We dine on Gastly Burgers and Pikachu Donuts, plus create our own zombie Pikachu.

The nights are getting longer and colder, and in just a few days Halloween will be upon us. Decorations are going up all over Japan, and one place that’s really gotten into the spirit is Tokyo’s permanent Pokémon Cafe.

Stepping off the elevator, we immediately noticed that the welcoming statue of Pikachu is sporting a magician’s Halloween costume, and that Snorlax’s feet are now adorned with fall colors and a seasonal illustration showing various Pocket Monsters as scrumptious sweets.

We weren’t here to look at imaginary desserts, though, but to eat real food, so we headed into the cafe to check out the new autumn menu lineup.

This was actually our third visit to the Pokémon Cafe, following our tasting of the original menu and sampling of the summertime additions. The restaurant’s interior decorations have been rotated to reflect the time of year, and also to give a little more love to rising star of the Pokémon world Eevee.

As usual, customers are led to their seats (reservations are required) where a place mat bearing one of 151 Pocket Monsters species is set for each person in your party. They’re always face-down when you arrive, creating a bit of tension as you flip yours over.

▼ Rhyhorn…not bad…

▼ Sweet! Pikachu!!!

To accommodate overseas guests, the touchscreen which you use to order can be set to a variety of languages, including English.

Although it was hard to pass up the adorable-looking Pikachu Carbonara (with the pasta encased in an egg wrapping that looks like the character’s backside), after a few taps of the screen we put in our order for the Pikachu Halloween Plate Meal and Gastly Burger, each priced at 1,580 yen (US$14).

The Pikachu Halloween Plate isn’t so different from its standard, non-Halloween version, and is still a Pikachu-shaped rice omelet accompanied by a hamburger steak, fried shrimp, salad, and tater tots. The spaghetti has been replaced though with a kabocha (Japanese pumpkin) potato salad, though, to give it some extra Halloween appeal. It’s also served on a Jack-‘o-lantern-style plate, which you can purchase for an additional 1,100 yen.

The Gastly Burger, though, is all-new. The Ghost/Poison-type Pokémon is represented by a pitch-black bun and purple cabbage, the latter being a nod to the standard hue used to denote poison status in Japanese video games.

▼ The eyes are a mild vegetable wafer, like the ones used for cute piggy P-chan at the Ranma 1/2 Cafe.

Lifting up the bun, there’s even more purple, with a creamy sauce with shredded cabbage.

Despite it’s name, though, the Gastly Burger isn’t a standard hamburger with an ordinary patty. Instead, the meaty middle is a deep-fried mincemeat cutlet, with juicy ground meat and cabbage providing a succulently satisfying experience.

You even get some classy sides in the form of a cup of corn pottage soup and crispy taro chips (the French fries are also delicious, because, honestly, it’s hard to screw up French fries).

We’re sure we don’t need to remind SoraNews24’s sophisticated readers that you should always save room for dessert, but that goes double at the Pokémon Cafe. We started things off with a stack of fruit pancakes (1,706 yen), which gave us the unique opportunity to fit three Pikachu tails into one photo.

And since we still had just a little bit of room left, we capped our meal with a Pikachu Donut (400 yen).

We’d actually been tempted by the donuts on our first visit to the cafe, but at that time they were only available in a to-go four-pack for a hefty 2,400 yen. Being able to order them individually, and at a reduced price, washed away any hesitation on our part.

However, don’t expect a super-sweet or decidedly decadent dessert. The Pokémon Café’s donuts (you can also choose Eevee or Poké Ball versions) are actually closer to bread than cake, though their glaze still gives them a suitably pasty-like feel.

By the way, we realize that not everyone is completely enamored with attempts at “cute” or “funny” Halloween revelry, and believes the holiday should only be celebrated with legitimate horror. If you’re of that mindset, but your friends insist on dragging you to the Pokémon Cafe, we highly recommend amusing yourself by playing with your food and eating a Pikachu Halloween Plate in a manner which makes it look like you’re feasting on a zombie Pocket Monster’s delicious brains.

Of course, if you’re after pure cuteness, you can elect to eat your food in a less sadistic manner, and also keep your fingers crossed that at the end of your meal one of the cafe’s non-human employees will come out to say hello. On our first visit, we got to shake hands with Chef Pikachu, but this time, it was Eevee who came out for a meet-and-greet!

Showing no signs of fatigue from this summer’s first-ever Eevee dance show as part of the annual Yokohaa Pikachu Outbreak, Eevee pranced, posed, and stopped by each and every table for hugs and snapshots (though selfies are not allowed), all while the official Eevee character theme song played through the restaurant’s speakers.

There’s no official timetable on how much longer the autumn menu items will be available, but odds are we’ve got at least a few weeks left. And though we’ll be sad to see them go, we can’t wait to see what the Pokémon Café has planned for winter.

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.
Website
Reservations

Photos ©SoraNews24

Follow Casey on Twitter as Pikachu-shaped food continues to make up a larger portion of his diet than he’d ever expected it to.