Jalapeno & Cheese Popcorn

Finally, finally, finally, a popcorn flavor that I am excited to write about!!! So far, we’ve reviewed Soda Popcorn and Strawberry Popcorn which were both disappointing. Neither of them was worth 310 yen. I’m most upset about them taking up unnecessary space in my stomach. That space could have been filled with more fulfilling Tokyo Disney goodies like a calzone from Ristorante Di Canaletto or Mr Swordfish from Queen of Hearts Banquet Hall. Learn from my mistakes, beautiful people of the world. I am your Tokyo Disney Resort lab rat and here’s a little secret….. I LOVE IT!!!

Most of you might already know that I was born and bred in Singapore. Food in Singapore is brilliant. I miss it a lot. So many different races and cultures living together in one little island. Lots of different spices and flavors coming together. My taste buds were pampered on a daily basis when I was living in Singapore. If you ever get the chance to visit Singapore, please EAT, EAT, EAT!!! Jalapeno & Cheese coming together reminds me of food from back home. This should be good.

Jalapeno & Cheese Popcorn

Jalapeno & Cheese Popcorn

Surprisingly, Jalapeno & Cheese popcorn was not as spicy as I thought it would be. It did not have that full flavor that you would expect when two strong flavors like Jalapeno and Cheese come together. Like a lot of foreign food here in Japan, it’s been made milder or as I would like to say, “It’s been Japanized!!!” Don’t get me wrong. I still enjoyed it. I just wished that the flavor would have been stronger, a little less toned down. I kinda wished that it would blow my mind and create this little explosion of flavor in my mouth, but it didn’t. I get this same feeling whenever I go to any South-East Asian restaurant here in Japan. Japanized!!!

Little Mahina enjoying Jalapeno & Cheese popcorn.

Little Mahina enjoying Jalapeno & Cheese popcorn.

On the upside, kids will also be able to enjoy this flavor of popcorn. Little Mahina enjoyed it. We found a place to sit down and shared the popcorn. Of course, Little Mahina had the majority of it, but we did enjoy some quality, family time together with our Jalapeno & Cheese popcorn.

Overall, I would recommend you to have a go at this flavor of popcorn. I felt that it was worth the money. If our paths ever cross in the future, I wouldn’t mind shelling out 310 yen again for it. Don’t worry about the spice level. Everyone should be able to enjoy it. I just wished that it was not Japanized. Finally, finally, finally, a favorable popcorn review.

KM gives Jalapeno & Cheese Popcorn a 7/10.

PS: You can read about some other reviews of popcorn flavors here. Soda Popcorn and Strawberry Popcorn.

Huey, Dewey & Louie’s Good Time Cafe

Huey, Dewey and Louie. 3 little pranksters. They remind me of my 2 sisters and I when we were kids. Love those times. I’ve been to Toontown many times, especially after Little Mahina came into my life. We would often visit Toontown to go visit Mickey’s House. Many a time, that was it. Visit Mickey and bye bye Toontown. This time was a little different. Prior to visiting Toontown, we had lunch at Center Street Coffeehouse. Throughout lunch, Little Mahina was napping. The heat knocked her out for a couple of hours. Little Mahina was wide awake and hungry when we were in Toontown, so we headed to the closest available option.

Huey, Dewey and Louie's Good Time Cafe

Huey, Dewey and Louie’s Good Time Cafe

Step right up. The famous Mickey Hand Sandwich awaits.

Step right up. The famous Mickey Hand Sandwich awaits.

Good Time Cafe's menu

Good Time Cafe’s menu

We ordered the Roasted Chicken on Chinese Bun and a Lemon Cream Pie for Little Mahina….. Why are you looking at me like that? My daughter is a growing girl and she eats a lot….. OK OK, you got me!!! The Lemon Cream Pie was for myself….. WHAT?! You’re still not satisfied? Tough crowd….. Truth be told, I wanted to get a little bite off that Roasted Chicken on Chinese Bun. It’s not my fault. Blame it on social media. I’ve seen so many pictures of it floating around on Facebook and Twitter. At that moment, my stomach said no, but the glutton in me went, “Hayatt, you have to try it, otherwise you will not be accepted by the masses.” Eventually, I gave in and ate ALL of the sandwich and the Lemon Cream Pie….. #idratherdiefatandfullthanslimandhungry

Roasted Chicken on Chinese Bun AKA Mickey Handwich

Roasted Chicken on Chinese Bun AKA Mickey Handwich

Lemon Cream Pie

Lemon Cream Pie

Just in case, you guys are thinking, “How could you let your daughter starve like that?” I did buy her another sandwich. Mahina finished that sandwich faster than you can say, “Bad parenting.” So, how was the food? The sandwich was not bad. It’s definitely not Kua Aina good. Taste-wise it was a little better than a sandwich you would buy at a convenience store.

