A Brief Introduction
Hi! My Name is Dan, and welcome to the article!
FFXIV: Eorzea Cafe
A Realm Of Food, Drink & Fun
That said a few earlier articles and posts that you may or may not see for the cafe suggests that there were no English versions of the menu available, so I did query whilst there and they advised that they had recently updated the new menu's to incorporate English descriptions into the primary menu they use, so you're all set on that front!
Where is the cafe? How do you get here? When can you go? Do I need a reservation?
Let's go in order shall we?
Where Is The Cafe?
How Do You Get There?
Punch in the address details (or even just searching Eorzea cafe Tokyo should suffice) on your phone, laptop, iPad, whatever your using while you're out there and then plot your route to it from your current location, or indeed your hotel, or your closest station to Akihabara Station (which if you check the pic above, is just on the right hand side, so it is really close by) There are plenty of options to travel around Tokyo and in particular to popular places such as Akihabara, so whatever fits your itinerary best should suffice.
When Can I Go?
Do I Need A Reservation?
Whilst the venue is open 11:30am until 10pm, they section off the day into several time slots of 2 hours with breaks of half an hour between so they can cleanup and reset the room for the next sittings. Which of course means that in order to get in, you have to be in one of the assigned time slots.
"But Dan, how do you get assigned to one of the time slots?" I hear you ask.
Well, there are technically 3 ways to do this.
- Via a 3rd party booking agent such as Go Voyagin, This is the "safe" option if you already know when you want to go and you want it secured before you arrive. Please take into account however that 3rd party fee's do apply if you go with that route (Link: Here )
- By rocking up first thing of a morning (about 10.30am) outside the venue to see if they have spare slots. This really is literally luck of the draw, if they have any spaces left at all for the day, then they decide who gets one by doing a raffle style draw first thing in the morning. If you get a low enough number then you're all set to pick a time! But if you get a higher number you probably won't get one. This really is a hit or miss method with no guarantee of a seat on the day.
- Visiting a Lawson shop in Tokyo and using one of the Loppi machines. This is the method we used.
This was....an experience :) I'll say this now...if you want to use the Loppi machines, then you will have greater success if you have a decent understanding of the Japanese language, a super helpful shop assistant, the google translate app with the JP language pack, or a combination of some/all of the above. For us it wasn't "too" bad, as we had the app and myself plus one other in the group had basic JP language skills, but that translation app with the active picture translation really is a god send and it still took us 30 mins to figure it out. There is a link here that will give you a few pointers on how to navigate on the machine. It's not specific for this Cafe, but it should help a little.
Now, after reading upto this point, you're thinking, why on earth did you use this method if it was quite difficult?
Well the answer is simple... this is the option you use for the middle of the road if you didn't book in advance before you got to Tokyo with a 3rd party and you don't fancy chancing the queues on the door first thing of a morning. Using this method you can book a time slot upto 7 days (I believe..) in advance, depending on what is available with a guarantee that you will secure the spot you pick, There's a small cover fee included and some interaction with your email address is a must in order to confirm certain details but you'll eventually be able muddle through it and get it done.
**SUPER IMPORTANT** Make sure that you go over to the counter with the receipt that prints out from the Loppi machine as you only have a 30 minute window to get it redeemed and paid for. But once that's done, your all set to go to the venue and hand your ticket receipt in at the desk outside the cafe.
Being Seated & Your Initial Drinks Order
Food Orders & The Cactpot Draw
With your first order out of the way and being cooked, the staff now start addressing the room in order to grab your attention for the Cactpot draw to take place. It's time to grab those tickets they gave you as you walked in to see if you get the lucky prize or not. There are 3 possible prizes, but each sitting has a different prize available for the third place and runner up tickets ranging from a free drink to a Moogle toy etc. But then it comes to the grand prize draw.
I can't confirm if this ever changes or not, but the day we went, the Grand Prize was a Mega sized Moogle Dessert with literally the full works, sparkler and everything. But because the staff were all speaking in Japanese, we found it a little difficult to follow at the time and didn't really realise what exactly the grand prize was. So when our number was drawn out, we were a little nonchalant thinking we'd won a round of drinks or something to that effect thinking, ah sweet that's great...
My god were we in for a shock a little later on...
Time To Dig In
I couldn't possibly recommend any more on just how good it is to try something out that's different, be it the squid dish or the fiery "Bomb" dish, it's why you are here after all! Get stuck in, place a few orders and discover what flavours are awaiting you as you'll likely be pleasantly suprised!
The Grand Cactpot Prize
"Congratulations & Enjoy the Grand Prize!"
WAIT.....WHAT!! o_o you mean this is the thing we won on the cactpot raffle??
Holy crap....how are we going to eat all of this!
Yup, That's right folks, the grand prize was a massive Moogle dessert which looked like it was more suited to 10 people not 5! But once we realised that this is what we'd won we were over the moon and started hacking away at it as best as we could! We pretty much got it down to the very last layer but it was certainly a challenge after all the other dishes and drinks we'd already been trying up to that point.
FFXIV: Eorzea Cafe - Overview
The amount of detail the owners went into for this was incredible and it all really added to the atmosphere of the venue from the big obvious things like the Gridanian mosaic effect and the weapons and art displays around the room, to the little things like the music playing in the background, the themed food/drinks and the coasters that they hand out to you, which also promotes socialisation between the tables as you are encouraged to trade your coasters if you have multiple of the same one or are after that one specific coaster that you really want.
It might not be everyone's cup of tea, particularly if you are not a big fan of Final Fantasy or don't know much about the series (or FFXIV in particular), but even with very little knowledge, there is easily the scope here for people to enjoy themselves. though it of course goes without saying that if you are a Final Fantasy XIV fan in particular then you are going to get more out of the experience here than if you aren't, Heck, there's even a couple of PC's and PlayStation's in the centre part of the room to log in on your character if you wanted to whilst you are there.
Great variety, well presented, A little lacking on the alcohol front, but it didn't matter too much to our group.
Food: 7 out of 10
Solid showing and some creative dishes, far exceeded our expectations as many of these themed cafe's don't bother putting much effort into the food side of things, whereas here they really did.
Service: 8 out of 10
Staff were super friendly and were very quick when it came to servicing your food and drinks. There was somewhat of a language barrier in a couple of instances, but it can't really be helped when the customer's native language isn't the same as the server.
Atmosphere: 9 out of 10
The ambience was perfect, they had background music from the game, it wasn't too noisy, it wasn't too quiet and the detail for the setting itself was just amazing. Absolutley nailed it
Cost: 8 out of 10
For the the method we used to obtain the entry tickets it cost us 800¥ per head, (which is roughly £5.50 at current exchange rate) I've heard that going via 3rd party it can cost around 2000¥ per head. If you manage to get in on the day with the raffle then the entry fee is zero, but you also don't get the "free" first drink on the door this way. Food and drinks wise, most items were between 500-1000¥ (about £3.60 to £6.85) but they did also have a higher tier of food items that would set you back about 1600¥ (roughly £11) per item. For 5 of us it cost around 8000¥ (Roughly £55) so it was about 1600¥ (£11) a head, though you do have to bear in mind we didn't have to buy any desserts after winning the cactpot prize so you'd have to add those on to that total.
Overall Score: 8 out of 10
Thank you for reading the article guys, I hope you found it both entertaining and informative :)
I'll be posting more articles in the near future so keep your eyes peeled!