Oh Tokyo, home of the most innovative fashion trends and tourist attractions...if I knew you would also welcome me with open arms to your delicious food, I would have traveled sooner! During lunch time, a friend of mine reserved a spot for us at the Kawaii Monster Cafe on a Monday afternoon, and although it was a work/school day for most people, I was surprised to see a long line of people waiting for a table outside. My friend mentioned that the restaurant recently opened at the beginning of the year, and it has been a growing hot spot for tourists around the world. Prior to visiting Tokyo, I already saw pictures of Kawaii Monster Cafe. From their gumball bathroom sinks to their carousel in the middle of the restaurant, I was looking forward to dining there. As my friend briefly spoke with the restaurant greeter at the front desk, we were able to quickly enter ahead of the people waiting. I didn't know what to expect entering inside, but I instantly felt like I was in a club/amusement park/high class restaurant. The music was blasting and poppin' with their Japanese techno-electric music, and when my friend and I were seated at our reserved table, our chairs resembled the spinning teacups you would see at Disney World. Because every corner of this cafe was filled with bright color, food decor, animal decor, and flashing lights, I could easily tell that Kawaii Monster Cafe would be great for tourists, families, and fans of Harajuku style.
The waitress that greeted us was dressed in a maid uniform and handed us an electronic food menu to look over. When you peered through the food items, all the food dishes are beautifully aesthetic with their bright colors and decorated in a way that resembled animals, flowers, and art. I struggled with choosing a meal since I personally wanted to try everything, but I ended up getting the french fries with monster dip (650 yen), colorful rainbow pasta (1300 yen), and melty pancake (1500 yen).
After we took our orders, we were able to snap tons of photos at the cafe! Each area of the cafe was designed differently: our area was the melting ice cream section, the bar was shaped like an octopus, the main area had cows and milk bottles hanging from the ceiling, the side dining area had vines around the ceiling, and there was a VIP pink kitty room. When you look inside the bathroom, the place was designed as if it was a candy ball machine with the bright tiles and colored stalls! Needless to say, all the photos I saw of this restaurant did not do justice in comparison of seeing it in person. It made me feel really lucky to have experienced this cafe with my friend while I was visiting the city.
Suddenly, the waitresses and waiters at the cafe encouraged us to watch the entertainment around the carousel! The cafe music switched to a different song as the lights started to dim lower. Everyone started to clap their hands as we watched harajuku dancers pop out of the curtain and dance around the cafe. The harajuku girls dressed in tutus, bright colored tops, sparkly accessories, and really interacted with the dining guests. There was a couple celebrating their one year anniversary that ended up dancing on stage with them, which was very cute, or kawaii they would say! Soon after, our food had arrived at our table, and we returned to our seats.
As a Texan, I did feel as though the proportion size of the dishes were a tad bit small, but most food proportions outside of Texas are small to me anyway since most restaurants in Texas hand out three serving sizes of food for each plate. Each dish looked exactly like it was pictured on the menu, and I could tell the cook really values food decor/arrangement as much as he/she values food quality. Despite the crazy colors, the food tasted fresh. For the french fries, they tasted crispy and freshly battered with colored sauces that included flavors of ketchup, mustard, wasabi, cheese, and sour cream and onion. It was pretty fun tasting all the different sauces, and even combining the flavors together. The rainbow pasta was also a great dish to try! Unlike how most pasta dishes are tossed together with the pasta sauce, the rainbow pasta and ham were in the middle of the plate as the pasta sauces were placed along the edges. The pasta sauces were similar to the french fries dish with the sauces coming in different colors and flavors- there's pesto, cheese, butter, tomato/chili, and a blue sauce that tasted like ginger, but don't quote me on that. Although some of the sauces on both dishes were flavors I never thought of trying, they each complimented the food dish. For desert, the melty pancake was a super girly dish with three pancakes stacked with pink whipped frosting and heart shaped strawberries. They have a scoop of strawberry sauce covered strawberry ice cream and a cone on top of the pancake- definitely not for someone who is allergic to strawberry! The desert dish was surprisingly not too sugary, it had just enough sweetness to finish off the meal courses. I was pleasantly surprised with the freshness and natural ingredients used in the meals since most American dishes and deserts that have any amount of color would consist of artificial flavoring.
All in all, Kawaii Monster Cafe is worth the hype, from it's one-of-a-kind restaurant design, entertainment, customer service, and food quality. What I really admire about the cafe is that it values the dining experience as a whole, which is no question why so many tourists are intrigued by dining there. With 1 USD= 100 Y, it's definitely an eating spot that's affordable for American tourists in Tokyo. Most Japanese cafes open for a limited amount of time, so definitely check it out (see kawaiimonster.jp for more)! XOXO- Ressa