We took a tropical trip to the balmy shores of Nihonbashi, Tokyo to experience the local Poké-culture and taste the bright, beastly cuisine. Alola!

You probably remember the last SoraNews24 trip to Tokyo’s Pokémon Cafe, where our own Casey Baseel wolfed down almost-too-adorable-to-eat Pikachu burgers and chocolate-stuffed Mimikyu crepes.

With summer scorching its way through Japan, the Pokémon Cafe has updated its menu to match. The video game and anime’s most recent arc, Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, all take place in the fictional continent of Alola, which takes considerable inspiration from sunny Hawaii, and the setting has inspired a new Tropical Sweets lineup of menu items at the Pokémon Cafe!

Seeing how I would be passing through Tokyo to fly to America, I seized my floweriest dress and biggest sunglasses and headed straight to the computer, where I booked a reservation. The cafe is astoundingly popular, so even when booked the week before there were very few slots available.

In fact, the one I snagged at 8:05 p.m. took place so late that the main building of the housing department store, Takashimaya, was already all shut up. My dining partner and I had to navigate around the building to find the open elevator area that took us up to where the Pokémon MegaStore (also closed) and the cafe were located.

▼ Please let us in, we just want to eat some Pokémon!

Once we took the elevator to the fifth floor, we breathed a huge sigh of relief once we were greeted by the comforting monster murals.

▼ We were a little late to our appointment, but Snorlax didn’t judge us.

We waved at resident bodyguard Snorlax as we made our way inside, where a cheery attendant guided us to our table. Something exciting about making a reservation for the Pokémon Café is that you can order special, cafe-exclusive merchandise that will be waiting for you bagged up on your table for when you arrive.

▼ Guests receive a free random paper place mat from over 100 different designs

Who’s that Pokémon?

▼ It’s Ditto!

Energized by this tiny plush partner, I hastened to the Pokémon Cafe’s trusty tablets. These handy little computers hold the menu, so you can tap out your order and then whizz it to the Pikachu chefs through cyberspace. Gotta love that modern convenience!

▼ The tablets are decked out with succulent photographs from the Tropical Sweets menu

The menu itself features a cast of adorable edibles. The first two options are the “Eevee Plate”, which costs 1,580 yen (US$14) – the second one is pricier at 2,680 yen because it comes with an Eevee face plate to take home. Following suit is the Eevee Pancakes, also priced at 1,580 yen. Then we have the slightly cheaper Snorlax Loco Moco plate: 1,480 yen. A Ditto Fruit Bowl follows suit at 1,280 yen, and finally there’s a rainbow-tastic Alola Drink that will set you back 950 yen.

What to pick…?

Well, one thing was for certain: we were definitely ordering those pancakes.

▼ You can specify whether your sweet treats come before or after your entrée when you place your order

▼ Our final order was a Ditto Fruit Bowl, a stack of Eevee Pancakes, one Eevee Plate (sans bonus plate) and a Snorlax Loco Moco.

Don’t worry about all the Japanese on the menu, though – the tablet can be set to a variety of languages, including English!

While we waited for those hardworking Pikachu chefs to grill our gastronomic goodies, we took a tour around the cafe itself. The cafe is roomy and beautiful, with a tasteful pinewood aesthetic and multiple glass showcases that rotate designs. At the time we visited, the cases were stuffed full of the Pokémon Center’s recent Kanto plush line, and it goes without saying that the Tropical Sweets plastic toys got top billing too. The wall displays even featured some of the gorgeous art from the current movie.

After a brisk walk around the premises, we came back to the first of our delicious meals. The Snorlax Loco Moco features a generous helping of hamburger meat, shaped into the cute chubby kitty shape we all know and love as Snorlax’s head. His face itself is crafted from a slice of cheese, set on a thin layer of omelette that keeps his face from sliding off. He’s accompanied by two star-cut pieces of fried potato, a yummy salad with avocado and tuna steak pieces, and a jammy sunny-side up egg resting atop a mountain of fluffy rice. All of that, and it also has a cup of minestrone soup on the side!

