So Square Enix decided to close its elaborately named “Character Goods Shop” in favour of a venture into Japan’s favourite theme cafe business. Inside an egg. The result was… OK. Just OK. Artnia’s menu doesn’t have much variety, and the 6 bottles of alcohol from which all the cocktails are made sit on top of the bar, as if to say: “This is it”.
The fancy glass in which they serve the Shiva cocktail makes up for this a little, if only because it reminds me of the crystal my grandma owns that I am hoping to one day inherit. The cocktail itself is pretty good, with lychee flavoured Dita being the main ingredient.
The food varies from good to downright disappointing. None of it looks exciting enough to warranty taking photos. We ordered a smoked salmon salad, which was the best tasting dish, assorted sausages from the bar time menu, which were the same as in any other place that serves sausages, and sweet and sour shrimp on rice. First of all, the amount of shrimp was kind of unacceptable. Secondly, the sweet and sour sauce was a total lie. What was it instead you ask? Why, none other than ketchup. Being quite hungry on arrival, I was disappointed to say the least. I definitely needed a dessert to get that taste out of my mouth. Perhaps that was their plan all along. Seriously though, don’t order the shrimp and rice!
The dessert choice is between parfait and pancakes, so we decided to go with the parfait. There are only 2 choices, so we got one of each.
The choco banana parfait comes decorated with a mini chocolate buster sword, and the strawberry one with something sugary, like cake frosting back in the UK, shaped like Aeris’ ribbon.
The parfaits didn’t have any cornflakes in them, which is a pleasant surprise in Japan, but the choco banana had coffee jelly, which I’m not a huge fan of, and the strawberry had custard. So depends on your taste I guess. The desserts were definitely the best food choice, so don’t go here hungry. Most dishes and cocktails are under 1000 yen, and there is no table charge.
The decor is clinically… I mean stylishly white, which must be a pain in the ass for the staff to clean. The tables are also way too small to house 3 dishes at the same time, so beware. We were lucky to finish the sausages right as the ketchup shrimp arrived. When we went in the evening, the establishment wasn’t crowded, which is nice.
The biggest draw of the establishment is, I’m guessing, the relocated goods from the old shop. The overpriced silver jewellery is still here, with sold out items never removed from display, just to taunt you. You can also get a variety of other goods from t-shirts to soft toys, figures to phone straps and so on. Definitely worth a visit for the Final Fantasy and or Dragon Quest fan, and eating isn’t even a purchase requirement. Good.