BANGKOK — Green curry rice molded into a poisoned pill? Lattes with foam shaped into the faces of beloved manga characters? These are just some of the delicious clues that a cafe inspired by the detective-manga “Case Closed” – best known to Thai audiences as “Detective Conan” – has returned to Bangkok.
Detective Conan Cafe 2019, housed exclusively at the Siam Center branch of Bake A Wish, is open for a limited time only. This year’s edition of the cafe brings fans a larger menu to choose from than last year, with more than 18 dishes ranging from mains, desserts to drinks. The dishes are inspired by “The Fist of Blue Sapphire,” the manga series’ latest movie installment, released on August 8.
Khaosod English had the chance to taste four dishes at the cafe during a press conference on Thursday.
We kicked off with the APTX-4869 Green Curry – a spicier adaptation of the signature curry rice served at the original Detective Conan Cafe in Japan. It was Instagrammable, but our cravings were let down by the watery curry and disproportionate amount of eggplant compared to chicken. Still, the pill-shaped rice – while unlikely to shrink you like the poison in the series – might rejuvenate youthful memories of the manga.
Next, Cafe Poirot’s Napolitan Pasta – its name taken from the fictional cafe located beneath the Mouri Detective Agency where Conan lives – is meant to remind diners of “Japanese mothers’ mouth-watering skills.” While the sauce was a little too sweet, the spaghetti was cooked al dente and went well with the accompanying Conan butter roll.
If you’re not a Detective Conan fanatic though, we really save your stomach for dessert, the course where the cafe outperformed. Shinichi & Ran’s Love Dessert is a mousse as delicate as the pair’s romance in the manga. Ran’s Cup is a strawberry cheesecake with cheeky bursts of sourness, while Shinichi’s Cup offers a chocolate rendition. The Sparking Blue Sapphire Apple Soda, served in a collectible bottle, is the perfect drink to wash the sweets down.
Other dishes limited to this year include Kid the Phantom Thief’s Full Moon Omurice (omelette fried rice), Kid the Phantom Thief’s Magic Dessert Plate (chocolate lava), and Blue Paradise Singapore (blue soda topped with homemade vanilla ice cream).
Donning the master thief Kaitou Kid’s white suit, Nikan Prachyasilpawut, CEO of Bake A Wish, told diners that Bangkok’s Detective Conan Cafe is even more special than the original branch.
“Our food quality is superior because we are a specialized Japanese confectionary cafe,” Nikan said. “The dishes blend the best of two worlds: unique Thai ingredients and Japanese anime pop culture.”
Apart from a full belly, fans can take home limited-edition collectibles that come with some of the dishes, such as postcards, keychains, and stickers. Souvenirs are also available for sale individually.
“Detective Conan,” known to the Western world as “Case Closed,” is an anime series that follows an amateur detective transformed into a child after being poisoned with APTX-4869. Throughout the 949 (and counting!) episodes, Kudo Shinichi adopts the pseudonym Edogawa Conan to keep his identity secret while investigating the mysterious Black Organization – behind his poisoning – and solving casual crimes. The series was created by Gosho Aoyama and premiered in 1994.
“Detective Conan Cafe 2019” runs from August 1 to September 15 at the Siam Center branch of Bake A Wish. The cafe is reachable by a short walk from BTS Siam. Items on the seasonal menu cost from 180 to 350 baht.