The Kawaii Monster Cafe is a popular restaurant in Harajuku. We tried to go for lunch but the line continued to the stairs so we decided to go for dinner and there happened to be no line. The restaurant likes to pair creepy with cute and depending on the day and time— sexy. Like Alice’s Fantasy Restaurant in Shibuya they have a 1 drink and 1 dish minimum. (They’re created by the same company, Diamond Dining) There’s also a cover charge of 500 yen that may be more pricey depending on where you sit. We were led to the cheap seats in the mushroom garden. I ordered the colorful rainbow pasta in the tomato version which didn’t come with all the colorful sauces that the popular painter’s version did but it was still colorful and filling and not the worst pasta I’ve had. (1,300¥) I also got a basic iced tea to drink that wasn’t particularly exciting, but was a bit cheaper then some of their other drinks.
They were also having some Halloween specials so we ordered their chestnut monster cake which was cute and much cheaper then the other Halloween items.
My friend ordered a salad and was quite pleased with it and some coffee. It’s pretty basic but their menu can get expensive despite having a limited amount of options.
The restaurant is well known for it’s unique design done by the artist Sebastian Masuda. It’s broken up into different rooms of varying theme and design, even their bathroom is colorful. We sat in the cheap seats near the sweet carousel where the performances happen, at what seemed like, every half hour.
They can be fun, though because we were there for dinner a bit dark and sexy. The atmosphere felt a bit confusing since there were tons of families of tourists having dinner with small children and the second show we watched was dancing with a pole to screamer heavy metal (lyrics in English) with a cute hamster mascot, strobe lights, and with a dancer taking a bright light and flashing it in the audience’s faces. When there are performances the lights dim dramatically and the music jumps to levels where you can’t chat easily talk. The first show was fun, though a bit awkward due to the small amount of people actually there watching. But after the show it seems you’re allowed to take photos with the dancers.
I’m not sure how it goes for lunch but it was pretty empty for dinner and the loud music and performances every half hour made enjoying our food and the interesting atmosphere difficult. Though it was nice that we were able to see a couple of shows, but it wasn’t the most conducive atmosphere for discussion. They have other sections which might make it easier to enjoy that are farther away, like the tea room or near the bar.
The cafe has English speaking staff and English menus available. They are open from 11:30-4:30 for lunch on Monday through Saturday and for dinner from 6pm-10:30pm. On Sundays they are open from 11am to 8pm without break. Thursdays they also have a burlesque show. You cannot exit through the way you came in and must exit through the gift shop which is also where you will pay. We had to flag down a worker in order to pay because no one was in the gift shop.