Travel Report: The Vampire Cafe, Tokyo.
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February 2019. Tokyo is packed full of fascinating themed cafes, bars and restaurants that will literally blow your mind! For my first night in the city I wanted to do something really special to kick off my thirteen-day stay. My travel buddy Wonderboy wasn’t arriving until the next day and has always been a bit queasy when it comes to anything horror-related. The perfect opportunity then to grab some dinner at The Vampire Café, hailed as Japan’s spookiest eatery. Located on the 7th floor of the ordinary-looking La Paix Building in Tokyo’s Ginza neighborhood, I exited the elevator into reception where I was met by two vampiric hosts. Ok… this was going to be interesting!
February 2019. Ms. Vampire led me through the café to my table, discreetly cocooned from the main chamber by a thick, red velvet curtain. Everything was dark and bathed in a deep, blood-red glow, with suitably deathly background music carrying us as we went. It’s worth pointing out that this isn’t really a café at all, but rather a restaurant that opens exclusively for dinner between 17:00-23:00. With hopes of capturing as much footage as possible without disturbing other guests, I’d planned my reservation for opening time and as such succeeded in being the first person through the door.
February 2019. I certainly wasn’t rushed into placing my order. After a solid leaf through the coffin-shaped menu I rang the bell and ordered the four-cheese pizza and a blue curacao cocktail, complete with bloodstained strawberry syrup. Nodding solemnly and disappearing out of sight with a swish of his cape, Mr. Vampire left me all alone and I was able to exit my cocoon and dash about the restaurant admiring its many ghoulish embellishments. A huge amount of dedication has obviously gone into making the atmosphere just right and on that front The Vampire Cafe scores 10/10.
February 2019. When the food and drink came I was impressed, everything was really tasty and beautifully presented. Embarrassingly, the complimentary bite-sized dish wasn’t a dessert at all, I’d been totally mistaken! Instead, the brownie turned out to be a wedge of German style sour bread, the cookie was a savory cracker and the ice cream actually a dollop of creamy mashed potato. It was all great, but a little light portion wise, so I went for broke and somewhat bravely ordered the mushroom spaghetti with black squid ink! Once again it was gorgeously presented and the squid ink was better than you’d think!
February 2019. When I rang the bell for the bill the damage came to 4,363 Yen (£31/€35/$40), tax and service charge included. Things had just started getting busy by the time I made my way out and Mr. & Ms. Vampire were really starting to ham up the performance side of things for a group positively cackling with glee at their blood-curdling antics. On my way out I dipped into the loo where I came face to face with a terrifying monster girl on the door, along with the twisted faces of what Disney villain Ursula would describe as “those poor unfortunate souls” snaking above the sink and around the mirror. “Domoooooo Arigatoooooooooo” purred my hosts as the elevator doors closed and swallowed me up. I’d survived my first Tokyo themed café and if the others turned out to be half as good as this, I was gonna be in for a hell of a ride!
Note: The Vampire Cafe is pretty much reservation only and it would be wise to have someone from your hotel handle the booking in Japanese by calling 03-3289-5360.
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