Is it worth 550yen? If you have kids, this sandwich is definitely worth it. If not, no. I would not go out of my way to get it if I was not a parent. Parents out there will know that it’s TOUGH to get a 2 year old to sit down and focus on their meal. Once they get distracted, the meal is more or less over. This sandwich got Little Mahina super focused. The distraction was the sandwich itself. She sat down and concentrated on devouring Mickey’s hands. Let’s go Mahina, let’s go. With regards to the Lemon Cream Pie, I felt that it was nothing to shout about. Tokyo Disney needs to figure out a way to do desserts right. Definitely not worth 350yen.

Good Time Cafe's seating arrangement

Good Time Cafe’s seating arrangement

Overall, I would recommend Huey, Dewey & Louie’s Good Time Cafe to parents who happen to be in Toontown with a hungry kid. If you guys can buy more time, I would recommend skipping this and heading over to Queen of Heart’s Banquet Hall. Also, there is no air-conditioning at Good Time Cafe. It’s all outdoor seating. Uncle Scrooge would not loan the boys extra money to build an air-conditioned restaurant. It was super hot and muggy when we were there and that played a part in our dining experience. For my family, we will only visit Good Time Cafe again if we are in a “shouganai” situation.

Shouganai (Japanese) = It cannot be helped

KM gives Huey, Dewey & Louie’s Good Time Cafe a 3/10. All 3 points go to the Mickey Handwich for being able to hypnotize little kids.

PS: If the weather is nice and you would like to dine outdoors and people watch, China Voyager would be a better alternative.

 

 

Center Street Coffeehouse

After visiting Tokyo Disneyland countless times, once in a while, this park still finds a way to surprise me. This day was hot. Little Mahina was enjoying her Strawberry Popcorn, a pregnant Wife-chan was trying her best to keep upbeat and I was slowly melting away from the heat and humidity. All of us were sweating profusely. We were at World Bazaar and wanted to walk to Grandma Sara’s for lunch, but it was too hot. So, we made a u-turn and headed towards Grand Emporium for some A/C. While walking back towards Grand Emporium, we noticed that there was no line for lunch at Center Street Coffehouse. It was a super hot summer’s day at a super packed Tokyo Disneyland and there was no line at an air-conditioned, sit-down restaurant during lunch time?! Was this a mirage? This must have been a sign. Center Street Coffeehouse was calling out to me saying, “Come in and review me. I’m ready for ya!”

Center Street Coffeehouse

Center Street Coffeehouse

Center Street Coffeehouse is one of those places that I have known about for years, but it never really appealed enough for me to enter. It reminded me of any normal “Family Restaurant” here in Japan, like a Gusto or a Royal Host. Nothing in the menu screams out to you. There’s nothing fancy on the menu. Safe bets like Spaghetti with Meat Sauce and Hamburger Patty with Rice fill the menu at Center Street Coffeehouse. The menu reminded me a lot of Saizeriya’s menu, but of course, this being Disney, prices are more than doubled.

Center Street Coffeehouse Menu, Page 1

Center Street Coffeehouse Menu, Soups & Salads

Center Street Coffeehouse Menu, Page 2

Center Street Coffeehouse Menu, Main Dishes (A)

Center Street Coffeehouse Menu, Page 3

Center Street Coffeehouse Menu, Main Dishes (B)

Center Street Coffeehouse Menu, Page 4

Center Street Coffeehouse Menu, Desserts and Beverages

Center Street Coffeehouse Menu, Kid's Menu

Center Street Coffeehouse Menu, Kid’s Menu

I ordered the Omelet over Rice with Beef and Demi-Glace Sauce set while Wife-chan ordered a Spaghetti with Meat Sauce set. We got a small plate of side salad, the dish itself and free flow of drinks with this set. If you ever wanted to find a place to chill out for an extended amount of time without breaking the bank, look no further. Free flow of drinks!!! Mahina took a nap while we were eating. A really long nap too. The heat must have got to her. Wife-chan and I spent about two hours here having a variety of drinks, chatting and reminiscing our past while Little Mahina ventured off into dreamland.

