Leave it to Americans to come up with a coma-inducing sugar-saturated dessert that is ridiculously tasty all the same. Cronut overflowing with flavored ganache? Check. Deep-fried ice-cream smothered in chocolate and caramel sauce with cookie sprinkled on top? Not a problem. But when I heard of a chocolate and marshmallow pizza, I knew I had to check it out. It would be rude not to, don’t you think? So, a few weeks ago my Japanese friend Chika and I visited Max Brenner Chocolate Bar on buzzy Omotesando.
Max Brenner made its name in New York before landing in Tokyo in 2013. Even though the café opened a few years ago, it’s still very popular as attested by the long lines outside. The place is known for its unique chocolate concepts and playful presentation. Headquartered in New York City, Max Brenner operates four chocolate bar restaurants in Boston, Las Vegas, Philadelphia and New York City, as well as more than 40 Chocolate Bars internationally.
The moment you step inside the vibrant cafe, chocolate aroma hits your nostrils. Décor is modern and hipsterish, with murals, funky fixtures and colorful dishware. The menu features plenty of imaginative items (like chocolate ganache-filled syringes, hot chocolate in a Hug Mug), although THE pizza seems to be everyone’s top choice.
Chika and I settled for a combo set, which seemed to include three of the best choices: hot chocolate, a slice of pizza and, my personal favorite, mini chocolate fondue set! It included a melted dark chocolate served in its own fondue tower, gently heated by a candle, which brought memories of being back in Pennsylvania camping in the woods with family. For dipping, there are strawberries, banana pieces, and marshmallows. The chocolate was rich and flavorful which kept you coming for seconds.
I was honestly not too keen on the hot chocolate. It tasted a bit watery and bland to me. I initially asked to substitute it for cappuccino which comes in this adorable “hug me cup”, but they refused even though it cost cheaper. You see, Japanese service is meticulous as long as you don’t ask them to customize. Then they are totally lost. They just can’t do it.
What about the pizza? I will be honest, chocolate and marshmallow were good, the dough was good, but it just didn’t go together for me. I wish they had it on a cookie instead of a pizza dough.
The endorphins stimulated from the amount of chocolate intake definitely made us happy. If you are a chocaholic and feel like indulging in your guilty pleasures, then Max Brenner Chocolate Bar will certainly be up your alley.
Address: Omotesando Hills Shopping Plaza, 〒150-0001 Tokyo, Shibuya and Hiroo Plaza, 5-6-6 Hiroo, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Open: Mon–Fri, 9 a.m.–8:30 p.m.; Sat, Sun and hols, 8:30 a.m.–8:30 p.m.
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