Gudetama 5th Anniversary Café Review
Hi there readers, welcome back to another edition of Dango News' cafe reviews, an irregular editorial series where we choose a cafe of our interest and detail our experiences with them!
Today we will be reviewing the Gudetama 5th Anniversary Cafe located in Ikebukuro for a limited time from June 26 - September 4, 2018. We also ended up trying every item on the menu!
The cafe itself was extremely easy to get to, being located above Seibu Railway's corner of Ikebukuro Station at the eighth floor. The only real challenge was finding an elevator up the station building if anyone needs assistance an information kiosk is available near the East Exit of the station.
Upon arrival to the main area of the "Dining Park Ikebukuro" as the floor is called, signs were ready front and center pointing the way to the cafe itself which was fully and adorably almost overzealously adorned with Gudetama in his various forms.
The outer wall of the cafe harbored a row of seats to serve as a waiting area should the cafe become crowded enough to form a line. Thankfully for our visit, there wasn't much a crowd to wait for. Once attended to by a staff and taken to our seat, we were treated to more egg-celently decorated space-themed interior (done as such due to the fact that the fifth anniversary of the character is celebrated in a outer space motif) complete with the Gudetama theme playing in a loop.
The first item that came to us in our initial string of orders was the flashing lightbulb bottle drink based "Sparkly Bright Gudenkyu Soda (ピカピカまぶし～ぐでんきゅうソーダ)". Our flavor choice was mango to recreate the egg yolk color of Gudetama himself. This item –as with other collab-based drinks from the menu– included a free coaster exclusive to the collab cafe itself, and the bottle was also available to take home for those that wished to. During checkout, the staff would momentarily take the bottle to wash the inside out, and place inside a small plastic bag for the customers receive again once they were finished with payment.
The taste of the soda itself was like any other regular mango soda:
Next came along the "Eureka! Bubble Butt Planet Black Curry (発見！プリケツ星ブラックカレ〜)" in all of its mooning glory. This dish was rather interesting with the choices of ingredients made for its presentation and how surprisingly the contents of which worked rather well together in flavor for what they were. Atop the yellow rice "butt" of Gudetama himself was sprinkles of bacon bits and at the summit of which stood a printed wafer of Nisetama laying claim to the yellow posterior for all dysphoric eggs in the universe. The "crack" of the planet's shell was pronounced via chocolate syrup which melded strangely without issue to the curry itself. In orbit were six moons, two of which were mini tomatoes (red and yellow), one being a Brussels sprout, another was a meatball, and the remaining two being mushrooms, all of which added its own slight twist and texture to the flavor of the black space of curry surrounding them. The roux alone had a very faint kick of spiciness to it as well.
The dessert we had the kitchen save until after the curry was also very unique. The "I wanna stay a baby…Gravityless Gudeburger (甘ったれていたい…無重力ぐでバ～ガ～)" was by far the most memorable piece of the entire menu, being a faux-burger constructed entirely of sweets and other dessert items. Starting with chilled french toast for "buns", the "contents" of the unconventional sandwich lightly sprinkled with sugar pearls consisted of mango jelly and whipped cream for the "egg" (and Gudetama himself), custard as the melted "cheese", a slab of chocolate ice cream for the "patty", and a thin green crepe for the "lettuce". Beneath the top of the bun adorned with the anniversary flag were slices of strawberries, and in the background was a blob of strawberry-flavored jelly on a bed of whipped cream topped with small candy bits. The dish was confusing to tackle at first (we opted to eat about a half of it separate, and another half combined as a hamburger would be), but palate-wise, the item was without any real issue. It was actually fun to eat it.
We returned to the cafe during the afternoon to try the rest of the items before returning home. This time, we started off with the "Gudetamagical Planet Tea (ぐでたまじかるプラネットティー)" which the waitress instructed for us to pour the blue tea over and through the cotton candy puff of Gudetama into the cup onto a ball of what seemed like sorbet. This feat was a little nerve-wracking to do, but once complete, the cup was filled with a beautifully colored herbal tea with a fluff of cotton candy still remaining around the rim. The tea itself was a little puzzling to get to with the confectionary still stuck on its perimeter, so we opted to pick it all off and let it melt in the brew. The taste was pleasant as any herbal tea would be, but it was definitely better in our opinion with the sweetener syrup added. As with the Gudenkyu Soda, this order also included a coaster.
Whilst enjoying the tea, the "Unidentified Flying Gudetama GUFO (未確認飛行ぐでたまGUFO（グ～フォ～）)" landed on our table for us to enjoy. This dish was a very tangy pho bowl topped with purple potato espuma foam and an actual onsen tamago as Gudetama and underneath were rather thick kishimen-like pho noodles which reminded us slightly of udon. Those not familiar with Southeast Asian cuisine may find the flavor peculiar, but one of our editors of whom has a particular fondness for this sort of taste absolutely loved it and its tomato-y paste-like soup the bowl came with. They opined that the dish would be perfect in a chilled, fall or winter-like climate.
The last food item we had was the "Expanding into Mars too? Gudelian Pasta (火星にも進出？ぐでリアンパスタ)" which was a simple tomato sauce spaghetti with black pasta and strips of red bell peppers and a ball of mashed potatoes to simulate Gudetama as a stereotypical Martian being along with two small octopuses and backed by a small amount of salad on the side featuring cuts of small vegetables to recreate astral bodies. This was probably the most conventional of the food items offered at the cafe, and possibly the first choice for readers who might be on the less-adventurous side of things both aesthetic and flavor-wise.
Lastly, we have the "Blagude Hole Jar Parfait (ブラッぐでホールじゃ～パフェ)" which as the name implies, is a jar parfait with a frosted donut on top being the "black hole" of the entire piece. This dessert item and the final order we made off of the menu was another sculpture-like art piece that didn't hold back as a dessert as well. The bluish-purple frosted donut atop which Gudetama is greeting us lazily printed on a marshmallow disc was supported by –of all things– a single thick Pocky which anchored the "black hole" in place. Beneath and deeper within the jar was a cornucopia of chilled sweets including cassis sorbet, blackberries, and chocolate cake. This final item was a good choice for an end note to a very stomach-filling and adventurous experience to this cute and wonderful collaboration cafe, leaving us with sweet memories and longing for a hopeful return of these dishes in future collab events of Gudetama down the road, even after this one ends.
At each checkout, A foldable fan was given to us as novelty.
This cafe was quite the experience. We got a little more than we expected heading in, and the trip was undoubtedly a enjoyable one – especially food-wise. This location may definitely be worth a visit for Gudetama fans before the cafe closes on September 4th!
This review is not sponsored. We want to be able to professionally but honestly write about our experiences as fans and foodies so please understand. If you have any comments/questions/concerns about a café you are interested in visiting please leave us a comment below and we will try to help you.
All images of the café taken by us such as images of the food, decor, order benefits are copyright of Dango News.