Saturday, July 31, 2010

Cosplay Cafe in Vancouver

Something from Japan that I didn't think would happen here would be the [in]famous maid/cosplay cafe... I remember that there was a maid cafe in Toronto at one time, however that one doesn't exist anymore. So I assumed no one would dare to try it out again in Canada. How wrong I was.


Currently having their Grand Opening Special; Magnetic Cafe opened in the beginning of July.
From the date of the card on the flowers outside, Magnetic Cafe opened July 1st, but I've only managed to learned about this cafe two weeks ago through a Vancouver Sun news link from RadiantDreamer. I learned from the article that this cafe is modeled after the ones in Taiwan rather than the one in Japan, so you won't get the "okaeri nasai goshuujin-sama" treatment here. Which means it would be just the waitresses in cute costumes serving you. I suppose that's close enough.

This photo is from the Vancouver Sun article. There are a couple more photos of the waitresses on their website (also available in Chinese).

The waitress didn't mind me taking photos of the establishment, but won't let me take a photo of her. I respect that, since the ones in Japan won't let you do that either. It's hard to describe the outfit of the week when I came though. It's like a party gown with shorter skirt. It was somewhat like Ranka's dress up there, but only one colour and they wore sandals instead of boots.

A friend (who found out about this place a week after I did through Anime News Network) and I came in just before 7 PM and it was not busy at all. The Vancouver Sun article mentioned that it usually gets busier after 9 PM. The interior has a futuristic vibe to it. It's almost all white and had a sterile look, very Apple-y. It also reminds me of that blood donation centre that Danny posted about. Except they won't take your blood... Hopefully. ^^; When I walked in it was definitely not the maid cafe I was expecting. The atmosphere is geared toward the general public rather than the Akiba-going kind of crowd.

We had the window seats and everyone else that was in the cafe was also seated by the windows. So I was free to take photos of the middle tables with no people in it. The table was a bit high compared to the chairs though, so it almost felt like I was a kid again, haha. But no, it wasn't that high.

The bright, almost-neon-like, menu was quite cute, but the inside was quite plain. The menu lists pages and pages of items. They have great variety, which is good, but it lacks pictures and descriptions. I didn't see ALL the prices, but most of the items look quite affordable. One thing I noticed was the chocolate fondue on the last page for $9. I'll order that next time...

The large selection of drinks made it hard for me to decide so I asked the waitress for a recommendation. This one is the grapefruit green tea. Luckily for her I liked it :P

The takoyaki tasted good, but I felt disappointed that I only get six of them for $5. The takoyaki place I go to, which had a change of ownership, tasted a little better and cost a dollar less.

The main entree is Japanese curry pork chop omelette rice. I'm quite impressed with this dish. It tastes great! The curry was sweet, as I would expect of Japanese curry. The rice looked reddish, so it must've been fried. Perhaps along with the egg. Although the egg was very thin it still tasted great, especially with the curry. The pork was a typical fried pork chop, but no complains there either. My friend ordered pan fried pork chop with black pepper sauce on rice. I forgot to take a picture of that, but he said it was good as well. I wouldn't mind coming back to try out the other variety of dishes.

View from our table
Judging from the group of six guys that came after us, it seemed pretty obvious who the cafe is targeting. I'm not one to stare, so perhaps I won't come for that kind of eye candy, but I would be curious what kind of costumes they would have. The owner in the Vancouver Sun article promised other costumes in the work; nurse outfit, policewoman, race queens... I'm waiting for frog outfit and battle waitresses costumes to be added in the mix, ala Haruhi.

Other specials to try for the next visit?
All in all, it wasn't too bad, but it wasn't too great either. The food was great, the waitresses were nice and the price wasn't too bad. The atmosphere was lacking for what I was expecting, but can't exactly have it authentic here in Vancouver. I guess I'll try it out in Japan when I do go there.

