Sunday, July 22, 2012

Biohazard Cafe & Grill S.T.A.R.S.

Name: Biohazard Cafe & Grill S.T.A.R.S.
Hours: 11:00AM-3:00PM, 5:00PM-12:00PM. (Seats rotate every two hours. Reservation required.)
Price: ¥3300 for girls, ¥3700 for guys. (Two hour course meal.)
¥300-¥650 for beers and cocktails.
Address: Shibuya Parco 1, 7th floor.
Japanese level: So long as you can make the reservations, you're golden.

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2012 is a good year to be a Resident Evil fan. We've got Revelations to hold us over until 6 drops in October, as well as a new CG film and the latest from Paul Anderson on the horizon, both of which promise to be flaming train wrecks of entertainment. What better time to return to Raccoon City to get reacquainted with the franchise's roots over a plate of home-cooked vittles?
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Recently opened Biohazard Cafe & Grill S.T.A.R.S. offers the ambiance of a sleepy Midwestern neighborhood bar, complete with a looping soundtrack of  Top 40 hits from the 90's and reformed strippers on the waitstaff. You wouldn't even know you were in a Resident Evil-themed establishment if not for the memorabilia lining the walls. That, and the life-size T-002 Tyrant replica encased in the center of the room.

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The trusty typewriter and self-defense flash grenade.
Yet things aren't as homely as they seem. The second loop of Mmm Bop is suddenly drowned out by warning klaxons. Panicked caution lights strobe on and off. The creature has awakened... and is about the break out of its holding tank!

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Luckily, the combat boots on the waitresses aren't just for show. The girls of Dance Team S.T.A.R.S. Angelique have been trained from the ground up by their Chief Commander-cum-former K-1 heavyweight Nicholas Pettas and Madonna back-up dancer turned choreographer Ueno Takahiro. They coolly arm themselves with the replica firearms on display and saunter into attack formation, all while keeping their rocking hips on beat to Spice Up Your Life. Critics of the first Resident Evil movie, take notice—this is what it would have looked like if the director wasn't preoccupied with Mortal Kombat.

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On the other hand, an elite anti bio-terror strike force equipped with nothing more than hot pants and exposed midriffs is in line with Leon trash-talking a midget Napoleon and Chris uppercutting a two-ton boulder into submission. The real make-or-break point for a restaurant is its food.

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Thankfully the first-aid spray dressing only looks like hairspray.
The course comes with all-you-can-eat “B.B.Q. Grill Raccoon-style” churrasco grilled skewers, “S.T.A.R.S. time-out” sweet Japanese curry, “Arkley-style” seafood bisque, and a mixed herb salad topped off with Vietnamese noodles (mild Jill-style for girls, spicy Barry-style for guys) and “Rebbecca's coquettish” mango pudding dessert. The menu names are stretching an already thin concept. At ¥4000+ per head I was expecting more in terms of presentation and value. Is it really too much to ask for a brain souffle? At least take Fiona Apple off repeat.

Last year's Shooting Bar EA offered up a more authentic Resident Evil dining experience coupled with commemorative take-home glasses and an airsoft range where you blast B.O.W.s. In contrast Biohazard Cafe & Grill S.T.A.R.S. offers heartburn and a lot of awkward laughs. Not that I regret going. From the original tank controls to goofy retcons and cringe-inducing adaptations, the series has always demanded a certain degree of immunity through suspension of belief. Just be sure that your wallet is prepared to survive the horror.

FINAL JUDGMENT
Food: 2/5 (Too pricey for the quality.)
Service: 2/5 (Part-time dancers should be faster on their feet.)
Ambiance: 1/5 (I'd rather go to Lockup.)
What IS this?: 5/5 (Some doors are better left unlocked.)

6 comments:

  1. So... what was behind that last link, "What IS this?" The YouTube video has been removed by the user..

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    1. Seriously? What a waste!
      Now the world will never know the best throw-away Barry Burton gag ever.

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  2. thanks for sharing..

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  3. Oh im desapointed about all the commentary i see , i thinking that whill be a good restaurant and that will be exciting(and what is the spice girl who dance in a resident evil restaurant? ) ...but like the video game you think that will be great, a good game to the serie and the final is a big shit .....:(

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    1. Still more satisfying than the entirety of RE6, if that counts for anything.

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  4. i could make a better restraunt then this

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