Enjoy “only what’s really good” at Chocolate Laboratory in Osaka



Enjoy “only what’s really good” as selected by a “sweets reporter” at Chocolate Laboratory in Osaka


Chihiro is a sweets reporter. As such, he has covered a lot of ground chiefly in the Kansai and Kanto regions trying lots of different desserts. Putting that experience to work, he decided to open a cafe selling nothing but things he found to be really, truly delicious. Given his dedication to taste and quality, it’s not surprising that his cafe Chocolate Laboratory in the Nishiohashi area of Osaka has been getting rave reviews. 

Take off your shoes and stay awhile 

Inside of the Chocolate Laboratory in Osaka

The cafe is located just a five minute walk from Nishiohashi Station on the Nagahori Tsurumi-ryokuchi Line. It’s located on the second floor of a small building,  the first floor of which is home to a restaurant specializing in dishes made with pork. 

The cafe space features a raised wooden platform. Guests are invited to relax on the cushions on top of that platform after kicking off their shoes. On sunny days, the space is illuminated with warm sunshine that comes streaming in from the large window. 

The cafe also has an open kitchen from which Chihiro can look out over the whole cafe. He says that it makes him happy to see customers enjoying the sweets he makes. There are counter seats right in front of this open kitchen for people who come to the cafe on their own. This way they can chat a bit with Chihiro as he fixes them their food. 

The “sweets reporter” who opened a cafe

Chihiro, the owner of Chocolate Laboratory in Osaka

Chihiro has loved sweets since his childhood. He also had a desire to promote local restaurants and cafes to a broader audience, so he started posting about the various sweets he’d tried on his blog and other social media. Encouraged by the favorable responses he was getting from his readers, he wanted to cover even more shops and establishments. Billing himself as a “sweets reporter,” he spent six years covering everything from first-class famous restaurants to tiny neighborhood cafes. In that time, he visits a total of 1,000 different establishments and tried more than 5,000 different kinds of sweets. 

His efforts paid off. He gained popularity thanks to his originality in selecting shops and sweets to report on as well as his candid appraisal of both. Now he also introduces a variety of sweets on TV as well as in magazines.
The Chocolat Potage made with 70% cacao chocolate from France
Chocolate pottage made with rich 70% cacao chocolate from France (500 yen).

Then at last in December of 2015, Chihiro decided to open a cafe of his own in order to share with the locals things he found truly delicious. Naturally, everything on the menu has gone through vigorous scrutiny, and it’s this promise of deliciousness that keeps people coming back day after day. 

The must-try item: fluffy pancakes with foamed milk

Souffle pancakes from Chocolate Laboratory in Osaka
These pancakes take twenty minutes to make after you order them, but it’s well worth the wait.

The cafe’s signature item is the souffle pancakes. The list of ingredients that go into these mouthwatering masterpieces is surprisingly simple: just flour, milk, and eggs. But what puts these pancakes into a league of their own is the eggs. During the testing phase of this recipe, Chihiro tried thirty-five varieties of eggs. The winning eggs came from a farm in the city of Tamba in Hyogo Prefecture where the chickens are fed a special mixture of feed prepared right there on the farm. 
Bright, healthy egg yolks waiting to be made into pancakes
The yolks of these eggs are so robust that they stay perfectly intact even after being separated from the whites by hand.

It’s said that these vibrant egg yolks are what gives the pancakes here their rich flavor. But don’t worry, the egg whites-- which are perfectly translucent and without a hint of bitterness-- are kept on hand for made-to-order meringue. You can watch Chihiro whip up the whites into fluffy peaks right before he pops them into the oven. Making them to order like this means he can serve them at their fluffiest. 
Rich Milk Souffle Pancakes at Chocolate Laboratory in Osaka
The Rich Milk Souffle Pancakes made with foamed Hokkaido milk (1,500 yen). 

On top of his pancakes, Chihiro dishes out mountains of fresh foamed milk using milk from Hokkaido. You are hardly going to be able to wait for them to get to your table once you see how much foamed milk he puts on them. This is absolutely a must-have item on the menu. 

The popular chocolate menu

Terrine Chocolat Tabekurabe Plate
Here we have Peruvian chocolate with a refined, nut-like sweetness paired with Madagascar chocolate that has a prominent berry-like acidity.

With a name like “Chocolate Laboratory,” it’s not surprising that a lot of effort went into preparing the chocolate menu. One option that comes highly recommended is the Terrine Chocolat Tabekurabe Plate (600 yen). With this option, you can compare the tastes (tabekurabe) of two types of chocolates, the flavors of which change completely based on their places of origin and processing.

The origin of the chocolates served changes depending on the season, but rest assured that the two types chosen will have markedly different flavors from the other. Also, you can take some with you to go if you find that you’ve fallen in love with them. 

Chihiro the sweets reporter is still hard at work every day, testing out different sweets. Given his expertise on the subject, it’s safe to say that we can eagerly anticipate his next creation! 


Chocolate Laboratory | チョコレート研究所
Address: 2F, 1-9-14 Shinmachi, Nishi-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka 
Hours: 12:00pm~8:00pm (or when all food is sold out) 
Website (Japanese only):

This article is based on information that was obtained November 1, 2016. Please be advised that changes to the store’s menu, hours, and et cetera may have occurred.

The original Japanese version of this article was published on co-Trip.

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