Spaghetti with Meat Sauce

Spaghetti with Meat Sauce

Omelet over Rice with Beef and Demi-Glace Sauce

Omelet over Rice with Beef and Demi-Glace Sauce

Before heading into Center Street Coffeehouse, I came to a point which I thought I would never reach. I came to a point whereby I would have hated a trip to Disneyland. Weather plays a huge part in enjoying the parks. Plan your trips accordingly. Center Street Coffeehouse saved me. I was Snow White, the weather was The Wicked Witch and Center Street Coffeehouse was the Prince that nobody notices. I’ll leave you guys with that thought for a while…

… Alright back to this review. I have good news and bad news. Let’s start with the bad news. The atmosphere in the restaurant was similar to a “Family Restaurant”. A Japanese “Family Restaurant” is sorta like a Denny’s. Theming in this restaurant is nothing to shout about. The theming seemed lazy to me. For a while, I almost forgot that I was in Disneyland. Good news? The food was brilliant. Yes, the menu is boring, but the food was really good. Yes, it was more than double the price compared to a “Family Restaurant”, but it tasted doubly good. Good food and a free flow of drinks. I love value and I feel that Center Street Coffeehouse delivers on that front.

KM gives this restaurant a 7/10.

Seating arrangement at Center Street Coffeehouse

Seating arrangement at Center Street Coffeehouse

PS: If you are looking for another restaurant to escape from the crowds at Tokyo Disneyland and chill out, KM would also like to recommend Dreamer’s Lounge at Tokyo Disneyland Hotel.

 

Strawberry Popcorn

When I think of strawberries, I think of the Beatles. I don’t know why. That’s just the way my mind works. Strawberry is probably one of my favorite fruit. Pineapple, Fuji Apple and Strawberry would be in my list of top 3 favorite fruits. Tokyo Disney Resort, can you hear me?!! I’ve got a few ideas on new popcorn flavors. I want a cut if you choose to accept my super creative ideas of Pineapple and Fuji Apple popcorn flavors. 10% of total sales should be enough to wet my beak.

Strawberry Popcorn Cart

Strawberry Popcorn Cart

Naturally, with strawberry being one of my favorite fruit, I was excited to try it. It smelled really good too. Sorta like cotton candy. Then, I grabbed one popcorn and slowly put it into my mouth. I felt like one of those models in a hair commercial. You know how they put on the shampoo, rinse it off and move their head from side to side to dry out their hair, all in slow motion? Sounds sexy, doesn’t it? That was the effect I was going for. After that, I started chewing and waited for the popcorn to blow my mind. Hold up!!! Something’s wrong here. It didn’t blow my mind!!! Wait, let me try it one more time. This time a handful. Hmmmm, still not mind blowing. What’s going on here!!!??

Strawberry Popcorn

Strawberry Popcorn

I was really disappointed by this. Almost to a point of depression. I felt empty. It was almost as painful as the time when Guns N’ Roses broke up. I’m distraught to say that Strawberry Popcorn is not on my list of top 3 popcorn flavors at Tokyo Disney Resort. It would have been cool if it was in my top 3 list, so that I could align it with my top 3 fruits. That way, I could have told the world that I LOVE STRAWBERRY ANYTHING!!!

Mahina chomping down Strawberry Popcorn

Mahina chomping down Strawberry Popcorn

So, I did what any awesome parent would do. I passed my disappointment on to my child. Little Mahina chomped it down like a champion. Overall, Strawberry Popcorn was disappointing. It definitely did better than Soda Popcorn, but then again, any flavor of popcorn would have done better than Soda Popcorn. Little Mahina might have given this a higher score, but for me, Strawberry Popcorn did not do enough to get placed on the medals podium.

KM gives Strawberry Popcorn a 4/10.

 

China Voyager

Secret Recipes coveted even by the pirates. That’s the description for China Voyager on the Tokyo Disney Resort Official website. Seeing that I am a pirate and a blogger, I feel that I am fully competent to review this restaurant. Before you read any further, to make this blog post more entertaining, I urge you to imagine me in a pirate accent, reading this post to you. If you have never heard my voice before, it’s a hybrid of Richard Simmons’ and Madonna’s. Avast mateys, onwards to the China Voyager.

I smell me some ramen

I smell me some ramen

China Voyager

China Voyager

China Voyager's menu

China Voyager’s menu

After the disappointing reviews of Soda Popcorn and Crystal Palace’s Character Breakfast, I am delighted to bring you a positive review. Faith in TDR, being one of the best Disney Resorts in the world, has been restored.

