Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The Alice Cafe: Tokyo Trip Part 3

After our time shopping for electronics in Akihabara, we took the subway to the neighborhood of Ginza. Ginza is known for its upscale shopping, and I recognized many of the store names. We passed Tiffany's and Giorgio Armani, and Matt dropped me off at a four-story H&M while he perused specialty ties that sold for hundreds of dollars at a boutique down the street. While we did not make many purchases, we were killing time until our reservation (that the concierge at the New Sanno helped us make) at an Alice in Wonderland cafe.

Shopping bags (from elsewhere) in hand! 

The host and his hat!
Tokyo is known for its themed cafes, and we had lunched at a maid cafe previously. I was excited to see how in depth this restaurant would go into the story of Alice in Wonderland, and I was not disappointed. There are actually seven different Alice cafes with varying themes, but we selected Alice in a Labyrinth. When we stepped off the elevator on the correct floor we found ourselves in a tiny vestibule. We were asked to wait while the host dressed as a classy Mad Hatter used his earpiece to call for a waitress (dressed as Alice in a blue and white dress- of course!). She appeared from a hidden door in one of the walls to lead us through the labyrinth. The walls were made of enlarged pages from the novel, and our waitress helped us to navigate by showing which way to turn for the restroom as she led us out of the labyrinth and to our table. We discovered later that there were private dining rooms with secret doors located inside the labyrinth, but we were content in the main dining room.

The ceiling was sloped with playing cards and the walls were covered with mirrors so that the whole room seemed to repeat itself. Our waitress helped explain the multiple menus and brought us a bell to ring when we were ready to order. The pricing system was unexpected since I had never eaten at a fine establishment in Tokyo. There was a cover charge of six hundred yen (around six dollars), we were required to order at least one item of food and one drink each (no ordering just water here!), and we had a time limit for our table (two hours I think). Our waitress was very helpful in explaining the process, and I did not mind the cover charge since we were not expected to leave a tip.

I felt completely immersed in the Alice in Wonderland theme as everything brought to our table was intricately and ornately decorated. I might have to try another Alice cafe when we return to Tokyo; I love the themed cafes!

The labyrinth walls.
A teacup booth reserved for large parties.
The pop-up drink menu with the mad hatter's top hat.

Our drink with the hands of the orange clock at the current time- 6:18!
Complimentary bread and jam.

Cheshire cat pasta.
My chocolate cake dessert with a puff pastry Alice silhouette. 

Matt's cheshire cat parfait with a smiling cat face out of fruit.

Inside the labyrinth! 

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