After ten long years of making us wait for Final Fantasy 15, it is finally here, and no wonder Square Enix are trying to sweeten up the fans with perks such as an anime, movie and now pop-up cafe based solely around FFXV. Where else would such a cafe be apart from "Electric town" Akihabara?
Now there's not just one, but two Final fantasy themed cafes in "Akiba" waiting for your visit!
The other is the "Eorzea cafe"produced by Pasela Resorts and based upon Final Fantasy 14 - the Online MMORPG. I also visited that cafe and the feel was very different - the inside is built like a traditional tavern that you might see in any J-RPG with meaty weapons clinging to the walls and dancing moogles hanging from the ceiling. The ambiance definitely seems more "fantasy".
The new FFXV cafe however seems more futuristic and sleek in nature and very reminiscent of the game.
The process of actually reserving the cafe was a little difficult, we had to reserve the ticket online and then pay and print at one of the little machines you see inside convenient stores here. Upon entering every table was full, so I really recommend getting a reservation if you can! It seems as though you can also reserve at the cafe.
Upon entering everyone gets to wear a cool-looking "Square Enix Cafe" Guest pass to make you feel important, the waiter leads you to your table and an MC explains in Japanese that you can take photos of anything, but not to take videos or bother other guests.
The cafe was pretty huge and two stories high, with two gift shops! one sold specifically Final Fantasy XV goods whilst the other sold all manners of Square Enix products including Dragon Quest and Kingdom Hearts goods. Everyone has their own favorite Final Fantasy game and luckily there were copious amounts of plushies to satisfy even the most hardened collector, including three types of Moogles!
The walls were adorned with oodles of concept art, posters, TV screens screening snippets of the game and anime. Luckily I completed the game first, the cafe is merciless when it comes to spoilers!
Recently a lot of cafes in Tokyo have adapted to using iPads as menus, this cafe was no exception and made the joint seem even more futuristic. The twist to the cafe is; every item on the menu is actually an item Ignis cooks within the game! So you have the choice of feasting on a hearty beef stew to replenish your HP or a cocktail to build up your Mana.
The menu itself wasn't so extensive, but each dish and drink was connected to a character in some way. The character Gladius had his own dish of a Pork chop and kiwi combination but I wasn't brave enough to try it, I guess that leaves something for my bucket list..
Pork katsu sandwiches are one of my favorite foods; I could eat katsu for breakfast, lunch and dinner although my doctor would advise against it, thus I ordered the simple in appearence, but heavenly delicious triple katsu sandwich. I also ordered the mysterious chocobo concoction that I thought was a cheesecake but ended up being a "chocobo meat tart" designed to taste just like real chocobo. I must say it was delicious, meaty and I feel a bit guilty now having eaten one of those majestic golden birds!
There are cardboard cut outs of the characters on-hand for much needed selfies. I asked my friend if it looked like Noctis and I were on a date but she just told me to get a life.
When you order addtional food or drink you will be given a coaster, but it will be selected randomly from one of the characters from the game. I was super lucky to get Prompto - my favorite character and then also win a Prompto badge from the Gatchapon machine in the gift shop. My friend wasnt as lucky and kept getting the elderly father of Noctis.
At the cashier I was also given a Prompto poster, too as I ate his chocobo tart abomination, so I ended up with a nice haul of my favorite characters goods without even having to buy anything! That was a really nice point of the cafe.
I am not sure how long this cafe will run, as apparently there are plans to extend it due to popularity so if you find yourself in Tokyo anytime soon, take the Yamanote line down to Akihabara and get yourself some chocobo pie!