Just two months ago, Piko Taro was largely unknown, but now there’s a restaurant in the comedian/musician’s honor.
Recently, there’s been a huge boom in the themed dining scene in Japan. However, most of the eateries in this burgeoning sector are based on intellectual properties with long-established fanbases, such as hit video game or anime franchises.
So Tokyo’s Pen-Pineapple-Apple-Pen Cafe is a case of some serious fast-tracking, since the hit song from Piko Taro (also known as comedian Kosaka Daimaou) was only released at the end of August, and didn’t become a worldwide phenomenon until about a month later. But the operators of the PPAP Cafe, located in the Tree Village entertainment complex attached to Tokyo Skytree, decided to strike while the iron was hot, and so on November 1, the eatery opened its doors.
While the owners were no doubt dealing with a pretty tight timetable, they sort of lucked out in that Piko Taro’s hit gave them their two key ingredients to work with: apples and pineapples, which figure into almost every everything on the menu in some way.
We decided to start off with the 878-yen (US$8.50) PPAP Fresh Juice, which echoes Piko Taro’s dynamic visual flair by being served in an entire pineapple, with a chocolate “pen” to sweeten the experience.
The 700-yen PPAPan Burger keeps the song’s acronym, but mixes up its meaning by having the letters stand for Pan (the Japanese word for “bread”) P/Bulgogi (Korean-style marinated beef), Avocado, and, once more for good measure, Pan.
Next on our PPAP feast was the 600-yen PPAParfait, with pineapple and apple chunks dusted with cinnamon and a chocolate pen.
And, since as full-grown adults we’re allowed to eat two desserts if we want to, we capped off the meal with the 700-yen PPAPancake, which is basically the same as the PPAParfait except with pancakes, though you still get a scoop of ice cream on the side.
While we still don’t know how long Piko Taro’s popularity will last, we do know exactly how long the PPAP Cafe will be in business. The themed cafe will be serving its last customers on November 20, so if you’ve still got the song stuck in your head, or if you’re just craving some fruit, head on over now.
PPAP Café (TV Official Shop Tree Village) / テレビ公式ショップ～ツリービレッジ
Address: Tokyo-to, Sumida-ku, Oshiage 1-1-2, Tokyo Sky Tree Town Soramachi West Yard 4F
東京都墨田区押上1-1-2 東京スカイツリータウン・ソラマチ ウエストヤード4F
Hours: 10 a.m.–9 p.m. (takeout orders from 9 a.m.)
Website (Tree Village)
[ Read in Japanese ]