If you’re a Perth-based chocolate lover who spends way too much money at Koko Black and San Churro, it’s time to warm up the credit card as there’s a new player in town.

I was honoured to be invited to the launch of the new Max Brenner chocolate bar in Joondalup this Thursday and was able to sample some of their dishes before the crowds poured through the doors.

Australia’s original chocolate café, Max Brenner was first launched 15 years ago along the Eastern seaboard and Joondalup is the 41st store. Their philosophy is for chocoholics to “immerse themselves in a chocolate sensation and savour the experience”.

They sell chocolate in just about any form you can imagine – you can see the whole dessert menu in graphic detail here.

The first WA bar is in Lakeside Joondalup shopping centre, right next to the train station, and we were told that they’re already looking for the second location. Fingers crossed if you’re south of the river. The store is surprisingly big inside, and there’s plenty of seating outside, too.

We were accompanied on our rather decadent “breakfast” by Max Brenner’s Australian general manager, Yael Kaminski, who has been with the company for ten years and demonstrates an incredible passion for not only the product, but the team that supports it.

Yes, that is a large syringe full of melted chocolate. Problem?

Here’s the Max Brenner “Hug Mug”, with my delicious white-chocolate-mocha in it.

The Hug Mug is shaped like a cocoa bean and designed for “hugging in both hands, creating the ultimate drinking experience of cosiness, warmth & fragrance”. It’s certainly adds to the experience.

…and this is how they serve a cappuccino – with a hunk of chocolate in it. I noticed that their cups actually have a special ridge for the chocolate to sit in – you can see it on the right side of the cup – now that’s attention to detail.

Fondue to start – dark and milk, served with marshmallows, fruit and banana bread.

Tutti frutti waffles, served with ice cream, strawberries and bananas. And chocolate, of course.

Anyone for brownie? This one – modelled by Miss L from Perth Food Engineers – was amazingly light.

Easter goodies!

Waffle balls. Of course.

Counter treats.

If there isn’t enough chocolate, add more!

While you were slaving away at work I was watching Alyesha from PerthNow suck chocolate from a plastic syringe. It’s a hard life.

The doors opened at 9:30am and the public charged in – and kept on coming. Half an hour later, the queue was still out the door. I’d be expecting to wait for a while if you’re planning to visit in the early days.

It’s obvious that Max Brenner is passionate about chocolate, and they’ve turned it into different experiences through a variety of mediums, much like has happened with coffee.

It’s a family business at its core and that shines through in the attitude of the staff, many of whom had come from the Eastern States to be part of this launch. Based on what we saw today it’s easy to see why – the product is of high quality, but delivered in a casual fashion that doesn’t alienate. Bring the kids and cover them in chocolate war paint, it’s all part of the fun.

There is no question, you have to pay Max Brenner a visit. Take the kids with you, and expect to come out feeling full, but happy.