When I heard that Youme Café, an anime themed café, in Hong Kong was launching their new theme of Cardcaptors, I was intrigued. I liked Cardcaptors well enough, in that I recall watching the dubbed version of the show in Canada as part of my cartoons routine when I was young.
I tried to make an online reservation at Youme Café, but they were fully booked every single day. I’m not joking. Every time slot of every day was booked and I was trying to book my reservation 3 days after they annouced the new theme. Phone reservations were only for groups of 16 or more. Alright then, I suppose I’d have to take my chances with a walk-in visit.
I chose to go on a Wednesday, since most people would be either at work or in school. The café opens at 12PM, and I got to Tsuen Wan at 11AM. After walking under the searing sun in attempts to find the café, I finally got there at about 11:15AM. I looked at the lineup and was disheartened. There was a small lobby for this building, and there was a lineup going up to the second floor. What even is this? It’s a Wednesday. Are people ok?
Anyway, since we were already there, I got a ticket. We waited around till 11:50am, which is when they annouced their plans for the seating. Every 20 minutes, they’d update their Facebook page with new numbers so people can come back. This was a relief because we would be free to do whatever we wanted and the lobby wasn’t exactly the most air-conned place in the world. I should mention that I had woken up with a migrane, so I wasn’t very happy with what was transpiring. I guess I’d have a late lunch.
Our ticket was A17, which means we were 17th in line for a 1-2 person table. There were other tables to consider for 3-4, or 5+ people, but we weren’t in direct competition with them. The first batch of people to go up included A9, so we figured it’d take a while to get to us. 30 minutes after they had gone up, a post on Youme Café’s Facebook page told us that basically all the limited edition merchandise were sold old. I personally had wanted this Cardcaptors plate set, but I suppose there wasn’t anything I could do about it. This was turning out to be a wonderful day.
My boyfriend and I got pretty exhausted walking around, checking Facebook every five minutes in hopes that they were nearing our number. It wasn’t till 3 hours later that they called our number. So like I said, late lunch.
I was super hungry by the time we ordered our food. We hadn’t really eaten breakfast since we rushed out. I can’t gauge whether the food was actually good, or if I would’ve literally eaten anything and called it Michelin starred, but I think their offerings weren’t bad. I had eggs benedict (one of my eggs were suspiciously dyed purple. But I suppose aesthetics.), and my boyfriend had the curry. Not amazing, but really not bad. The prices also were decent, considering the gimmicky feel of the whole thing.
I really appreciated the décor in the café. They did a stellar job with customized Cardcaptors cardboard cutouts around the walls, and they even had a great photo op area where you could photograph yourself as a Clow card. The menus were shaped like Clow cards, and of course all the foods were well themed.
“Was it worth it?” a friend asked me on Facebook. My response? Not right now. Maybe when I get back to Vancouver and look back. Then I may truly appreciate the experience. But right now, I’m a little pissed at myself for waiting 3 hours at a Anime Café for a show that I only semi-knew. I’m also pissed at people who made it so that line-ups were 3 hours long on a Wednesday. What is up with people?