2012. The business then relocated to McKinnon in early 2013 and featured at the ‘Cake, Bake and Sweets Show’, St Kilda Festival, and even the Royal Melbourne Show. Despite now having expanded to Melbourne’s CBD, Julie continues to be a mainstay at this delightful chocolate haven, fronting up seven days a week to serve marvellously outrageous, homemade treats to all who are wandering through; from suave business types to children and the young-at-heart alike.
The Brownie Bar features over 20 different flavours of brownies on a rotating basis, as well as a range of brownie desserts, flavoured chocolate brownie shakes, gelato and brownie sundaes. Delectable salted caramel, snowy Miss Classy, smartie-covered Rainbow Drops, peppery chilli and the simply divine raspberry swirl are just a few of the irresistible staples available. Alternating daily specials include flavours like peanut butter, choc hazelnut, cookies & cream, as well as the familiar bliss of caramel mixed with nougat in the splendidly chewy Marzz. Depending on how your day is going, you might even need a little wake-up buzz with the subtle hint of coffee in a mocha brownie.
We couldn’t say no to brownies at the AU, so we took a hit for the team and put our tastebuds to the test with a takeaway selection chosen by Julie herself. We traded notes, experienced a chocolate-induced coma or two over several hours and finally decided on a verdict. Intensely gooey and fantastically fudgy, these are brownies that will satisfy your chocolate craving yet somehow leave you wishing you had room for more. Be sure to follow with a lavish milkshake or a smooth, velvety scoop of ice cream in a waffle cone for an explosive, out-of-this-world euphoria.
The Brownie Bar is located in the historic Hub Arcade of the main Royal Arcade, just off Little Collins Street. Visitors may eat-in at several kitsch tables or take away an individual selection of gift-boxed brownies – that is, if you can stop yourself from gobbling them all up on the street before you get anywhere near where you’re supposed to be.
The Brownie Bar
Address: The Hub Arcade, 1A/318 Little Collins Street, Melbourne, VIC
Contact: 0400 169 319
Hours: 10am-6pm, 7 days a week
Photos by Serena Ho for the AU Review