Capcom fans, feast your eyes on the culinary translation of your favorite video games. Last month, an entertainment bar was opened in Tokyo, fully dedicated to the 28-year old Japanese video game developer. The video game-themed bar’s grand opening was January 25 and features food inspired by characters and items from Capcom’s currently popular franchises, like the Resident Evil and Phoenix Wright series’. Nothing less could be expected from the country that gave us Donkey Kong and the NES.
The game developers’ first restaurant is located in Shinjuku, on the first floor of the Pasela Resort. Food prices seem to average at around 580 &en ($7), and you can even order video game-themed drinks, which average 780 Yen ($10). The bar also includes gaming kiosks for those of you that like to dine and game. The bar plans on including an area for Capcom merchandise as well as gaming-related events like competitions or even live shows.
Capcom has been around since 1983 and is the developer behind classics such as Street Fighter, Devil May Cry, Mega Man, Ghosts’n Goblins and Bionic Commando. However, the menu will initially be focusing on many of the company’s currently popular series’, with limited menu options for newly released games. The games that make the cut include Monster Hunter, Resident Evil, Samurai Kings (Sengoku Basara), and Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney.
Monster Hunter, huge in Japan, seems to be the easiest food-to-game transition; Monster Hunter Tri, for example, lets you cook dishes for stat boosts. Included under the Monster Hunter heading are dishes from the Airou and Yukumo villages as well as the obvious Well Done Steak. Monster Hunter drinks include alcoholic “dragon blood” and soft drinks in potion bottles.
The Ace Attorney dishes include a Russian Roulette Takoyaki dish with fried pasta modeled after Phoenix Wright’s hair—one of the octopus balls packs a spicy habanero sauce. There’s also an onion ring tower representing a judges’ gavel.
Perhaps one of the more disturbing (yet, logical) series’ to turn into food are the zombie-blasting Resident Evil games. The standout dish is a spongy brain cake drizzled with berry blood. One of the more expensive dishes, at $25, is the giant Tyrant steak made for 2-3 people; spattered with yummy T-virus infected zombie sauce. For light dining, there’s the polygonal, and chili-bloodied “Tofu Mode” dish, herbs and vaccine cocktails with syringes instead of the traditional umbrellas.
Themed restaurants aren’t new, and as far as themed-restaurants go, a Capcom bar is not a big stretch for Japan. The country has seen everything from mental institution-themed restaurants, to Alice in Wonderland, to Gundam Cafes, to maid themed dining. It’s definitely not the first video game restaurant, with Beijing opening a Warcraft restaurant with game-themed food—China even built its own Blizzard amusement park. In the larger view, video game culture on a plate may represent how large gaming has become. As Zynga Chief Executive Mark Pincus said recently, “social gaming, and more broadly play, is becoming the new TV.” On a side note, if the Capcom restaurant does well, maybe Nintendo will finally be convinced to build that console gaming theme park the executives have been on the fence about.
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