Well, not that anyone really cares, but here's how it all went: my emceeing went just fine, up until the second student, who decided to lunge up to the podium and start giving his speech without any introduction. I had to reroute my entire script around his idiocy. After that, everything went fine, up until the end, when it was revealed that my script was missing a ton of really important stuff, and then everything went to hell. It wasn't my fault, but I looked like an idiot and it was really embarrassing. And I couldn't leave the the stage for the entire three hour contest, so I had to just stand there and be embarrassed with nowhere to hide. Luckily, people in the audience told me they could tell it wasn't my fault (and instead the fault of the guy who kept running over to me and hastily giving me new, horribly-timed stuff to say). In the end, my student got third place, and is now the only public school student from my city moving onto the prefectural competition! So that's good! At least all my hard work came to mean something in the end.
But enough about that, let's talk Alice cafe. So Japan loves Alice in Wonderland. A lot. That's why they have clothing brands like PUTUMAYO that are literally 100% Alice in Wonderland themed. Especially among the goth and lolita subculture communities, Alice in Wonderland holds a very strong influence on music and fashion. Anyways, besides Alice in Wonderland, Japan also loves themed cafes (some might remember the Vampire Cafe post I did many, many months ago). So it was only natural for Japan to combine their love of Wonderland with their love of themed cafes, and start making Alice safes. Basically, they're cafes meant to have an atmosphere of Wonderland. There are probably dozens of these cafes in the Tokyo area alone, but I had yet to try one.
Today's cafe is actually new. It's called Mahou no Kuni no Alice, which is a bit of a twist on the story's original title. In Japanese, Alice in Wonderland is called "Fushigi no Kuni no Alice" which means "Alice in a Strange World" or something like that. So Mahou no Kuni no Alice would mean something like "Alice in a Magical World" (as opposed to that one D song that's called "Yami no Kuni no Alice" which means, "Alice in a Dark World." The Japanese like playing with that title a lot).
Anyways, I actually went to this cafe for the birthday of my friend, who has come up on the blog before and will go by the code-name Crimson. Anyways, Crimson wanted to go to this cafe because she heard it was "darker" than some of the others. Plus, it's new, so why not. For those who are interested, the cafe is located at the West Exit of Shinjuku Station, in a building right across the street from the station called Haru Chika (literally: ハル★チカ). It's in the building's third basement, and it's a complete ass-pain of a maze you have to get through to find it down there. But it's a fun place if you get to go.
Shall we begin the pic-spam?
This fancy mother-fucker is actually the restaurant's menu. So you can see already how "themed" everything is. To the left of the menu you can see even the coasters are themed.
A better shot of the menu.
Here's a crappy picture I took showing the general look and atmosphere of the cafe. There were red curtains everywhere, and most of the place was red or pink.
This is a better picture. The middle table in the cafe - which I assume is for very large parties - was decorated with a pretty impressive heart chandelier. You can see some of the tables have fancy velvet chairs and stuff too.
This is probably one of my favorite things about the cafe. The entrance was made to look like a hedge maze. It just so happened that our group got to sit in a booth surrounded by the edge of the maze, so I spent most of the meal leaning back against the fuzzy, green "shrubbery."
Here's a better shot of it. Isn't it cool?!
Here's the inside of the menu. All the food and drinks had really silly, Alice-themed names, although I was dumb and forgot to write down the really good ones. If you tilt your head, you can see some of the amusing ones right here. This is the cocktail page. As you can see, they have drinks with names like Futterwacken of the Mad Hatter. What.......?
This is the drink that a few of us (me included) got. It was made with a peach liqueur, I believe, and it was quite tasty.
I think MelJay got this one, and it had banana liqueur of all things in it. Plus it has a nice rainbow gradient.
This is the best one, though. This drink is fucking glowing. I'm not even sure how. Is there a light in the ice cube or something? I don't know, it just looks awesome.
All our cocktails together.
This was a small vegetable salad served in a tea cup.
Unfortunately, that salad is how themed cafes tend to screw people over on the price. They always put out some kind of small appetizer that you have no choice but to receive, then charge you a lot for it and call it a "charm." It's basically an extra table charge just for eating at a themed cafe. The Vampire Cafe has one too (cheese and crackers, I believe). The idea is that they charge you for "charming" you, and excuse it with a small appetizer. But you're essentially being charged just for eating in a "unique" place. That salad cost 500 yen (about $5). Yeah, totally crazy.
Anyways, this right here is crackers and butter, and the cracker is in a cat shape, just like so many things at the cafe.
And now food! The menu had a pizza section called Cheshire Cat Tail. It was basically various nan pizzas assorted by color. For example, the "red tail" is a margherita pizza. The "yellow tail" was a four-cheese pizza. Personally, I got the "pink tail," which is salmon, mentaiko (spicy fish egg sauce), and broccoli, with cheese. Honestly, despite the cafe being somewhat overpriced, this pizza was absolutely delicious. One of the best I've ever had. I would order it again if I ever come back.
