If you are one of the four million subscribers to Final Fantasy 14, you might want to take a trip to the Eorzea Cafe, a themed-restaurant based on the world in the game...that is if you happen to be in Tokyo. Luckily for me, I'm not only an avid player of FF14, but I happen to live in Japan as well. So, when I went to Tokyo this past week for a little getaway, I decided to give the Eorzea Cafe a try.
After checking-in with the staff, because my wife and I made a reservation we were both able to select a collectible drink-coaster, featuring the various job classes available in the game (more on both these topics a little later on). While you're waiting to be seated, the staff hands out the menus (there's an English menu available for non-Japanese speakers) for you to peruse and order from before you are seated (you can also order additional items after you are seated as well, so don't feel pressured to chart out your entire meal before you even enter). The menu has an awesome variety of Final Fantasy-themed dishes, so even if you're not an FF14 player, there's still lots of references to the game series that even the most casual FF fans will love.
My wife and I decided to order the Chocobo Vegetable Quiche, Gilgamesh Pork Cutlet Curry, Dodo Fried Chicken, Marmot Beef Stew, Meteor Chocolate Cream Puff, and to drink, Potions. All the food was really good, especially the beef stew and the Meteor Puff, and the potions were quite yummy as well. My wife and I originally only ordered one, and before we left we ordered about four more. This may or may not be because it's served in a glass potion bottle, complete with a cork, which you have to use to pour the drink into a glass and mix yourself, but I digress. While everything we ordered was delicious, be aware we didn't try everything on the menu, and there were some suspicious-looking dishes, like the Leviathan Ramen, which is blue (?!?!) and filled with scallops, shrimp and clams, which to my shellfish-allergic wife might as well have been a bowl of death. If blue shellfish-filled ramen is your thing, though, the Eorzea Cafe has got you covered. The portions for most of the dishes are fairly small, but that is typical for restaurants here, especially themed ones. However, the pricing isn't too out of control. For all the above-mentioned items, we got out for just under ¥6000, or about $54.
You remember those collectable coasters we mentioned earlier? Well, for every food item you order, you're given a random coaster featuring one of the various Primal bosses in FF14 (Garuda, Titan, Ifrit, King Moogle, Leviathan, Ramuh, Shiva, Odin and Bahumat). Unfortunately the staff won't allow you to swap out any doubles you might receive, but they do encourage you to talk with the other guests to see if they want to trade coasters. Between what my wife and I ordered, along with a few trades, we've almost got the full set after just one visit.
The inside of the cafe itself is modeled after the architectural style of the Gridanian Free Company from FF14. That means lots of wood, dark/cool colors, along with a killer stained glass "window." Scattered throughout the cafe are full-size replicas of each job classes' (Bard, Black Mage, Warrior, etc.) weapons. You can look and take pictures, but sadly no touching of the weapons. Additionally, there is a large life-size display of a menagerie of different Moogles featured in the game. Last, but not least, the cafe also has a couple of stations that you can play FF14 on while you're waiting for your food (one PS3, four PCs, and one PS4).
For those of you that might be interested in checking out the cafe for yourself, the Eorzea Cafe is located in the heart of Tokyo's Akihabara district and is only a short walk from the JR Akihabara Station. Reservations are strongly encouraged, as the cafe has only four seatings a day (TIMES), and can only accommodate around 30-some people a seating. Reservations can be done through the Loppi System at any Lawson's Convenience Store in Japan. If you are unable to use/understand the Loppi system, you can arrive an hour before one of the four seating times and any open tables will be assigned on a first-come, first-serve basis. On weekends they are especially busy, so be aware that there might not be any open tables to give out on, say, a Saturday night. If you ever have the chance, and you're any kind of Final Fantasy fan, I would definitely recommend a foray into the world of Final Fantasy XIV, and the Eorzea Cafe.