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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".

<Location>
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.

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(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.).

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<Interior/Atmosphere>

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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.

<Menu/foods>
It has a bilingual(Chinese/English) menu.

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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)

<Overall>
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)
Address:
  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.)

P.S.
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.

P.S.2
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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