Tickets for any of the Hilton Hotel sweets buffets are pretty hard to come by due to popularity so I was surprised to find that my friend camped in front of her computer until the release of the tickets and snatched up a couple as soon as they went up for sale. At 4,000yen each this particular buffet is one of the more expensive albeit most extravagant experiences you can have in Tokyo. Last year the theme was "strawberries" and similarly sold out instantly, this year the theme is "Marie Antoinette" based on Rococo era decadently designed sweets. Coincidentally the buffet fell on the day on the Liz Lisa x My Melody collaboration dress release, something else that requires patience so we had a very busy day ahead.
Liz Lisa is one of the most popular feminine brands in Japan, a floral mix of hime-kaji and otome with oodles of flowers and pink. Every few months they collaborate with arguably the cutest Sanrio character - My Melody - or known in Japan simply as MyMelo. MyMelo is adored by both children and especially older women and has a large range of collaborated clothes, nails, fragrances and recently a collaboration with Larme Magazine. This months release from Liz Lisa featured a "letter print" dress, mirror and large plushie backpack. The back pack proved particularly popular with Japanese girls on twitter so my friend and I knew we would have to arrive super early to be first in line to snatch one up,
Liz Lisa stores are peppered all over Tokyo and Japan; the most popular ones being in Harajuku, Shinjuku and Shibuya. My friend and I headed to Shibuya 109 at 7am and were lucky enough to be first in-line. Shibuya 109 isnt open yet so for all releases you have to wait underground in the station in a line. There were a few other girls waiting alongside us, all wearing Liz Lisa too. Shortly before the store opened, one of the shop girls came out with samples of the goods, we chose which we wanted and she gave us tickets to be able to purchase them ahead of the crowds, my friend and I made number one and two so we could have our pick of whatever they had! This was lucky as the backpack sold out almost instantly.
We each bought the dress and backpack, while my friend also bought one of the smaller handbag charms, then head to Hilton Hotel in Shinjuku to change into our new purchases and ended up looking as sugary as the sweets themselves. The dresses were course gorgeous; the print featuring little My Melo holding letters, however the backpacks were the highlight even though they could barely hold a stick of gum. The plushie itself has a silky flower crown with embedded jewels and she is also wearing the same dress as the collaboration! The straps can even be taken off to turn it into a regular plushie to keep in your room,
After much picture taking, we head into the hall for the buffet. The entrance was an arch made of real scented roses leading to a red carpet and as we entered, live musicians playing cellos and violins started playing angelic classical music.. The staff led us through the buffet and on the way to our seats we were able to snap pictures of the feast; large towering cakes, plates upon plates of jellies, cheesecakes and mousses - more sweets then we would ever be able to eat in a lifetime!
Of course plenty of Marie Antoinette's favorite - chocolate and rose flavored Macarons, as well as ice cream, marshmallows and two kinds of chocolate fountains! Of course there was savory food too to break up the insane sugar rush and that was delicious too; breaded chicken, sandwiches, pasta and my favorite - ratatouille!
I am not sure how many plates we managed to consume, but I am sure it was more dessert than I have eaten this whole year. My favorites included the "raspberry champagne jelly" which had a wonderful alcoholic kick, and the creamy apricot panacotta.
There was also unlimited supplies of tea and coffee both hot and cold to wash everything down. I loved the color palette of deep rococo colors and the decorative touches such as glass chandeliers and the little horse and carriage. The small details are what made this buffet particularly mesmerizing; such as cakes sparkling with golden flakes, topped with real rose petals and strawberries dipped in chocolate, no expense was spared.
We ended up staying at the buffet over three hours and I don't even want to think about how many calories were consumed, but the entire experience was magical. We spied a fair few Japanese Lolita also attending the buffet, women in kimono and other extravagant styles but just being in a warm, friendly environment surrounded by girls happily munching on cake is food for the soul. If you feel a little sick of the sub-par food served at many of the "kawaii cafe" within Tokyo I definitely recommend a hotel buffet like this, or even high tea. To find out about events like this, I often find using Twitter is the best place, as for dress releases such as the one from Liz Lisa its helpful to check now and then on your favorite brands. Recently brands such as Liz Lisa have also started shipping online so you don't even need to leave your bed. However there is something said for the adrenaline rush of a dress release in Shibuya 109, too.