Fed up of the usual, humdrum dinners out? Do izakayas bore you to tears? Do sushi restaurants have you tearing at your hair? Do the countless Italian and French restaurants of the capital lull you into a sleepiness that would make Rip van Winkle blush?
If so, then you need to find something with a difference, something that has a little creativity. With that in mind, check out some of the more interesting, unique and downright unusual restaurants that Tokyo has to offer.
I hope you aren’t hungry, because the diners aren’t here for the food. With little more than conbini bentos and canned beer on the menu at exorbitant prices, this isn’t so much a dining experience, but more a sensory explosion. Your 7,000 JPY gets you a cabaret show of insane proportions, with dancing, scantily clad women battling robots (pictured) – neon tanks, and giant cyborgs. Get your glow-sticks out and get involved. It’s certainly a night to remember.
Is the freshness of the fish on your plate a constant concern? It need not be at Zauo. Simply dangle your rod and bait into the moat below your table and wait for the fishies to bite. Once you’ve landed your fish, with the crowd going wild, it’ll be grilled to perfection and served to you directly.
Do you find prison theme restaurants a little tame? Do you crave a little extra blood in your terror? Alcatraz ER is a prison restaurant with a difference, in that it takes it to a terrifying-prison-hospital level. Yes, that may not be the most P.C. of things, but you may have to check your sensibilities at the door at this restaurant with blood streaked walls and creepy waitresses that serve… lets call it a suggestively carved sausage, and cocktails in life-sized mannequin heads.
This is a must visit restaurant if you are a lover of Capcom video games such as Biohazard, Phoenix Wright or Monster Hunter. With game related paraphernalia adorning the walls, there are themed foods, and the waiters will, at least once during your meal, perform a short skit related to the the game/food you have ordered.
Maid cafes? Pah! In Tokyo they are ten-a-penny. Maidreamin’s Digitized Cafe and Dining Bar, however, brings something of a Sci-Fi twist to the tried and tested recipe. Looking just like a real-life video game, there are trampolines, interactive displays and coloured cubes hanging from the ceiling that change colour and emit sounds when the maids hit them.
It is said that the best waiters are those that you don’t even notice are there. The same could be said for ninjas, and at Ninja Akasaka those two roles are one and the same. With magic shows and ninja tricks being performed as you eat, perhaps the greatest temptation is to not pick up your shuriken-shaped food and throw it at your dining partner.
Right now, ’tis the season to get spooky, and it of course goes without saying that Vampires and halloween go together like ripe young flesh and fangs. Vampire Cafe is the flagship restaurant of Diamond Dining company (famed also for Alice’s Fantasy Restaurant based on the Lewis Carroll stories and Criston Cafe based on, well, Jesus Christ) and has been going for 15 years. This longevity is perhaps down to great attention to detail – the carpets are patterned with red blood cells – and an innovative menu including delights such as desserts presented in a chocolate coffin.
When a restaurant combines the words ‘luxury’ and ‘oasis’ in its name, you expect big things. Fortunately, on that front, LUXIS Aqua Restaurant and Bar doesn’t disappoint. Dimly lit by sparkling chandeliers, sitting in huge comfy chairs, this is somewhere to dine in sumptuousness. But the luxuriousness aside, the greatest draw is the immense floor-to-ceiling aquarium – schools of fish, sea turtles and, apparently, sharks. Find yourself an evil side kick an BINGO! You’re in Bond villain territory.