Saturday, 17 June 2017

Pink Holiday - Barbie cafe in Yokohama

During my time living in cafe I have visited a lot of cafes, specifically theme cafes. I can say wholeheartedly, without a doubt this is the best theme cafe I have ever visited. For me personally, small details make a theme cafe great; a lot of theme cafes just throw up a couple of posters and call it a day so it was really nice seeing such a high level of dedication to their aesthetic.

Barbie is somehow extremely popular in Japan, with a lot of stores, like the ones in Nakano selling second-hand or vintage Barbie dolls at bumped up prices and shops in Harajuku selling Barbie themed clothes and accessories. Naturally when something gains popularity, a theme cafe emerges shortly after. However most theme cafes are just pop-up, running for a few months at a time in locations such as department stores; thankfully, Pink Holiday is a permanent cafe.

The cafe is based in Yokohama, a little far from central Tokyo but well worth the ride. The cafe is on the second floor and is a little small, but that adds to the kitschy doll house-feeling of it. Upon entering you are greeted  by a gorgeous waitress, decked out in all-pink Barbie clothing with a definite Gyaru vibe. You will notice that every inch of wallpaper is lovingly decorated by both vintage and modern Barbie goods; rare dolls, magazine clippings, clothing and photographs adorn the interior. Even the toilet had clipping from Popteen, Ageha and Larme magazine.

My friends and I were seated at the biggest table, surrounded by boxes upon boxes of dolls, toy cars and pets. The cafe was bustling with cute Japanese girls, snapping selfies with the dolls and tucking into petite pink dishes, so the atmosphere felt pretty wonderful.

My friends and I dressed for the occasion wearing Barbie themed baby pink and fuchsia outfits, making use of the many Barbie embroidered cushions and props dotted around our table. Then it was time to order; the menu was pretty vast and almost every item dangerously pink. They also included a lot of original drinks, cocktails and even birthday courses.

I may have ordered too much food; everything seemed so well crafted and presented I couldn't resist gouging myself on pastel foods. I expected pink curry to taste sickly and disgusting, but it was actually delicious. My friend attested that the hamburger with fluffy pink rice was also pretty good, but of course at cafes like this, the desserts are what really shine. My friend ordered the "Surprise parfait" which,  to its credit was pretty surprising because it came with a huge sparkler stuck inside!
We also ordered white chocolate fondue and little brightly colored cupcakes. Al the foods were very toy-like and definitely something Barbie herself would have enjoyed.

The best part ended up not actually being the food, but the fact the surrounding Barbies, cars and toys were totally open to be played with while we enjoyed our meals. It was really nostalgic for me to sit there with my friends dressing up the dolls and filming short videos. It shows you're literally never to old to enjoy Barbie. It also gave me a chance to see and touch Barbies I had always wanted as a child!

There was a table charge and the food wasn't overpriced but, not cheap either. That aside I really recommend this cafe, even those who aren't a big fan of Barbie, the food and interior are aesthetically pleasing and the experience is very interactive. Reserving is recommended, but we managed to get a table without reservation on a Monday afternoon. Also, on the way out there is a life-size doll-box so you can become a real-life Barbie!