Well, I didn't order this one (obviously), but here's the yellow tail pizza:
And here's some fun desserts. This is a heart-shaped chocolate cake, an Alice-shaped pastry, vanilla ice cream, chocolate sauce, and strawberry and kiwi sauce. It was really good - better than I expected.
Peachy ordered this one. It's a Cheshire Cat dessert, so the whole thing looks like a demented cat. It had blueberries and stuff in it.
MelJay ordered this one, which is the crème brûlée. Man, screw the dessert, I want the clock plate! Where the hell does one get a clock plate?!
Now, since it was Crimson's birthday, of course there was some gift-giving. MelJay, Peachy, and I each bought a small gift, but then we also all went in together on a very amusing bottle of booze we found. It's a German liqueur called Dracula's Blood, with hilarious B-movie poster wrapping. To be honest, though, the shit just sounded delicious. It's a cherry, ginger liqueur, but it also has strawberry, black currant, chili, paprika, and spices. It's basically a fruity, spicy liqueur, and it's 24%, so it's not really light-weight, either. Here's the amusing bottle:
Here's Crimson posing with the bottle:
I actually have a story about Dracula's Blood at the end of this post, but let's finish up with the cafe first.
So now let's have... group shots! There were seven of us in total, including Crimson, MelJay, Peachy, me, two friends of Crimson's I hadn't met before, and also Break, who I mentioned in my UnsraW posts recently. Here's a lovely group photo a waitress took of us:
|I apologize, I'm making the stupidest face ever in this picture. Next one's better.|
Here we all are again. Crimson's rockin' the pretty lolita dress. I'm on the bottom right, grimacing slightly due to being forced into making heart hands:
I like this next picture a lot - it came out really cute. And for the record, yes, that is my leftover, cheap-ass Halloween dress (which is why I'm the only person in red). I never intended to wear it again, but it just seemed to fit the theme, so I threw it on anyways.
|Bluuuugh, I have such a bad tan right now. Screw walking twenty minutes to and from work each day in the freakin' sun.|
Anyways, so I said I had a story about Dracula's Blood. Well, MelJay and I were dying to know what the stuff really tasted like when we pitched in on the bottle for Crimson, so we split the cost of a second bottle for ourselves. We brought it back to the hostel and decided to do what I'm basically always doing these days: watch The Avengers. But with a catch. We decided to play a drinking game. Any time there's a gratuitous ass shot (be it male or female), we would take a drink. We also drank to awesome one-liners.
First of all, I will just say now that Dracula's Blood tastes like heaven. We mixed it with ginger ale (that was the recommendation on the bottle). The liqueur is a deep blood red, and even ginger ale doesn't dilute it much. The taste is amazing. I was worried it would be disgustingly sweet, like syrup, but it's not. It's definitely more "spicy" (my favorite). You can actually taste the chili. MelJay and I are crazy about ginger, so the taste was incredible. A bit cherry, a bit strawberry, a whole lotta ginger and spices, and the alcohol taste wasn't that strong despite being 24%, so I felt like I could drink that shit like juice.
And that was the problem. The Avengers had so many gratuitous ass shots and awesome one-liners that the two of us almost finished the entire fucking bottle. And then there were moments like the part where Steve (Captain America) is punching the punching bag, and the camera is completely focused on his finely-sculpted ass. MelJay and I each just downed the whole glass on that one. Oh, and the now-infamous "he's adopted" line. Another glass down. Dracula's Blood kinda sneaks up on you, though, so I didn't realize I was drunk until I attempted to get up to go to the bathroom. The end result of the entire night was finishing the movie, me saying, "I have to go to the bathroom" (again), and then passing out in a ball in the corner of MelJay's bunk without actually going to the bathroom. I woke up about three hours later (at 5 AM), curled in a ball, and having to pee worse than ever. I stumbled drunkenly to the bathroom, then somehow made it back to the room and up into my top bunk, where I passed out until 10 AM. I think that's the first time I've "passed out" drunk since college. Whooooooooo!
Anyways, good news for the next post! I know there hasn't been a whole lot of concert stuff on this blog lately (sorry to everyone about me not going to that 8/28 DIAURA one-man I promised. I know it's been on my concert schedule for about five months, but circumstances didn't work out in my favor and I had to tear up my ticket. MelJay and Peachy said it was a great show, but I wasn't able to go to report on it. I'm really sorry about that, but I do have a DIAURA (and BORN!) two-man scheduled in a couple of weeks, so just hang on and I'll make it up to you!). Anyways, I'm gonna make up for lack of concert material by giving y'all a double-dose of concerts this weekend! It's a three-day weekend, and I'm gonna take advantage of it. Here's the schedule:
Saturday, 9/15: Two-man. Opening act:「xxx」is D￡AD (a n00b band), followed by MEJIBRAY (long time, no see), with BORN hosting!
Sunday, 9/16: DEZERT's first one-man!
I hope you guys are as excited as I am! See you next time for some double-duty indies!