It's late August and I, like just about everyone else in Melbourne, have had a gut full of winter.
Especially while sitting in Brunetti's this afternoon wearing not enough clothes being blustered by chilly winds. This outdoor cafe in City Square is always popular with tourists and folk in from the 'burbs. They are famous for their cakes and their barista is flat out producing coffee at a high standard (husband informs me). I am here to try their Italian hot chocolate in a hope it warms me enough to sit outside and pretend that spring is almost here.
The hot chocolate: Italian hot chocolate at Brunetti's is a thick, darkly coloured, more bitter than sweet fluid that comes out of a mini vat into your cup. No need for the barista to tinker with it, the mixture arrives at the cafe already prepared with ingredients unconfirmed. I opted for a squirt of cream on top which dilutes the richness a little.
The price: $5, cream optional at no extra cost. Or, you can take it as a shot for $3.30 (in an espresso cup) if such richness might be overwhelming.
The setting: Queue for your beverage in icy winds, fight flying rats (pigeons) off your cakes, huddle under ineffective heaters, consume your hot chocolate far too quickly.
Family friendly aspects: Luckily our toddler was asleep so we could beat a hasty departure due to the above mentioned setting. In fairer conditions it is a family sort of place since it is casual, accustomed to howling toddlers, and there are bits of the square to explore.
Would I have another: Probably not. Others around town do as good or better hot chocolate in a more enjoyable setting, no pigeon defeating devices needed.