Otaku-Noms: Good Smile Company (King of System) Cafe in Taiwan

After seeing this logo, I totally jizzed my pants.

Before we start, let me apologize for the sub-standard photography skills. I don’t carry a DLSR nor do I own one. I also have never taken photo classes. So…please bear with me ^^~!

As you all know, in Akihabara, Good Smile Company has opened a GSC café which features a restaurant that provides quality anime-related food and decorations on par with otaku standards. After seeing famed Dannychoo’s pictures of the GSC café, I decided that I simply must visit the café. However, as it was only open in Japan at the time, it would be one rather expensive meal. Luckily for me, a chain restaurant opened up in Taiwan just as I returned from Canada to for winter vacation.

Outside sign for the cafe at Taipei Main Station

So what’s in a GSC café? Do they have moe omelette rice? Do they have maids? All of the above apply, my fellow comrades.

Theme? Once you step in that café door, it damn feels like you’ve just walked into heaven. And oh yes, did I mention they have “themes”? Similar to the Japan GSC Café, the Taiwan one is promoting Madoka at the moment, thus both cafés are decorated with loads of Madoka merchandise and what not. Not only is the décor proliferated with Madoka-related items, even the menu is tailor-made for Madoka! Can you imagine a Kyubey curry? Special drinks per female character? A cream soup with Kyubey’s face drawn in ketchup? HNNNNNNGGG is the right reaction people, this was the real deal. Also, they had a giant projector which played Madoka picture slideshows, seiyuu interviews, and snippets of the anime. Pretty much, one can tell that the GSC decided to go all out with the Madoka theme. On a special note, I did get to ask how often they “change” the themes…and it is 3 months. Not bad, but I wonder what’s going to be the next theme. BRS, anyone?

Madoka-themed menu. Note the coloured drinks. They come with special coasters complimenting the characters

Food? While I certainly did love the cute designs on the food, I am rather concerned with the quality of the food. As I do have to remind you guys, you’re going to the GSC café for the décor and feel, not for the food. I may have just put the GSC café’s food in a low regard, but it certainly wasn’t great. At best, it was decent. However, while I’m totally appreciative of decent food, the price certainly did not justify the quality of food I was getting. Seriously, NT $280 for the curry? In comparison, a quality restaurant curry rice would be even less than that amount, save for the bigger meal proportion. I’m speculating that this price must’ve been adjusted according to how much the GSC café in Akihabara charges, but this is simply ridiculous. It’s not just that I’m ranting about the price, but at this rate, the GSC café won’t be doing so great.

Chou-kawaii Kyubey curry. Note the flower shaped bacon and egg bands.

Drinks? As I mentioned before, the GSC café applies the Madoka theme to all its aspects, and thus, as you can expect, they have special drinks based on each female character. While the drinks were probably the best thing I’ve had in a while, the price tag and the amount you get it…makes you feel ripped off. It was literally half ice cubes, half drink, and thus you can tell I was not too pleased when I started drinking…and within a few seconds it disappeared. I don’t really mind the price tag, but seriously, they need to give me more of that wonderful ecstasy.

Freebies? If you want to win my heart GSC café, you must give me freebies. And yes they did. While the freebies weren’t exactly “Free Nendroids and Free Figmas”, it was just a simple table mat (per curry) and coaster (per drink). Although it really wasn’t much, I still got excited because of the quality of the freebies. It wasn’t a simply piece of printed paper, but it was much thicker, and actually resembled something you’d gladly take home. Obviously more freebies would be nice, but to be honest, I was fairly pleased with what I got already.

Guess who's drinks I ordered ^^

Décor? Wait what? Obviously aside from the Madoka theme, there are other attractive parts of this café, okay? Aside from the Madoka props, there was obviously a HUGE display case of figurines and let’s just say that there was constant number of comrades there taking photos of Miku’s shimapan. It was pretty much a Nendroid /BRS/ Miku Hatsune galore. Any complaints? Nope? Good. Oh, and before I forget, all of the waitresses were dressed in maid uniform. HNNNNNNNGGGGG!!! As a warm-blooded teenage male, my inner desires came out and let’s just say it was hard to contain my excitement. However, while they were dressed in maid uniform, they weren’t particularly the “goshujin-sama” type of maids. Sadly, I figured, they were just waitresses wearing maid uniforms and not actual maids like those at a maid café. Certainly a bummer, but I was still fairly pleased with the details they made to the uniforms.

