Cafe with Cat Goes to the Wolves

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From April 4-6, Cafe with Cat, located on the second floor of Toranoana’s Akihabara Main Store, held a special event celebrating the DVD release of Wolf and Spice.

Transforming into “Cafe with Wolf,” staff members dressed as Halo (patron Wolf Deity and character in the series) intermingled with the resident cats. Their costumes were incredibly ornate; both girls we saw on our visit had natural, long hair which complimented the ensemble nicely, though admittedly looked very hot on the mild spring day. In addition to wolf staff, the cafe featured three special menu items recreating memorable aspects of the series: traveler’s bed and breakfast, apple tart, and grape juice. Every customer received a black and white character design sheet, but those who purchased the DVD downstairs at Toranoana’s Akiba Main Store also received a lottery style chance at winning rare goods.

Batsu and Maru decided to visit Cafe with Wolf on the first day of the promotion, April 4, at about 3:45pm. To our surprise, the cafe was empty, but the manager was giving away tickets for the next seating at 4pm. Had we been aware of the seating processions, we probably would have killed more time at Radio Kaikan looking at figures. Then again, 15 minutes isn’t long. We wandered downstairs to ponder buying the DVD, but were dissuaded at the first sight of a 6,000 yen price sticker. I opted to watch the preview on the TV which stood before the entranceway for a few minutes, and then line up early to beat the anticipated crowd.

We stood first in line, and were thus first to enter at exactly 4pm, not a minute earlier. A wolfish staff member guided us to a table and explained the day’s special menu. As she walked away, I surveyed the surrounding area. In total, about five out of 20 tables were seated; the counter was empty. Perhaps this wasn’t their peak time, or perhaps the event wasn’t very popular; this is uncertain.

I decided to order the grape juice and apple tart from the special menu. The grapes used to make the juice were actually grown to make wine. After pressing, they have an extremely short shelf life – though the cafe promised there was not safety issue. I was surprised to be served a very healthy glass of virgin wine, about 2 cups in total, served over crushed ice. It was naturally sweet and delicious, giving me a bit of a head-rush as I struggled to finish it. The apple tart was simply delectable. The apples had been poached in butter and sugar with cinnamon, and the crust was sparse. Served slightly warm with a small scoop of vanilla ice cream, I think I ate more than my alloted half. Sorry, Maru.

Other customers in the cafe were also ordering from the special menu. Most seemed to have gone for the chance at winning rare goods, quickly wolfing down their slop to get a grab at the prize. It looked thoroughly un-enjoyable from my angle, considering that Cafe with Cat offers some of the best foods to be had at a theme-venue, but for all I know they had four hour trains home to catch. Maybe they felt as if DVD purchase demanded an obligatory visit to the cafe, if only to drop 500 more yen on a disappointment. No one in our seating won the legendary rare items.

Overall, Cafe with Wolf was a very nice and refreshing twist to the always enjoyable Cafe with Cat, though the abundance of staff seemed to be mulling in confusion due to the lack of work. Oddly, none of them cared to speak with us at length, which seemed unusual conpared previous visits. I decided to make a point card which is actually a “Secret Contract” with the resident magical cats to try to remedy this is in the future.

1 Comment

  1. scott said,

    June 30, 2008 at 10:44 am

    apple tart and secret contracts with mystical cats… bring it!!!! (love your prose style. makes me feel like i almost went.)

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