"KAWAII MONSTER CAFE HARAJUKU" is located just at the front of La Foret Harajuku, the symbol of the Harajuku, which is known as the most favorable streets for youngsters. The café is produced by creative director Sebastian Masuda, known as the producer and the art director of Kyary Pamyu Pamyu. With its interior furnished with vibrant colors and decorations filled with fun elements, the cafe flawlessly matches its aim of displaying a Japanese Pop Culture atmosphere. Despite it is a cafe that obviously presents a concept intended for "young female" customers, it made a sudden twist in image by holding a slightly melancholic event aimed at adults, which is still not widely known. And so, we would like to present a report on the new sensational Entertainment Performance "MONSTER PALACE" with 12 showings throughout December 2017 to March 2018.
As we reach the place, we could see that the café entrance was covered up using a dark cloth, with a suited usher standing outside the entrance. At this point, we were already able to evidently feel a solemn aura which is completely irrelative to the image of "Harajuku" and "KAWAII". We were guided by the usher to the waiting area and served with champaign (free refills available). The inside space of the cafe was luxurious with gloomy lighting and flickering candles set to blend into the dim atmosphere. As we looked around our surroundings, we could noticed men and women in suits and dresses, leaving a notable impression.
We were later on escorted from the waiting area to a table arranged with a private butler. Emphasis on matching elements of the table cutlery and dining plates was noticable. The menu was also stylishly designed so the contents written are able to glow under the Blacklight.
The show was based on the well-known comedy classic "A Midsummer Night's Dream" by Shakespeare, with the dance movements and performance inspired from a contemporary perspective. The story tells a tale that happened in the forest of Athens, unfolding the comedic story of fairies and humans, with the performance taking place in a unique space. The whole course is structured to include a 1 hour and a half Four-act play on stage comprising of 4 meals with each arranged at the intervals between the acts.
The first act was about a scene where a young lady from a noble family lost her way in a forest and found herself encountering with a fairy. In this scene, the dynamic dance performance (Aerial Hoop) presented by the performers using the rings hanging in the midair was magnificent. The performers that made their appearance hardly had any lines. Instead, their acting is mainly emphasized through body movements and facial expressions. Naturally, the foreign customers can also fully understand and enjoy the play without any language barrier.
In correspondence to the story prologue, the first meal was served under the concept of "using a newborn egg (romance) as a metaphor describing the moment the lady fell in love under the fairy's love potion". The first three assorted appetizers were inclusive of sumptuous ingredients such as Foie gras, truffles, sea urchins as well as other ingredients in a generous amount, with last but not least an egg place in the middle of the plate along with a smoking effect using dry ice. Quality of the dishes were without a doubt a guarantee, the visuals provided too, were also incredibly exceptional. As a result of the café's effort, big rounds of cheers and applause were given by customers from every table.
The next few dishes consisted of a salad that used tuna and other ingredients to symbolize "soil" with eatable flowers garnished on top, a lobster placed in a birdcage, roasted castrated male rabbit and so on. Nearly every dish served was eminently rare and definitely not what we can normally see. The distinguished food plating style is also another characteristic that made an impact enough to make customers feel like taking pictures for every dish. With photogenic characteristics that people nowadays refer to as "instagenic", the menu revised was originally aimed at mainly women. However surprisingly, male customers seem to have also been attracted towards this trait as well.
The food served in the café during this event are designed in a concept where they all relate to the story of the presented play. Almost more than half of the story is staged in the middle of the woods, therefore ingredients such as eatable flowers as well as castrated male rabbit are chosen under the relative theme and dishes that have taken the form of "soil and earth" so to create a matching image. Also, in accordance to the food ingredients presented and concept applied, the representative private butler for each table is responsible in giving a detailed explanation whenever meals are served to the customers.
The first act of the play was a circus themed choreography, followed by performances with singing as the main highlight that also involve dance movements in certain parts of the story. The above scene arrangements have definitely gained attention for their innovative characteristics. Hence, the play can neither be classified into a musical nor a dance show, and is instead well suited of the what we call an "Original Entertainment Performance" as the whole show presents various of combination of elements.
Furthermore, the performers would occassionally make their way down from the stage to walk around tables, approaching the customers joking and taking pictures with them for interaction. The performers are clearly exeptionally generous in their hospitality. Musicals are normally watched from afar, but over here it almost felt as if we just walked into a theme park.
As we indulge ourselves both in the performance and cuisines in turns repeatedly, the show reached the ending in a blink of an eye. We then only realized afterwards that not only our hearts feel contented, we have also gained satisfaction in our appetite as well.
"MONSTER PALACE" show is available day and night. However during Dinner Shows, instead of having the normal meal routine the cafe proceeds with a "Bar Session" after the last play of everyday has ended. We especially recommend the "Bar Session" as not only that customers can enjoy desserts of vibrant colours in the form of buffet, but also have the chance of savouring Dom Pérignon as well.
Until one leaves the place, the moment you set foot into the café, it will be as if you have wandered into a make-believe fairytale, surrounded by a dream-like atmosphere. This is one of the best charms of "MONSTER PALACE". Not only that KAWAII MONSTER CAFÉ HARAJUKU holds an prominent image as a charismatic place, it is also noticeable from the performances, cuisines as well as the ushers and butlers that the cafe are selective in just about every aspect. All those aspects combine to unveil a surreal and peculiar sensation as though from a different dimension.
I would like to recommend this café to those who do not normally visit Harajuku very often to experience this contemporary form of entertainment specially designed for adults where it is situated in the very center of the Streets of Harajuku filled with cultural crossover elements.
MONSTER PALACE “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”
Venue：KAWAII MONSTER CAFE HARAJUKU