(AUTHOR’S NOTE: This establishment is already defunct; thus, its original address was never indicated in this entry. Timestamp: 8 December 2015, 13:59.)
Once again, Happy New Year from The Monching’s Guide. Let me start off another year of reviews with this one, albeit long delayed as I wrote this three years ago. During 2011, Meidolls Cafe was one of the places to go among the new cafes appearing near the city (with a lot of features on national TV to back it up). For Japanese culture enthusiasts here in Manila, a trip to Meidolls was one worth looking forward to as it provided an authentic “maid cafe” experience much like the ones in Akihabara, Japan. The curious me was inspired to take a visit after some friends told me about it. Thus, I took some time off and decided to check the joint out myself.
The place is a bit far (located along Ortigas Avenue Extension in Cainta, Rizal) and the travel time takes long, as you have to deal with the traffic especially at the Rosario and Cainta junctions, but hell – Meidolls is worth it. As soon as you enter the place, you’ll see that it looks different from your regular cafe. The tables have a low height reminiscent of that in Japanese houses (or those low tables they call dulang in Filipino). Even the chairs emphasize this as they literally have no legs – just a seat and a backrest. This concept of Meidolls sets it apart from the usual high table cafes, as they followed an authentic Japanese theme usually seen in izakaya bars. A side note, though; the background music is a bit off as K-Pop (Korean pop) songs are playing in a Japanese themed cafe. Some of the maids are actual cosplayers that frequent conventions too. I wasn’t able to see cosplay acquaintances when I visited (the Rizal area has a large percentage of cosplayers), though some of them frequent the place.
I ordered Fish Katsu (P110) and Korokke (P40), basically a potato croquette in case I run out of rice. Both dishes were well-presented as they were shown on the menu. What you see is what you get. The katsu’s rice was steaming hot once you dig into it. I have a feeling they used cream dory for this, judging by the fish’s soft texture and subtle flavor. You’d get an overpowering fishy taste drowning out everything if other types were used. Though a larger serving would do, it was more than enough for the average diner. The korokke was rather small in my honest opinion, but you’ll find its texture just right with a crisp crust balancing the soft inside. A little improvement on the taste will give it plus points, since it tasted bland.
Contrary to rumors about the cafe, Meidolls’ service wasn’t really bad. Part of the “maid cafe” experience is ordering a maid to “serve” you while you are eating. However, I didn’t come here for the service but for the food. The dishes were served promptly despite me not hiring a maid, as each table had a bell that you can press if you want to follow up orders. I can’t say the same for other customers, though; maybe the staff was just stressed out when they visited.
I will definitely come back to try out their other offerings if I have the chance, but sadly it’s not going to happen anytime soon. Meidolls Cafe closed down around August 2012 to focus on relocating, but no other updates have been seen in their Facebook page after that. I just hope 2014 will be a brighter year for Meidolls, and their re-opening in a larger and more accessible location will be something to look forward to.
Until the next review, bon appetit.