The first thing you will notice when walking up to the restaurant is it’s long line. Don’t fret about that. That line goes by fairly quickly. Very soon, you will be in the restaurant, giving your order and enjoying some aspects of Taylorism in the preparation of your food. Enjoy the show. It will give you a glimpse of Japanese efficiency. Fast and precise with quality. Sorta like Seattle Seahawk’s defense in the 2014 Superbowl.

Ramen Assembly Line

Ramen Assembly Line

Voila, the Ford Model T of Ramen served!!!

Voila, the Ford Model T of Ramen served!!!

After you get your food, you shouldn’t have problems looking for a seat. Given the amount of people that eat here, I am surprised that, most of the time, there is available seating. Most people, unlike me, will just finish their food and move on. However, if there are no seats available, just be a little patient and I am sure that your patience will be rewarded. Most of the seating for China Voyager is outdoors, so plan this dining experience accordingly with the weather.

Ingredients coming in

Ingredients coming in

Outdoor seating

Outdoor seating

In total, we ordered 3 different types of ramen and some rice and vegetables for our little pirate. We ordered the Noodles with Crab & Egg in Thickened Sauce, Minced Pork in Spicy Miso Soup, Shrimp & Vegetables in Pork Soup, a side of Steamed Vegetables and the Pork with Black Bean Sauce over Rice. I wasn’t expecting much as I have had very good ramen in Singapore and Japan. Surprisingly, all 3 ramen dishes were good. They were no Jangara Ramen, but they were good. I will definitely dine here again when I visit TDL in the future.

Noodles with Crab & Egg in Thickened Sauce

Noodles with Crab & Egg in Thickened Sauce

Shrimp & Vegetables in Pork Soup

Shrimp & Vegetables in Pork Soup

Minced Pork in Spicy Miso Soup

Minced Pork in Spicy Miso Soup

Pork with Black Bean Sauce over Rice and Steamed Vegetables

Pork with Black Bean Sauce over Rice and Steamed Vegetables

China Voyager serves up good food. The outdoor seating atmosphere is really nice too. I enjoyed the sunshine, ramen, people watching and conversation with Mrs Pirate when we had lunch here. China Voyager is one of the best counter service restaurants in TDL. The downside to China Voyager is that it’s value is highly dependent on the weather. I don’t mind paying about 1,000 yen for good ramen in Disney if it’s nice out, however, if it’s raining or super hot and humid, 1,000 yen would be a little too much for me. So, before you plan to lay anchor in China Voyager, I suggest you consult the weatherman.

KM gives China Voyager a 7/10.

 

 

 

 

Character Breakfast at Crystal Palace Restaurant

Disney Character Breakfast. I was never really interested in it when I was a young man. My first experience dining with the characters only came last year (2013) when I was 30 years old. I decided to take my family to Chef Mickey`s in TDR`s Ambassador Hotel and we had a good time. All the main characters were there. Food was good. Little Mahina enjoyed the company of the characters. However, do take note that there is a time limit of 90 minutes at Chef`s Mickeys for breakfast. It costs about 3,400 JPY per adult, 2,270 JPY per child aged 7 – 12 and 1,650 JPY per child aged 4 – 6.

Next experience was in Aulani. This experience was beautiful. I highly recommend heading for Character Breakfast at the Makahiki in Aulani. There was a wide variety of food and the food was great. There were games for the kids to participate in, the characters would come and interact with you at your table for a while (not just take pictures and jet off to the next table) and you could chill at the restaurant for as long as you want, until they close of course. Little Mahina would go play games with the other kids and the characters, leaving Mummy and I to enjoy our conversation to ourselves. We reconnected during that experience and it was great. Out of my limited experience with Disney Character Dining, the one at Makahiki is definitely the best. It costs about USD$32 for adults and USD$18 for children aged 9 and under.

My last and most recent experience to date was the Character Breakfast at Crystal Palace Restaurant in TDL.

Crystal Palace Restaurant

Crystal Palace Restaurant

Character Breakfast Dining in the Crystal Palace Restaurant costs about 3,090 JPY per adult, 1,950 JPY per child aged 7 – 12 and 1,230 JPY per child aged 4 – 6. As you can see, it is about the same price as Character Dining in Makahiki. Sad to say, that`s the only similarity they share. Food at Crystal Palace Restaurant was mediocre. Really simple and it was not even a buffet. You get a breakfast set which consists of salad, scrambled eggs, a sausage, 3 fried potatoes, two Mickey pancakes and plate of fruits. I`m not a great chef, so if I can cook up what is being served, we have a problem.

