[Taipei] I visited Taipei’s Rilakkuma Café 拉拉熊咖啡廳 on Valentine’s Day. Not that it was planned, but it was surprisingly not as crowded as I imagined (I read that reservation was A MUST). Despite not making a reservation, I could get seats easily.
Thought this is something interesting: Rilakkuma’s name is a combination of リラックス ‘rirakkusu’, a Japanese transliteration of the English word “relax”, and クマ ‘kuma’, the Japanese word for ‘bear’.
Getting here wasn’t that difficult, a short walk from Zhongxiao Dunhua Station Exit 3, where you should spot young couples and tourists posing with a Rilakkuma mascot outside from a distance.
For character café lovers, you would love the full kawaii-ness of the décor.
I thought that the Taiwanese did up the café pretty well. A merchandise section at the front with quite an extension selection of soft toys and accessories, seating spaces with occasional Rilakkuma and Korilakkuma cushions, and a photo area at the back. Watch out for selfie stick accidents.
Even the toilet signs have Rilakkuma cartoons on them.
You know when Taiwanese girls speak in the higher-pitch cutesy voices, your heart would just melt a little, and tend to order more food than needed.
A minimal expenditure of at least a drink or food item per person is required.
The ”ren qi”, meaning popular items include Rilakkuma Cheese Onigiri with Chicken and Crea Sauce (NT$340), Rosemary Fried Chicken Thigh Pasta (NT$360) , Kiirotori Spices Pork Rice (NT$340), Rilakkuma Cheese Pork Chop with Curry Rice (NT$360), and Seafood Risotto with Tomato Sauce (NT$340).
That is about SGD$15.60 (USD$11.00) to SGD$16.50 (USD$11.60).
Some food items have just bread cut-outs in a bear shape, while others such as the Cheese Onigiri would be more instagrammable.
After bombarded with so many photos of Rilakkuma sleeping peacefully under egg omelette, I just had to order the Omurice with Pork Meatball (NT$340).
The thing about character cafes is, food is seldom spectacular. You know that, and shouldn’t come expecting taste-buds to be wowed.
With that said, the Omurice was a possibly decent dish in terms of the egg – fluffy, moist, ‘photogenically’ wrapped. There were two types of rice used – one for the head, a more flavoured for the body. Tasted slightly cold though.
The Rilakkuma Cheese Cake (NT$200, SGD$9.10) wasn’t just a good-looker, considered soft and light in texture, with a apparent cheese flavour at the base layer.
Again not fabulous, but at least you won’t feel like you would be wasting your calories.
This Rilakkuma Café’s main appeal to me was its cutesy and comfortable ambience, and its food and surroundings certainly looked good for photos.
Rilakkuma Café Taipei 拉拉熊咖啡廳
No. 3, Lane 248, Section 4, Zhongxiao East Rd, Da’an District, Taipei City, Taiwan 106 (Zhongxiao Dunhua Station, Exit 3)
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 10:00pm Daily
Google Maps – Rilakkuma Café Taipei