Bangkok Post reviews
Maid to Order
- Writer: Bangkok Post Editorial
- Published: August 16, 2013 at 8:27 am
Food is secondary to spectacular service at Maidreamin
A maid will pamper you since your first step into Maidreamin.
Walk down the district of Akihabara in Tokyo and one sight you won't fail to see is frilly and kawaii/cutesy-looking girls dressed up in French maid costumes _ revealing factor optional _ trying to usher customers into maid cafes scattered all around the area. In these establishments, waitresses dressed up as maids will cater to all your requests (not the primal ones, ahem) and pamper you while you enjoy your meal. If you want to "transport" to a dreamland, where you can escape the bleak and grey realities of life by the hour, Maidreamin has just recently opened at Gateway Ekamai. It's the first branch to be open outside Japan and comes complete with pink and white sofas and merry maids to keep you in high spirits.
From the ceremonious moment your maid lights up the Dream Candle, you will no longer be in the "real world". You will have travelled through portals and transformed into a master (Nai Thun or Khun Noo in Thai) which the maids eagerly await to welcome. Manufactured to be polite, buoyant and entertaining while being endearing all at the same time, the maids kneel down to take your orders and also wave enchantments at your food to make it taste better before serving it to you. Pay an extra fee and they'll sing and dance for you and you can shimmy to girly J-Pop music along with them. For those who have no idea what you're in for, visits to these types of cafes are not exactly cheap and you have to pay for everything from entrance fees by the hour to photo ops with the maids, as photography within the cafe is not allowed.
It's a place where food is secondary, as the customer's main intent (for the solo male ones, anyway) is to bask in some attentive company from the maids. If you've ever felt unloved, then Maidreamin is the place to be. Service here is extraordinarily cheery and the maids will never PMS on you because it is their undying duty to make sure you have a good time.
But if you've ever wanted to eat some ridiculously cute-looking food and don't have a nice Japanese mum who will make imaginative bento lunches for you, the food at Maidreamin should strike your fancy. Gigantic Omelette Rice (699 baht) is big enough for three people and although the fried rice with chicken, peas, carrot and corn is pretty generic, the fluffy omelette is delicious. The fun part, though, is getting to watch your maid affectionately draw whatever picture you'd like onto the omelette with ketchup.
Another special menu item is Kuma Dreamin (320 baht), a fried-rice teddy bear sleeping under an omelette blanket, next to a salad and fried prawns. There's no doubt about the good looks but rice packed into artificial shapes taste well, weirdly tight and chunky. The fried prawns however, are airy and fuzzy, making them the crunchy delight of this dish.
Gigantic Omelette Rice.
There are a couple of desserts to choose from, a popular choice being the Hopping Parfait (169 baht). Following the adorable animal theme, it is made to look like a pink rabbit with strawberry and vanilla ice cream, pink whipped cream, cornflakes, strawberry jam and butterfly pastries for ears. Although simple, it's always pleasant to have an ice cream smiling back at you. The other choice for dessert is Whimsical Cake (160 baht). Cake flavours change every day (no heads up too sorry, it's all secret recipes from Dream Land), but will always come with a lovely chocolate and jam Japanesey cartoon drawing on the plate. The chocolate and nutty concoction I had was not too sweet like the surroundings and had a light texture.
For all the male masters who need a drink, there are a handful of beers, sake and even champagne choices available. If you're up for a treat, pick Love Cocktail Reamin (320 baht) because a maid will come and shake it up right at your table.
I think I'd have to be somewhat hammered to enjoy something 'kiku' like this, but then again, high-pitched voices make me die a little inside and I don't want to make heart signs with my hands before I can dig into my food. Nevertheless, places like these also seem to appeal to those without anime fetishes and my maid Ruki tells me Japanese businessmen _ not young ones either _ frequent the cafe to really unwind and relax. Women may be less likely to enjoy this kawaii fiesta, but will probably appreciate the attentive service, as maids will definitely pamper you in order to try to get you to come back. There's a VIP zone upstairs where you can cast enchantments onto your food and dance without other customers seeing, so if you want to wish your worries away for an hour or two, play along and you'll probably start liking the sound of getting called a master or madame eventually.
A customer and maids cast enchantments onto his food together.