Characters café is commonly seen in Japan, with kawaii (cute) Sanrio characters popping up in various cafes every now and then.
This Characters Cafe at Dhoby Xchange is probably Singapore’s first. The opening theme is “Kuma” which stands for “bear” and Rilakkuma is the first character brought into Singapore by BonJapan.
There will be a different character theme every month. It is cute, but let’s just say do not expect too much from the food.
Control yourselves, girls (and guys) as the people surrounding us got really excited when they saw huge Rilakkuma plushies at the entrance. *Cue screams. *Cues “Let’s goooooooo*
Cuteness has its limits, as we stepped into the pretty small and cramped space of 16 seaters. As the other diners got up to take photos, we literally kept hitting into one another. NO space.
The experience is supposedly 3D: Think 3D Rilakkuma food menu, 3D animation on their 72 inch LED screen using 3D glasses, with a maximum dining experience of 60 minutes.
Set meals were available at $25.90 per person with a choice of Hokkaido Chicken Stew Cream Rice or Japanese Chicken Curry Rice for the main course, Strawberry Rilakkuma Cuppucino for snack and a Snapple drink.
For those looking for sweet treats a $19.90 dessert set meal is available. A Rilakkuma Hot Cake Ice Cream in a jar will substitute the main course instead.
While the waiting for the food to be served, 3D video clips, Rilakkuma costumes for cosplaying and huge plushies for free hugs are available for the fuller experience.
We waited for 40 minutes before our Hokkaido Chicken Stew Cream Rice in the shape of a Rilakkuma was served (The time is considering pre-orders have already been made).
Portion of rice was generous, the rest was not.
A good three-quarter of the plate was covered with rice, with few pieces of miserly carrot, potato and chicken in a stew that reminded us of a canned soup that starts with the alphabet “C”.
This Rilakkuma wasn’t as oishii (delicious) as it looked, and we joked that @littlemissbento could have easily come out with something more appetizing and attractive-looking.
The Rilakkuma Hot Cake Ice Cream in a Jar came with 3 hotcakes in the shape of a bear with missing facial features. Not too happy with Rilakkuma missing its eyes and nose though.
The ice cream was rich and milky, but the hot cakes turned out dry, flat, insipid, bland.
If you are the type that loathes ley-chey-ness (meaning: tediousness), note that No cash transaction can be made at Characters Café, and meal coupons for a particular date and time slot have to be purchased at http://www.worldsnackday.com.
Guess that Rilakkuma wasn’t meant for our stomachs but it would remain kawaii in our hearts.
Dhoby Xchange B1-36, Singapore 238826 (Dhoby Ghaut MRT)
Opening Hours: 11am – 9pm (Sun-Thu), 11am – 10.30pm (Fri-Sat)
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* Written by Daniel’s Food Diary Cafe Correspondent Nicholas Tan who has other kawaii photos on his instagram @stormscape.