May 27, 2016
Will we ever tire of character-themed cafes? After all, we’ve just barely settled from the hype of Pompompurin and Hello Kitty, two mega Sanrio characters whose cafes opened to much success and fanfare. And queues, people waiting in line to spend money and take pictures of every corner of these themed cafes, where chairs, placemats, cups, and most importantly, the shape of the food resembles their favourite characters.
In case you’re wondering, as Singaporeans, it’s practically in our blood to live for the hype, so yes, when news of this Pokemon Cafe hit our shores, the first one ever in South East Asia after a successful stint in Shibuya, our social media feeds went crazy. It was like that at yesterday’s media launch too — all us “adults” felt like kids again, fawning over, of all things, Pikachu tails and Pokeball-shaped cream puffs. Needless to say, a five-hour queue sprouted on opening day this morning. Gotta catch ’em ALL — way too apt right here. Let’s jump straight into it, shall we?
Pokemon’s first-ever cafe in Singapore is created in collaboration with the people from Everything With Fries, which explains why they’ve taken over their premises at Level 4 of PARCO’s Bugis Junction. Essentially, this will be a pop-up event, meaning that you’ll have a very limited time to enjoy it — the official cafe’s open from now till 31 July, definitely the reason why people are getting more obsessed about paying it a visit.
Now, on to the food!
How can you resist these, really? You’d wanna order them right away because of how adorable they are, and take a gratuitous amount of pictures before sinking your teeth into Pikachu’s face (which feels a little morbid, come to think of it). Oh, and each dish comes with an original Pokeball mug that you can take home as a souvenir! Their names are a bit of a mouthful, and adorably baffling — for example, that first dish is called “Pikachu Smiling Rice Omelette with Magma Sauce”, which kinda tells us everything and nothing at all. Okay, fine, basically Pikachu’s face is made up of saffron rice, and its ears, egg omelettes, both served with Primal Groudon’s (from the Omega Ruby game) magma sauce. Then, there’s the “Special Move “Fire Blast”! Primal Groudon’s Bolognese, as well as the “Battle on Pikachu! Level-up with Rare Candy”. The last one looks the most photogenic really, and you get to pick up Rare Candy while sitting at your table, not a bad find (we won’t spoil you in case you’re wondering what it is). Elsewhere, there’s also a side of truffle fries. All the mains are $20 each, while the fries go at $12.
Next up, desserts.
You’ve got “Pikachu’s Sweet Pancake” ($20), “Pikachu’s “Thunder Shock” Parfait” ($15), and “Pokeball Cream Puff” ($20). There’s a consistent theme across all the food — Pikachu’s face, and of course there’s every reason to bank on the franchise’s most popular character. None of the dishes do this subtly, but we see that as a blessing really, because it makes the whole dining experience more immersive, yet also fantastical.
The attention to detail extends to even the drinks, include a Pikachu Latte ($8 hot, $9 iced), “Volt Tackle Soda” ($10) that’s a passionfruit soda with mango sherbet. And if you feel generous enough to spread the Pokemon goodness, you can order a Pokeball Cream Puff, going at $5.90 each, from the takeaway menu. Definitely for sweet tooths, since it’s made of a soft custard filling inside a cirspy puff. The cafe also has a merch corner which you might wanna raid — while some of the things can be bought at any Pokemon Centre in Japan, the joy is that you don’t have to travel or trouble your travelling friend for them. There are also Pokemon Cafe original goods, including files, tote bags, stickers, t-shirts and stickers with artwork that reference the cafe. The hottest item though, has got to be a plushie tail keychain, for the unabashed fans out there. Worth the hype? Critics may scoff at the hype and the gimmicks, but hey, if you’re a true Pokemon fan, like most 90s kids are, you’re willing to let that skepticism slide for… a lot. Pokemon Cafe, we’ll choose you, any day.
Pokemon Cafe @ EWF — a concept by PARCO
When: 27 May — 31 July 2016; 11am – 9.30am (last order)
Venue: Bugis Junction, 4th Floor
More information at facebook.com/pokemoncafeinsg or follow them on Instagram at @pokemoncafeinsg.