One problem: I’m actually allergic to cheese. So I had to perform a dramatic facial removal surgery on poor old Snorlax, which actually made him easier to eat anyway.

▼ Has science gone too far…?

Much like the usual offerings at the cafe, this plate is perfectly co-ordinated to appeal to the broadest range of tastes – kids and adults alike love meat, eggs and rice, and the salad is tasty and unobtrusive enough that it should be easy to coax even the most stubborn of children to finish it off.

The minestrone is flavorful, tomato-rich and dense with chunky vegetables, while the hamburger patty is satisfyingly thick and meaty; the tater tots are great fun to mix in with the egg yolk and rice, too! (The reviewer is 28 years old as of this article’s publication.)

Moving on, here is the Eevee Plate. This limited item stars a ball of perfectly shaped, toasty jambalaya-spiced rice that replicates Eevee’s cute face. Her dewy eyes are picked out in cheese, much like Snorlax’s face, and nori seaweed is cut into shapes to form the rest of her face. Each of her ears is a pointed tortilla chip, dusted in cocoa powder.

Eevee is surrounded by a veritable treasure trove of summery foods: a noodle salad (again featuring a creamy bounty of avocado), a small omelette with demi-glace sauce, chicken in tomato sauce, and two tater tots, just like those in the Snorlax plate. The food is served slightly warmed, so as not to overwhelm any overheated summertime guests.

Take caution, though – that rice ball is legitimately hot! You’ll want to call the server often for ample refills of water.

▼ The menu even warns that “The jambalaya is spicy”.

▼ Maybe a nice coverlet of cheese will help cool it down some. Snorvee, go!

Both main courses were utterly scrumptious, and because of the hearty ingredients we were left very full. However, there’s a special Japanese word, betsubara, which means “separate stomach”: usually it’s used to explain that while you’re all full of sensible adult foods, you have a special secret portion reserved solely for dessert. Betsubara, activate!

First up is another Eevee: the Eevee Pancakes. Three layers of pancakes are sandwiched with bountiful peaks of whipped cream, studded with one layer of strawberries and one layer of blueberries. Pineapple and mango chunks sit to the side with their own snowy cap of whipped cream, and there are three colorful stripes of tart fruit compote to dip into with your pancake slices.

Of course, Eevee couldn’t stay looking pristine and perfect forever. It was surprisingly satisfying to cut into all those layers of cream and cake!

So that just left one contender: the Ditto Fruit Bowl.

▼ Ditto used TRANSFORM! It turned into a tasty dessert!

True to its name, the bowl is stuffed full of fruit; juicy, plump blueberries nestle next to hefty chunks of mango, glistening slices of kiwi and expertly diced strawberries. The fruit rests on a plateau of cereals and granola, dusted through with dried berries and raisins.

The whole affair is surrounded by a gelatinous pink blob…

The “Ditto” portion of the bowl is a creamy acai yoghurt, anchored in chewy squares of nata de coco: a popular Asian dessert made of fermented coconut water.

The dessert also comes with a fried Hawaiian-style donut called a malasada, popular in the Pokémon world. It has a subtle sugar glaze on the outside, and the inside is fluffy perfection.

In fact, it’s the perfect tool to scoop up some of that Ditto…

Absolutely delicious! The only problem is that I think I scarred my new Poképal for life.

If you’re in the greater Tokyo area to catch a glimpse of the Eevee and Pikachu Outbreak, why not stop off in Nihonbashi to refuel? Don’t forget to make reservations ahead of time, and get them in well before September 2 – you don’t want to be the Slowpoke who misses the last plate of the limited menu!

Restaurant information
Pokémon Cafe / ポケモンカフェ
Address: Tokyo-to, Chuo-ku, Nihonbashi 2-11-2, Nihonbashi Takashimaya S.C. East Building 5th floor
東京都中央区日本橋二丁目11番2号 日本橋髙島屋S.C.東館 5階
Open 10:30 a.m.-10 p.m.

Photos ©SoraNews24