You’re Late for Tea!
It seems that Valentine’s Day is a bit upside down here in Japan.
Rather than being all about the girls (let’s be honest), here, all the chocolate and hearts go to the fellows. If you happened to have walked around Shibuya on Sunday you might have spotted some lone hearted guys holding signs saying “Free Hugs” and “Chocolate please.”
Being in single town myself, I turned V Day into Galentine’s Day and went to the Alice in Wonderland theme restaurant for a girl’s day out. Girl Parties or 女子会/joshikai in Japanese is a pretty popular social gathering activity for gal pals here in Japan with hotels and venue restaurants offering lunch, dinner or dessert courses for some Sex and the City female bonding. But don’t worry boys! You have your own 男子会/danshikai version as well here ;)
Technically this restaurant chain is called Alice’s Fantasy Restaurant and each location has its own “version” on the Alice in Wonderland theme eg. Alice in a Labyrinth, Alice in a Fantasy Book and so on. The one in Shibuya is called Alice in a Dancing Land – 舞踏の国のアリス – and has a cute as hell carousel right in the middle of the restaurant where you can sit surrounded by lights and porcelin ornaments with a giant chandelier dangling from the center.
Pretty right?! Everywhere you looked each ceiling panel or even the fabric used for the chairs reminds you of a character or page from Alice in Wonderland. Even the floor staff waitresses wore Alice’s signature blue dress with at least one girl wearing bunny ears for the March Hare and the waiter at the front wore a outfit similar to the Mad Hatter. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to take any photos of the staff but if you visit their Facebook page, you can see some photos of their staff :D
But I digress, to the food!
To mark the special day the restaurant offered a special event course at ¥2500 (roughly $25) per person which includes 2x entrees, 2x mains and dessert. Considering it was also an all-you-can-drink with unlimited juice, coffee and tea it was a great price!
Look at all these tea types! I I tried to make it my personal mission to drink each and every one of these tea flavours but could only drink three: maple, chocolate and grape kyoho black tea. Although at a lot of places these types of layouts usually mean lacklustre and bad quality teas, all the ones I tasted were really delicious and tasted exactly as they said. I especially liked the maple flavoured tea! Mmm
The first course was a small amuse-bouche which was I believe some kind of cream cheese spread with “rose” shaped smoked ham and toast.
The waitress explained that the dish represented the scene where Alice finds the “eat me” cookies.
The next dish was a salad with a cute avocado face for the Caterpillar in his “garden” which was a Caesar Salad.
On to mains, the first was a pasta dish with a simple tomato style sauce with cute mozzarella cheese cut into a spade, club, diamond and heart. The second was a consommé/nabe style soup filled with veggies, chicken and sausage with some tasty bread and mustard for the sausage. I love the clock plate for the soup! It’s unfortunate that this resturant doesn’t have a gift shop on site to buy souvenirs as I’m sure there will be many people who would love to buy some of the items here.
Finally the last dish were these cute blueberry mousse tarts desserts shaped as bunnies! The taste was quite interesting as it was sweet but also a bit tart, I liked it a lot!
One of the girls has food allergies and we were unsure if she could eat the planned dessert so she ordered the Cheshire Cat Parfait off the menu which was equally adorable!
The main menu at this Alice in Wonderland is actually different to the food we ate off the planned course meal but the food quality was quite nice and somewhat affordable. I believe there is an entry fee of ¥500 or so which was included in our course price. If you do decide to come I recommend coming a bit earlier for lunch as the place can be quite busy but if you come after the rush hour after 2pm, you’ll find it’s a bit more quieter and you might get a better seat.
I definitely recommend coming here if you want to have a unique experience with your friends for afternoon tea. :)
Where: Zero gate B1, 16-9, Udagawacho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, 150-0042
Opening Hours: Mon – Sun: Lunch 11:00am – 2:00pm (last order 3:30pm) | Dinner 4:00pm – 11:30pm (last order 11:00pm)
Until Next Time!