Get Your Chocolate Fix at Max Brenner Chocolate Bar!

For Silver week, my roommate Meghan and I ventured out to Osaka station to try out a new restaurant. Lucua Department store in Osaka station renovated and re-opened back at the beginning of April. Within Lucua 1100, a lot of new stores and restaurants opened up. One restaurant that opened up inside the newly renovated department store was Max Brenner Chocolate Bar. I have wanted to eat there since it had opened, but the lines were horrendously long for a very long time, but recently it has settled down and we decided to finally try it out!

 

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When you first walk up to the resturant, you can choose to either take out or eat inside the restaurant. The takeout menu isn’t as extensive as the eat in menu, but you can take out most anything except the chocolate fondue.

While we were standing in line, we looked at the menu and decided on the “Party Platter”, which included the famous European Fondue and Chocolate Chunks Pizza. We also each ordered the Italian Thick Hot Chocolate.

You walk up to the counter and order first and then sit down with your number at a seat of your choice. After that, the staff brings you your order.

 

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The inside of the restaurant was very chic, all in brown. The chandlers were a very nice touch! The window looked out into Osaka station and a great place to people watch.

 

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First item that came was the Italian Thick Hot Chocolate. I ordered it in Milk Chocolate while Meghan ordered it in White Chocolate.

 

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It lived up to it’s name, being very thick! The Milk Chocolate one in particular was rich, but the White Chocolate was a bit easier to drink I thought. You can also order it in Dark Chocolate as well, and next time I want to try that!

Then, the main meal arrived; The Party Platter! Max-Brenner-4

First was the Plate with the Chocolate Chunks Pizza, Banana Split Waffle, and Strawberry Hazelnut Crepe.

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Next, was the Chocolate Fondue. You can order it in Milk Chocolate, White Chocolate, or Dark Chocolate, but we opted for Milk Chocolate.

There even was a mini fire to roast the marshmallows before dipping it into the melted chocolate, making it taste just like s’mores, but without the graham crackers.

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The Marshmallow Pizza (Chocolate Chunk Pizza) was hard to cut because of the crust and was the richest out of the 3 of them. Most of the customers around us ordered the pizza in the half size, as it came with 2 slices. This and the Party Platter seemed to be the most popular items ordered from what I saw.

The Banana Split Waffle was delicious! My favorite part was the caramelized banana on the top of the waffle, which gave it an extra bit of sweetness. It also came with some ice-cream, that I believe to be toffee or caramel flavored.

I liked the Crepe the best out of the 3 desserts, as it wasn’t as rich as the others. I liked how the strawberries were inside the Crepe with the chocolate. The strawberries also helped balance out the richness of the chocolate and it made a great combination!

In the end, both Meghan and I were both full because the chocolate was so rich and we weren’t able to finish everything! Next time I go, I want to try the Mexican Hot Chocolate or one of the iced chocolate drinks that they have.

If you are a chocolate lover, I highly recommend Max Brenner Chocolate Bar. It has a good combination of different foods, all with chocolate of course! You also have the ability to choose what type of chocolate you want for most dishes, which is a nice touch. If you are in a hurry and do not want to wait in line, at least try one of the Chocolate Drinks to go. You won’t be disappointed!

They have 3 locations in Tokyo and 1 in Osaka. Click here for the Menu and for all the locations.

Working in a Japanese Company – The Beginnings

I started my first day of working in a Japanese company on December 1st,  2014 and just completed my first month of work. I had studied about working in Japanese companies during my MBA program in Kyoto, Japan and in University, but none of that could prepare me for the real deal…. especially the cultural differences that come with it. So today, I will be sharing with you some of my experiences from beginning to work at a Japanese company.

The first big difference I noticed on my first day of work is the office itself. The office is one room with no cubicles; just two rows of desks lined up next to each other, with one desk at the head of the room for the head manager. This is a very different experience than when I had my internship in America where all the desks were cleanly divided cubicles and you had to pop your head out to talk with someone else. Also, in America the head people had their own office and weren’t seen unless you went inside the office. In Japan, the manager is in the same room as you.

The next big difference is overtime. In a Japanese company, it’s normal to do overtime, and you might not even get paid for it. At my company though, we are properly paid for overtime, which I am grateful for. I knew all of this from studying and living here, but I didn’t think about the differences between overtime in America and Japan until my mom asked me my first week of work “Oh, was your manager okay with you working overtime? Did you get permission?” I had forgotten that in America, most of the time you have to ask permission to do overtime if your company pays you to do so. That’s because overtime is a huge cost to a company and in order to reduce costs, you don’t do overtime unless you absolutely have to. If your work requires so much overtime, then it would probably be more cost effective to hire someone else to help out with that job instead of paying the employee overtime, as overtime is more expensive than a regular salary.

The last big difference that I found so far is drinking parties. I think this was partly because it was the end of the year in Japan and there are many “Bounenkai” 忘年会, or “end of the year parties” at this time of year, but going out to drink and have dinner with your co-workers is normal and expected. If you don’t go, it cam be seen as not getting along with your co-workers in your company and anti-social. The President of my company came to the Osaka office, and every young person under 30 was required to attend the drinking party, even though it was announced suddenly and many of us already had plans. We were told in a typical Japanese fashion “it’s okay, you don’t have to go if you have really important plans, and we won’t force you to, but….”, subtly saying it’s not a good thing if you reject, unless it’s for a very good reason. This is a bit different than America, where your reputation at work mostly is determined on the work that you do, not the relationship you have with your co-workers. Of course, getting along with your co-workers in America is important, but it’s not as important as it seems to be in Japan.

There you are!  3 differences I noticed while working in my first month in Japan in a Japanese company. If you would like to hear more about this topic, please comment below and let me know! What about your country? Is this different than your own country’s working environment? Let me know about this in the comments below as well!

Go to Part 2

*This post was edited June 2019 to fix grammar and context