Crystal Palace`s Breakfast set. This is what you get for breakfast at the Crystal Palace Restaurant. You can`t go for a second serving. THIS IS IT!!!

Crystal Palace`s Breakfast set. This is what you get for breakfast at the Crystal Palace Restaurant. You can`t go for a second serving. THIS IS IT!!!

With regards to the characters, Mickey and his crew were not around to entertain us. Instead of the usual, we got Pooh and his crew. That was pretty cool. Something different. However, the characters were so busy that they had no time to interact with us. It was all business. Take a picture and it`s off to the next table and it took forever for them to make their rounds. There were just too many tables, too many people to entertain. It looked like Pooh and his crew could have used some help. If it was a buffet, we could have at least gone for another round of food. Long story short, our dining experience went something like this. Finished our food, sat there and waited for a character to come to our table, took a picture and waited for the next character to come. We were paying to wait. I honestly felt like I was being ripped off. It was a terrible experience.

Overworked character #1: Piglet

Overworked character #1: Piglet

Overworked character #2: Eeyore

Overworked character #2: Eeyore

Overworked character #3: Tigger

Overworked character #3: Tigger

Overworked character #4: Rabbit

Overworked character #4: Rabbit

Overworked character #5: Pooh

Overworked character #5: Pooh

I`m trying my best right now to think of something good to say about this dining experience, but I can`t think of any. This is by far, the worst dining experience I`ve had in TDR. In fact, this is the worst dining experience I`ve had in all Disney parks. We lined up for about 30 minutes to enter the restaurant, got our one serving of food, sat down, finished our food and waited for the characters to come. In total, we wasted about 90 minutes of our time. There was no value at all attached to this experience. I felt like someone stole my wallet after leaving this place.

Seating arrangement in Crystal Palace Restaurant

Seating arrangement in Crystal Palace Restaurant

Central structure with a really happy bunny

Central structure with a really happy bunny

Really happy Easter Bunny carrying really expensive carrots. Thanks for dining with us today!!! (evil grin)

Really happy Easter Bunny carrying really expensive carrots. Thanks for dining with us today!!! (evil grin)

I recommend Character Breakfast at Crystal Palace Restaurant to no one. Go spend your hard earned money somewhere else. If it`s characters you want to see, there are other ways to go about it. Don`t waste your time and money at this place. You have been warned.

KM gives this dining experience a 0/10. By far, the worst dining experience that I have had in any Disney park.

 

 

Soda Popcorn

TDR has a lot of different flavors of popcorn. From the conventional, like Caramel and Honey, to the not so conventional, like Cream Soda and Corn Potage. Caramel, Honey, Sea salt are the safe bets. You can never go wrong with them, but where`s the fun in that? Sometimes, it`s nice to take the unconventional path. Only by walking the unknown path will we get to widen our experiences. I was feeling rather adventurous on this particular day when we were in Disneysea and decided to go for a bucket of Soda popcorn. I was ready for a new experience. TAKE ME AWAY, SODA POPCORN!!!

Soda Popcorn wagon.

Soda Popcorn wagon.

Soda Popcorn signage.

Soda Popcorn signage.

Soda Popcorn Bucket

Soda Popcorn Bucket

One Soda Popcorn. Yes, one.

One Soda Popcorn. Yes, one.

Little Mahina chomping down Soda Popcorn.

Little Mahina chomping down Soda Popcorn.

Unfortunately, the only place Soda Popcorn took me to, on my adventure, was to the cleaners. It felt like I was eating some sort of cleaning solution, like detergent or shampoo. It wasn`t pleasant at all. Let me walk you guys through my adventure. First, I put a popcorn in my mouth and went, “Wow, this is terrible!!” Then I tried it two more times because I wanted to give it a fair review and I came up with the same consensus, twice. The more I ate it, the more I disliked it. However, Little Mahina kept chomping them down, but then again my beautiful daughter seems to enjoy eating anything. Little Mahina might disagree with my review on this one, but here it goes.

KM gives Soda Popcorn a 1/10. 1 point for creativity. Sorry Mahina.

I know for a fact that I wouldn`t be spending my hard earned coins on this, ever again. Don`t let this review stop you guys from trying though. I am curious to hear what you guys think. My wife and I didn`t like it. What about you guys? Where did this adventure take you? As for me, Popcorn reviews can only go up from here.