Located in the far end of Akiba, near Suehirocho station, Cure Maid Café is a nice formal style cafe, not unlike M’s Melody in Nagoya.
The first thing you will notice about this place is the unusual way to get into the cafe. For maid cafes, you normally enter a building, and the first thing you see is an elevator that will take you to the desired floor. However, the big difference with this place is that you need to enter a gachapon (those machines in which you put money to get a capsule with a random toy inside) store called “Gee Store”, walk to the far end of the store and then you will see the elevator. This small detail may be a little bit confusing, but once inside, it’s a maid cafe.
This cafe is located on the sixth floor of the building, and the elevator is rigged so a chime rings as the elevator door opens. Once inside, a girl will take you inside and show you to your table.
The layout can be though of a simple rectangle with several tables for two or four, with unobstrusive divisions between every few tables, which I really appreciate as they give you a somewhat better sense of privacy. A rough count indicates that some 30 people can fit inside the cafe, which is neither small nor large. Quite like the average size for a maid cafe.
As I mentioned before, I would classify this cafe as a formal style cafe. The maids sport relatively unadorned long skirt victorian style uniforms, they are very formal in their way of addressing you and in the way they move around, and the menu is quite elegant.
I’ve been now several times to this cafe. The first time was last summer, when they were celebrating an Evangelion themed event. As you can see on the picture here, I ordered a cheesecake with a NERV design drawn in cocoa powder. As you can see, they are very careful with all the details, the logo on the plate is at the top, the four spots of chocolate syrup in the plate are perfect, and pretty much everything is well taken care of.
Now, you may ask yourself why do I have pictures inside the cafe, when pictures are usually forbidden? Well, Cure Maid Café is so far the only maid cafe I know of, which lets you take pictures inside, with your camera. Pictures of the maids and other guests are forbidden, but anything else is fine. HOWEVER, you must ask any of the maids for permission BEFORE you take your picture, and they will ask you to show them the picture afterwards. After they verify there are no problems with your picture, it is yours to keep. Of course, this is free of charge.
Food is very good and reasonably priced. They have separate lunch, teatime and dinner menus, exchanged at 3 pm and then at 5 pm. Prices range for food from 800 to 1000 yen, soft drinks go at around 400 yen, while alcoholic drinks go for 500 yen. This is similar in price, or even less expensive than other regular cafes in Japan such as Doutor and Pronto. They also offer dinner sets from 2000 to 4000 yen.
There is no table charge, and takeout is available only for cakes (except for chiffon cakes), with a minimum order of 2 cakes. Takeout is not available on the midsummer because of the heat though.
I tried the cutlet curry rice, and it was very good, with a nice quantity of food. I did find the lack of pickles (tsukemono) for the curry a little bit disappointing though.
Even though it is a very formal cafe, and I have not seen further interaction between the maids and the clients apart from the orders, they still focus on the otaku culture with a large amount of events, such as the Evangelion one I talked about before, and also have many others that coincide with the launch of new anime series.
They also seem to offer violin/flute/harp concerts every saturday evening. An additional charge of 300 yen is required to attend it, and as it may be quite popular, they recommend on taking a reservation. I have not yet attended one of these performances.
Their point card system offers one stamp for every 500 yen in purchases. After 20 stamps (at least 10000 yen), you get a 500 yen discount ticket. Not bad, but could have been a little more imaginative. Additionaly, they have a small goods store, with figures for sale, as well as tableware with the cafe logo imprinted on it.
There is one thing though I did not like about this cafe. The aprons worn by some of the maids are quite dirty. It’s not a moe type of dirty (if there is even something like that), but more like a “this apron has been washed 10000 times” type of dirty. I find it quite noticeable and very unappealing. Maybe it is supposed to appeal to some type of otaku (definitely not me), but I think it is completely unnecessary to keep those aprons, and replacements should not be very expensive for them.
Apart from the aprons, I liked this place a lot. The is as far as I know, one of the most successful maid cafes in Akihabara, so please be sure to give it a visit.
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