Feel like being doted on? This restaurant was “maid” for you!
Well, I can certainly say that my home is not like Tokyo’s @ Home Café, despite my partner’s wishes … but part of the thrill of Japan’s theme restaurants is that they take us into whole other worlds. If you happened to have come of age in the time of women’s liberation and equal rights, you might at first be perplexed by the @ Home Café. If that’s the case, I was with you. But, if you allow yourself to think beyond what you have come to take as the everyday, you might just become fascinated by this Japanese phenomenon: the maid café. What’s that, you might ask? Well, if you aren’t a follower of cosplay, a maid café is a restaurant where patrons are doted on by women dressed as stylized maids. But it doesn’t end there….
Stepping into the @ Home Café, be prepared to be greeted by everything cute (or kawaii, if you want in on the lingo)! The restaurant is a mix of pink décor, super-friendly servers and the ultimate in food that is almost too cute to eat. Almost. The female servers are clad in stereotypical French-maid costumes—but, of course, with a Japanese twist (think more super-cute than super-sexy)—and will reportedly meet your requests (within reason, people). Always wished that you could have your portrait drawn onto your omelette before you dive in? No problem. These women have serious artistic skills and will serve that up in a jiffy. The @ Home Café is also known for putting on fun shows that highlight some of the maids’ talents, including incredible singing voices. With the combination of an enjoyable atmosphere and entertaining interactions, it’s no wonder that the @ Home Café is a popular spot! Best part is … we haven’t even gotten to the food.
So, turning our attention to the nosh, don’t expect high-end, traditional Japanese foods. That being said, do expect some yummy, belly-filling dishes. But, before you dig in, take some time to peruse the drink menu. There’s an assortment of “magic” cocktails in a variety of funky colours, as well as a great latte menu that consists of mocha flavours, green tea and caramel. Yum! Looking for something with a little more bite? The @ Home Café offers up a diverse alcohol-based beverage menu for the adults!
If you’re starting to feel a little peckish, choose one of the appetizers off the menu. Or, if you want something more substantial, there’s a variety of meals ranging from curries to pastas to egg and rice dishes. Don’t be surprised when your curry comes out looking like a sweet puppy dog, or when your pasta smiles back at you. No surface can hide from the cuteness. To top it all off, leave some room for a bunny-rabbit cheesecake or a spectacular-looking chocolate parfait. So many choices!
Now for the challenging part. Being surrounded by so much to see, whether it’s conversing with your server or choosing from the food menu, keep in mind that visitors will only have an hour in the café. Adults pay a cover charge of 600 yen (roughly $6) to be seated for the hour. On top of this, a meal with a drink and dessert can average at around an additional $30. If you want a picture with your server, or to play a funny game, expect to pay more. Don’t let this discourage you. Remember, visiting a theme restaurant is as much about the food as it is about the experience. So, relax and enjoy!
Know your manners!
Visitors to this café are expected to follow the rules.
- Photos are only allowed to be taken of food items, so don’t try to sneak one of the staff
- Each visitor must order at least one item over 570 yen—not a hard thing to do with so much yummy-looking food
- @ Home Café’s website is an English-language site for the non-Japanese speakers
- The menu is user-friendly—in both Japanese and English—and there are a number of pictures to help you choose
@ Home Café
@ Home Café has two locations in the Akihabara district of Tokyo.
Main Building Location: Mitsuwa Building 4F – 7F, Sotokanda 1-11-4, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo Don Quijote Location: Don Quijote Akihabara 5F, Sotokanda 4-3-3, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Mon–Fri 11:30 am–10 pm • Sat–Sun & Holidays 10:30 am–10 pm