Magnetic Cafe is located on the 2nd floor in Cosmo Plaza in Richmond at 8788 McKim Way. They open daily from 11:30 am to 2 am; very late! Do bring money since they only accept cash. Oh and they also have free Wi-Fi for your fancy smancy iPhones and other smartphones. My friend took advantage of it and it worked well.

26 comments:

  1. magnetic cafe grand new opening ?
    this place looks exactly like GoGo Cafe , bar counter walls and everything , my guess is GoGo Cafe closed and someone else simply chose to open up another maid cafe at the same place

    the last time I went I thought the food was horrible > < it seems that has changed now but not much else has

    oh and while you were there did you see any cabinets of figures ?

    *this is Kaionlriu

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  2. @KaionIriu: Oh so you have been there before. Yeah, I've never been, so I didn't know what it looked like before. I thought they redid the interiors ^^; But yep, you got it right, someone bought out the place and opened up this cafe. She also hired a new chef, so it's definitely better now. And no... I didn't see any cabinets of figures >.>

    Blogger seems to be funky on me too, just a little bit though. Pardon the trouble...

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  3. Well it looks like a cute idea. Although the interior seems a bit cold. There are a few in the Los Angeles area that I always hear mixed reviews on. The food always seems to be hit or miss at these types of places, so I'm glad you had good food when you went.

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  4. Where I live we had a maid-like cafe place too called "Crepe House Uni". Which I guess is actually a Japanese chain.

    Here they didn't go the full maid cafe route, but like this one, the workers wore maid outfits. At least used to. They toned it down a lot, after what seems as they got slammed by customers and residents calling it "Sexual Harassment" and "sexist", etc. This also used to be the hangout LAN spot with some anime club friends from the UC after our Wednesday meetings. We were pretty tight with the owner and often were allowed to stay after closing for some hours =D

    There was also plans for the owner to join us in FF XIV when that came out too. Guess we won't be playing it together, at least at the cafe. It was such an awesome place to hang and the owner and staff were just as awesome.

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  5. @PVCetera: Yes, that's one of the things I noticed about the interior. They really didn't do any renovations apparently. The new owner really did well to find a new chef for this cafe, lol.

    @soulfringe: From what I hear about the previous cafe, it had maid uniforms as well. The new owner decided to expand the uniforms, I guess. This is a pretty new place so they may not be hit by those allegations yet ^^; Maybe not though as long as they keep it tasteful and the employees don't complain.

    That's really too bad about the hangout place. Sounds like a very nice place too =/

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  6. Wow, they actually have one in Vancouver. The food looks decent, and who doesn't want to be served food by girls in French maid outfits.

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  7. Seems like a brand new cafe, nice pictures, Good luck to Cosplay Cafe on the Opening, if the Wifi at the cafe is good, then please submit and review the cafe at http://www.laptopfriendlycafes.com, it lists cafes with good wifi and power plugin's

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  8. This looks promising! A meido cafe! I went to one in Akiba, but the girls were too young >.< most likely junior high school >.<'

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  9. Nice find, though it doesn't look very exciting it does look like a decent place. Won't find something like that in my area that's for sure.

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  10. The red rice in a omelet that I had at a maid cafe in Akiba was due to the rice being mixed with ketchup. I didn't like it at all lol. Luckily my brother did and I traded it for his curry which I liked better though it was normal beef curry. I had the experience where the waitress wrote something out on my omelet but no picture taking of any kind was allowed so I no proof of it lol. The one you had might have been mixed with a tomato sauce like I've had at other places.

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  11. @Yi: Yeah, I'm glad the food tasted good. I really wasn't sure what to expect, lol. I wonder what other costumes they'll have next :D

    @Anon: I'll try to test my laptop there next time. Will see when I can post it on that site.

    @Wolfheinrich: Oooh really? I guess school girls there can work part-time jobs there...

    @Persocom: I guess it depends on what time you come in to this place. I'm surprised myself that something like this is around here.