View of the cafe interior from the outside

Service? Hmm, as I said before, it wasn’t like a maid café, but the service was excellent. The waiters/waitresses were all dressed in “proper” attire (shitsuji/meido) and their service attitude just made you even more pleased with your stay. To be honest, the service at the GSC café almost felt as if you were at a high-end café, but that’s just a personal opinion. Now if they only had that meido thing going…

View of special Madoka presentation

Store? As a GSC café, how can they not have a store? In the store they sold Nendroids, Figmas, Madoka merchandise, and even standard figures. THEY HAD SO MANY MIKUS AND XIAOMEI FIGURES HNNNNNNNNGGGG!!! But then I found out that the figures have yet to pass Taiwan inspection, so you have to “pre-order” the figures that are in front of your damn eyes. I was so stoked to get my first Miku Hatsune…and then it was like a giant slap in the face. Regardless, the only merchandise you could buy and take home that day were the Madoka merchandise and let me just say, there were a LOT. They had mugs, bookmarks, dakimuras, shirts, and even shitajikis. Obviously, since I was already there and I had cash to burn, I decided to get myself a Madoka T-shirt…and it was damn cheap. Obviously there wasn’t a discount or anything, but it certainly beats paying for shipping fee and pre-ordering a Cospa shirt. Also, before I forget, one can usually job the quality of a store by the type of plastic bag they give you, and I was nothing short of being pleased when I saw the bag that accompanied my shirt. Excellent quality plastic and a decent size with GSC Café logo on the bag made buying the Madoka shirt so much more worth it. So while the store could’ve been awesome, it only fared mediocre thanks to some crappy Taiwan policy.

OH LOOK AT ALL THE FIGMAS/FIGURES/NENDROIDS YOU CAN BUY! OH WAIT, YOU CAN'T! FUUUUUUUUUUUU!

Conclusion? Obviously, as I do have to reiterate once more, one does not go to the GSC café for quality food, but for the décor, service, and products. That is the sole principle you have to apply to the GSC café. Sure I was amazed by the experience, the pricy and half-decent food brought down the feel. It’s not that decent food quality is bad, but as I did say before, you must have a proper corresponding price. Also, while they did have a store setup, it was very disappointing that you couldn’t buy any figures EVEN if you were loaded with dough. Like seriously, what the hell? Okay enough bashing of my new favourite restaurant, but those are the most important concerns I just had to bring up. Anyways, I love the GSC café for their theme, decorations, and impeccable service. It wasn’t because I was a huge Madoka fan, but it was simply THAT amazing. To a Madoka otaku, the GSC café’s current theme would be nothing short of “jizz in my pants”, but even for a non-crazed Madoka fan, I was pretty impressed. In fact, I think my love for Mami just grew even more (especially since I had her calpico-edition drink). All in all, I was pretty pleased with the GSC café despite some setbacks that could potentially hinder the restaurant’s success. Just keep in mind; you’re going there for the café, not for the food. Just let your inner otaku senses guide you.

P.S. Lots of photos included below. Enjoy ~!

Menu cover

Table mat design

Main menu cover. These items are the mainstay items, not the special "theme" items.

Steaks and grilled chicken are the mainstay entrees (all includes soup and rice)

The usual drink menu. Too many to translate.

Corresponding coasters to the drinks I ordered. AWW YEAHHHH!!

Back side of the coasters. Guess which one is Mami?

Special table mats that come with your specialized Madoka entree. I saved mine for collecting purposes.

Kyubey corn soup. I've never had a better corn soup in my life. I'll be coming back for this.

Weird jar with Mio in it. She looks like she's drowning...

Decorated wall with Madoka anime production materials

Moe production card? Yes? Of course.

Funky Madoka collectibles

Life-size Kyubey. Can I haz?

Not sure what this is for...but I suspect it contains more life-sized Kyubeys

Rows of Figures

Of course there's a live HTT band playing at the cafe~

A row of Black Rock Shooter petite Nendroids just for Snippy~

The snow Miku can undergo mitosis?! MUST GET!

Of course we need Hanekawa at the cafe. No otaku mecca is complete without Hanekawa.

I was literally about to pull out my dough for XiaoMei, but then I got cockblocked by the Taiwanese customs.

A long row of actual "purchase-able" merchandise

Shirts, dakimuras, and other interesting merchandise

DAT ASS.

Was gonna get this too...until more cockblock

Last, but not least: RAILGUN! I LOVE YOU MISAKA~~~!!!

    • KeisatsuDono
    • January 17th, 2012

    Hmm….
    Interesting review.
    Somehow I had pictured that it would be loaded with otakus and have a line of them all the way to the exit?
    Whatever, but do you think this is an accurate comparison to the Akihabara one? I heard that one was fairly good, which might be slightly different in terms of quality compared to this one.

    Anyways, great review!

    • Thanks~!
      Oh, I went on a regular weekday during office hours, thus, unless the otakus are hikkikomoris, then they shouldn’t be able to come here. However, I did hear that on opening day, there were so many people that the elevator took forever to get to the 5th floor due to the amount of people lining outside of the building.

      While I’ve never been to the Akihabara one before, I do feel as if the one in Japan is done better. Mostly because they preserve the whole “cafe” type of decorations and the cafe seems somewhat…livelier? Anyways, I can’t say for sure how it will do compared to the Taiwan one, so once I do visit the Japan one, I will make a comparison review.

      Thanks again 😀

    • PP
    • January 17th, 2012

    I am most likely heading down to taiwan end of the year! Wanted to go japan but 😛 taiwan is a much cheaper destination..

    • Hmm…If you are going to Taiwan, let me know~! Perhaps we can meet up.
      Maybe our rendezvous location can be the cafe ? ^^

  1. How come there’s no omeretsu?

    • Derp oneechan,
      No idea…hmmm…perhaps that’s why it’s not really a meido cafe yet~

      I’ll give them that suggestion for ya 😀 ^^

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