Eric Carle’s "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" is one of the most popular children’s books in the world. With its creative collage art and fun interactive reading style, it’s considered a great educational tool in kindergartens and daycares worldwide, even in Japan.
With such widespread adoration of the book and Japan’s propensity to take anything popular and make it into a cafe, it’s no surprise that a pop-up Very Hungry Caterpillar cafe opened just the other day in Tokyo’s Ginza area.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar Cafe, called “Harapeko Aomushi Cafe” in Japanese, is one we can approve of. Its concept is to take the colorful world of "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" and transport it onto a plate. The ingredients used for all of their dishes are seasonal, so you can guarantee that you’re getting fresh, tasty meals that you can munch away on, just like the very hungry caterpillar.
Their current menu includes “A Very Hungry Caterpillar French Toast”, which is not actually french toast but a sandwich of fried bread with shrimp, avocado, cheese, zucchini, and other vegetables, shaped like the Very Hungry Caterpillar.
Also on the list is “A Very Hungry Plate”, which cleverly creates all the sweets from the caterpillar’s meal with savory ingredients: rice with demi-glace sauce that looks like chocolate cake, ice cream made of mashed beets and potatoes, a cheesy Salisbury steak that looks like a lollipop, and a cupcake that’s actually deceptive spinach.
They also have a kids menu, featuring a gluten-free meal of chicken meatballs and broccoli over penne with tomato sauce, and a simple bowl of udon for the picky eaters.
For those who fancy dessert, you can order one of the three cakes: the strawberry-covered Very Hungry Caterpillar Gateau Chocolat; the mandarin orange, mango, and pineapple laden Sun Cheesecake; and the lemon cream Moonlight Cheese Pie.
You can also splurge and buy A Lovely Very Hungry Caterpillar: a drink of matcha milk topped with a spinach muffin and a caterpillar cookie. We’re not sure how exactly these things all go together, but it sure looks pretty!
As with most themed cafes, and with most Ginza area restaurants, the menu is a little pricey, running from 1,580 yen for the cheapest adult plate to 2,600 yen for the Very Hungry Plate (which is recommended to be shared, though we aren’t convinced). But it’s probably worth it for the fun experience, especially if you’re an Eric Carle fan.
In other caterpillar news, Ghibli director Hayao Miyazaki’s new short, “Boro the Caterpillar”, is scheduled to finally debut in early spring.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar Cafe / はらぺこあおむしカフェ
Address: Tokyo-to Chuo-ku Ginza 2-2-14 Marronnier Gate Ginza 1 (4F) Sunday Brunch
Open 11 a.m.-9 p.m. (For reservations only until 5:30 p.m.)
Source: The Very Hungry Caterpillar Cafe Homepage
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