PLACES – A Visit to Mongkok’s Japanese ‘Maid Cafe’

If you’ve visited Causeway Bay’s cat cafe but avoided Mongkok’s maid cafes on the grounds they might be a bit awkward, then congrats – as you were probably right.

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Is… is that a sheep on your shoulder or are you just pleased to see me?

Japanese-style ‘Meido Kafes‘ are a kind of cosplay restaurant that originated in Tokyo’s tech/’geek’ district of Akihabara – an area comparable to Sham Shui Po, albeit on steroids.

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Waitresses don a traditional French Maid petticoat, pinafore and stockings – some also wear cat ears for all-important ‘added cuteness’.

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Originally designed to cater to the fantasies of male fans of anime, manga and video games, the maid trope has been popularised and the cafes are now frequented by teenagers, couples, tourists and businesspeople of all ages and both genders.

The maids at Mongkok’s ‘Moe Maid Cafe‘ are – thankfully – not as excruciatingly ‘verge-of-tears’ submissive as their Japanese counterparts. You are still addressed as ‘master’ and customers can ‘summon’ them with a bell. However, the dulcet, whispered tones of Japanese have been replaced with a rather amplified, brazen MK-style Cantonese.

‘Maid Moe’ refers to a Japanese concept – the adoration of innocent-looking female characters… It is difficult to tell where on the line the whole idea sits between harmless fantasy-made-real and degrading-creepy-fetish. The themes of cuteness and innocence make it all the more blurry.

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Photography is restricted but you can pose with a maid, like in the shot below, for HK$50 – so y’all best brush up on your Asian Poses.

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As per tradition, your meal can be decorated with whatever kawaii design you desire. Menu items cost up to HK$100. Click here for the Open Rice entry.

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Note that the drinks are sickly sweet – to the degree that they are pretty impossible to consume unless you’re resigned to contracting insta-diabetes.

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Moe Maid Cafe on Facebook. Flat B, 5/F, Fook Tai Building, 24-26 Soy Street, Mong Kok.

 Places to see off-the-beaten-track and attractions to visit across the city…

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