    @AS: Aaaah That's what that is. I didn't have any problem with it, so I ate it all up. Oh wait, you can't even take pictures of the food either? 0.o

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  12. The interior was definitely Gogo Cafe's, they did not change much of it. I heard from some friends who went to Magnetic cafe that the outfits/uniform are stained (Probably from serving food/drinks) ^^; Your favourite takoyaki place's takoyaki (Abereen center?) serves old takoyaki sometimes lol Ah I want some takoyaki...

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  13. @Chun: So they really didn't do any renovation at all then, lol. So much for my interior review then XD Haha now that worries me if they don't even wash the outfits. Not very appealing that way, isn't it? Oh ya I know about the old takoyaki thing at Aberdeen Center. They're just premade. It's been sold apparently so some of it wasn't as good as it used to be =/

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  14. And oh yeah, totally like U said about the Takoyaki ^^; what a pity... but the original owner (we went there when Aberdeen just opened) put us off when we saw him using his bare hand to stick his hand into the green tea soft ice cream machine one time :P LOL Otherwise yes the takoyaki used to be yummy, it just takes a long time to prepare from start I guess, so they start to do it the lazy/pre-made way ^^;

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  15. @chun: Eyuck... Ok, that is kinda disturbing, lol. I remember when they actually ran out of takoyaki and I had to wait 20-25 minutes... But it was good and crispy! I wouldn't mind waiting if it's good ^_^

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  16. >waitress that resembles Ranka

    >no pictures

    You are a bigger cockteaser than Haruka AND Sexhair combined

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  17. @Shin: Just to be clear, she doesn't look like Ranka, her dress resembles Ranka's ^^; As for your last comment... Yes I am :P

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  18. Oh gosh this cafe looks pretty cool. I wish I had one around my area because I would secretly want to work there as an excuse to wear cute costumes, and make moolah while wearing cute costumes! Although I hear restaurant work is pretty tough.

    Also, sorry if you get a lot of comments from me, it seems like blogger isn't letting me comment properly ._.

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  19. @Coco: Hey if you start your own business, you can make a cosplay cafe and you can dress up even if you are the boss ^-^ I heard there was one in California, but I didn't go there.

    No duplicate comments here. I guess Blogger's being messed up lately. I'm gonna try to fix it up soon.

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  20. Oh yeah, the Vancouver Anime Meet-Up group is going there again sometime this month.

    Oh, and btw, my site at wordpress.com is outdated now. Update, drop me a line, and I'll re-add you to my blogroll too.

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  21. @Radiant: How big's the anime group, btw? Seems like an ideal place for that group, lol.

    Link updated.

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  22. Maid cafes are an immoral hive of servitude and defeatism, comforting lies served on overpriced platters.

    My ass. I had so much fun in that HK based maid cafe so many years ago, teasing the maids. Like 'did you put enough love into this dish?' or 'I'm going to the washroom, wanna come with?'. They also had various time-wasters like Jenga and a PS3. Jenga's a terrifying game, but did you know there's such a thing as LOVE Jenga?

    They did let you take photos of them, but it was 10 HKD a pop. Felt kinda dirty, snapping a shot and then handing them ten dollars.
    Sigh. I had such a good time until one day they charged me $15 for a coke. FIFTEEN HKD. I flew off in rage and vowed never to go there again.
    And that's my life story.

    But yeah, cool place.

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  23. @Tim: That's a better description of Mos Eisley spaceport than a maid cafe... At least this one wasn't too overpriced.

    I'm thinking that maid cafe in HK is MUCH better than this one... This was just... waitresses in costumes... *shrug* WOW! I've never even played Jenga yet and you have! Man, you're younger than me but you've LIVED!

    Hey I wouldn't mind paying them money to take a photo just for this post... And yes, it does seem dirty when you pay them money for it >.> Here I thought spending $5 on a $2 glass of coke at the fair here was overpriced... Wait... how much is $15 HKD?

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  24. Nice blog post, thanks for sharing this. We are also the Japan based cosplay costume manufacturers.

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  25. are they hiring?

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    Replies
    1. I'm not sure if they even exist anymore. I have not returned since around 3 years ago and no one talks about this place anymore. So safe to say that they are not hiring.

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