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16 November 2008

Otaku Ippiki goes abroad: cafe review "maid date" in HK

 <<JP version is also available here(日本語版はこちらへ).>>

Several weeks ago, I went to Hong Kong. As it was just a transit, I don't have much time to see the city. However, I managed to visit HK's first maid-cafe.

<My experience in HK>
My first visit to HK was nearly 15 years ago. Since then, I have visited HK many times. Yes, and I have seen the dramatic changes in HK before and after the 1997 Handover. I seldom visit to HK in recent years, if ever it's just only once in 1-2 years.

OK, Here's my impression of "maid date".

Simply excellent. It is located right before "Times Square" in Causeway bay(銅鑼湾). If you are a savvy HK visitor, you will easily know that this is an excellent location. It's almost like "in front of Shinjuku Times Square" in Tokyo.



(You can see "maid date" on the 2/F.)

But most visitors to "maid date" may encounter a problem:"Where's the entrance?". Thanks to a 0ne's photo report, I easily spotted the entrance of this old building: Percival house.
The entrance to Percival house is located behind the side facing Times Square. I was surprised at seeing a semi-automatic elevator(^^;(Plase see a photo. You have to manually open/close the door. It's hard to find even in today's HK.).




The cafe does not look as small as it seem, having eight "two seater table". But I'm so shocked at seeing its cheapness of interior. It's just like a makeshift cafe in a school/university festival. Once in Akiba, there was a maid-cafe:"Cafe Wish Doll". It was notorious for its cheap interior. Its wall was painted deep-blue unprofessinally. So these were unofficially called 青壁[AOKABE, blue wall].
  I think, "Maid Date" could be called 黒壁[KUROKABE, black wall]. If there was KUROKABE maid cafe in Akihabara, it will never survive the harsh competition (^^;.

<Maid's manner/serving customers>
It's not so special, and rather ordinary like any other HK-cafe. When I was there, there were two maid-sans. Unfortunately, I had a problem communicating with them because they could speak only limited English/Japanese. (Sorry, I can't speak Cantonese at all. I still feel ashamed of it as I was once a frequent visitor to HK...). But English isn't so much of a problem for Hong Kong. But comparing to pre-97, English is spoken much less in HK since standard Chinese is gaining more importance than English.

It has a bilingual(Chinese/English) menu.


It's easy to order if you can understand (traditional) Chinese characters. I ordered an iced-latte. It costs HK38. Taking the premier location into consideration, it's not at all expensive.
However, the iced-latte didn't taste so good -- it was too sweet! It's more like Japanese coffee with milk (コーヒー牛乳[milk-coffee])(T_T)

Uummm...., I wouldn't recommend "maid date". It's OK if you drop by there if you are on your way to Times Square for shopping. But it wouldn't serve as a a main attraction. For me, I was rather disappointed. All the other maid cafes I have experienced in overseas (Cosafe-SG, Koyotei-Penang, Pinafore-BKK[now defunct], @niaohai-Shanghai[now defunct], @Animaid-Taipei[now defunct]) are much better than that.

<Supplemental impression>
There was another poor impression I had of "maid date". My bill was HK$38. I handed HK$40 but I did not get back my change. It's quite unusual since HK has no tipping system.

[cafe info]
Name:maid date(メイド・デート)
  Room D 2/F, Percival House, 83 Percival Street, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong
Business hours:
  14:00 to +0:00[M-T,Sun], 14:00 to +2:00[Fri, Sat]
  Tel: (+852) 2808-0789
   HP: http://www.maiddate.com.hk/
blog: http://blog.yam.com/MaidDate
       (Both HP and blog is in Chinese only.)

HK has another maid-cafe in the suburbs. "Maiderland"(open on Sat/Sun only). I have not been there because of a lack of time. Maiderland has a JP homepage. The entrance charge (with one drink) is just HK38 only.

I also walked around Central(中環), and LAN KWAI FON(蘭桂坊, HK equivalent of Tokyo/Roppongi)in midnight. It's still bustling. But something is different from what I knew...





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