Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Alice in Magic Land 魔法の国のアリス 新宿

Theme restaurants are no longer new concepts but this is the first time I stepped into one. Alice in Wonderland is one of the fantasy theme that has been appropriated and turned into not one, but many restaurants. There is "Alice in Dancing Land" in Shibuya, "Alice in Fantasy Book" in Kabukicho Shinjuku, "Alice in an Old Castle" in Ikebukuro. On the higher end, there is "Alice's Fantasy Restaurant" in Ginza. Outside Tokyo, there is "Alice in Fantasy Land" in Osaka. 

Be greeted by the lush garden of the Queen once you step into the cafe.
Sounds unbelievable? Yes, the food business group behind these restaurants is Diamond Dining, which owns more than a hundred restaurants all over Japan. For the Alice's theme restaurants, the menu features Italian cuisine and it's pretty similar across all restaurants.
The private room is the Queen's palace (not King) decorated with red and black triumph cards everywhere-from the ceiling to the table to the floor. 
And as the commoners, we were relegated to the seats in the Hat's House Tea Party Area, together with many other young ladies who were there for lunch. Only one guy was spotted dining with his girl-friend. 
Lunch tends to be cheaper but of course selection is limited. For main course, the Bacon and Onsen Egg Carbonara Pasta (Y880) was more milky rather than cloyingly creamy. Break and mix the egg yolk with the pasta and the consistency of the sauce becomes perfect. 
The Smile of Cheshire Cat (Y1180) is a meat loaf plastered with eye balls made with full-boiled eggs and olives. Hidden beneath is a smooth mash of potato that is partially washed by a mild dark brown sauce. The best thing about this dish is the accompanying loaf of fluffy bread and the crispy puff pastry (the ears) that you can use to wipe the gravy clean. The meat pattie was soft and not overly seasoned, but the overall taste did not surpass the pasta.
  Top up Y250 and one can enjoy free flow of drinks (tea/orange or grapefruit juice/coffee) and a choice of salad. We had the Caesar Salad (above) and Japanese style salad (below) that is served with a tangy Wafu dressing.


Skip the desserts if you may, because their names sounded more interesting than their actual taste. Uncle Caterpillar (Y300) is a parfait filled with ultra-sweet canned cocktail fruits, cornflakes and topped with a highly artificial whipped cream. The only saving grace was the matcha roll cake.
The Trump Card Soldier (Y380) with vanilla ice cream was not any better. The brownie was too stale, as if it had been sitting in the refrigerator for days.
So if you are looking for ambience and not too particular about food quality, these theme restaurants may fulfill your criteria. There is also a Vampire Cafe opened by the same people behind this. 

Who knows? I might just pop by there with a good valid reason.  
Cos' Halloween is coming;)

Alice in Magical Land 魔法の国のアリス 新宿

Nishi Shinjuku Halc Shopping Centre Basement 3
Tokyo Shinjuku-Ku Nishi-Shinjuku 1-5-1
  • Tel: 03-3340-2466/03-4570-0489 (Reservations recommended for dinner)
Opens Daily 
Lunch 11am-3pm 
Dinner 5pm-12am
http://www.alice-restaurant.com/maho/
 
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