I know that when you go to the 30th Anniversary Macross Super Dimension Exhibition you're supposed to be excited about the 1/1 scale VF-25F (and I was!) but boy oh boy do I love anime-themed food. I'm not saying it's the healthiest choice, but can you imagine if your job was to try to come up with these designs? It's interesting to chronicle the most effective presentations, relative failures, and oddities in between.
When we got out of the exhibition proper, it was almost lunch time, or a least close enough to that time that fellow CRN contributor Mikikazu Komatsu and I felt ok ordering an entire crazy meal at Musume Cafe. Imagine dining on the following items to the soundtrack of Macross fan karaoke, both in and out of tune...
Although the hamburger patty with a skull and crossbones drawn on it in mayo was enticing (ok, no it wasn't), I decided to go with the Sparkly Ranka Lee and Ai-kun Rice (in Japanese this is an expert pun since "Ranka Rii" contains "karii" --> "curry"):
Sorry this picture is kind of a weird angle, but you can see that the rice (flecked with aonori [seaweed] to make it greener—and tastier!) is sculpted to look like Ai-kun with a spinach tail, beans for eyes, and a tomato for the red mark.
At first I wasn't entirely sure what the white oblongs were when I looked, but of course, they were eggs:
Overall, it was on the good side of standard cafeteria-style Japanese curry, flavor-wise, which I like, so I was ok with that. A special Ranka birthday set featuring a somewhat more belabored pun "Makuro [i.e. big] Rosu Katsu" (Get it? Macross [roast] cutlet...uhhh!) was limited to five servings and had sold out by the time we got there.
Next please check out this AMAZING Giant Salander Meat-Wrapped Rice Ball:
The pea eyes made me smile.
I wasn't particularly hungry for an onigiri wrapped in pork and slathered in spicy mayo, but when so much passion clearly went into making it look like Ranka's salamander pal, how could I pass it up?
The mayo sauce on top of the fat from the strips of greasy pork was kind of intense, so the cold cut ham wedges around the edges were refreshing.
And how about to wash it all down? Not content to settle for iced tea titled with another pun, this time on the Japanese word for tea (cha) and the Zentradi word "dekaruchā" ("terrible/I can't believe it!"), we took a peek at the "cocktail menu." Not disappointed in the least to discover ice cream sodas instead of alcohol, we chose two to sample:
The Galactic Fairy comes with a Sheryl Nome coaster. It's basically syrupy sweetness with crushed ice, vanilla ice cream, and a chocolate chip cookie. At first I couldn't really understand why you would put chocolate in the fruity drink, but it didn't taste so bad, and they had artistic reasons as well—the dark cookie and light ice cream are meant to represent Sheryl's White and Black Rabbit costumes from the Macross F movie The False Songstress:
Nendoroid image via Mikatan's blog
I liked the flavor best once the ice cream had melted so it could be stirred in, but the end of the straw morphed into a tiny spoon so you could eat the ice cream on its own as well.
Meanwhile here is the Super Dimension Cinderella, the drinking of which I left up to Mr. Komatsu:
He explained that it was a "pretty typical" melon soda topped with matcha [green tea] marshmallow and vanilla ice cream.
Not like we needed dessert, but the branded ōbanyaki (kind of like waffle batter only in the shape of a coin, usually filled with red bean paste) were just so cute:
Ranka (left) and Sheryl (right)
Ranka contained zunda an, which is bean paste made with edamame [soy beans]. Was it just me, or was there a slight matcha taste in this one? Either way, the green goes with her hair! Sheryl was filled with custard.
Ai (chocolate) or the Giant Salamander (red bean paste) also sounded yummy, but we had to draw the line somewhere.
That's it for our lavishly Macross dining experience! We spent just shy of US $40. The Musume Cafe is currently open to exhibition ticket holders in Sunshine City, Ikebukuro. Tell us what you would have liked to eat (or skip) in the comments, but please don't ask me how many calories because I don't know and don't particular want to think about it ;D
See more menu pictures at the official event page!
In case you missed our previous Japan Flavor Report...