You might have tried Kaiten Sushi before, but how about Kaiten Okashi?
Located in Tokyo’s pop culture center, Harajuku, Maison Able Cafe Ron Ron is the first shop that comes up with the innovative idea of putting desserts instead of sushi on a conveyor belt. In 40 minutes you can get various kinds of bite-sized desserts, as many as you want, and pamper yourself with all the luscious sweet things. Today, byFood is bringing you to this hip cafe in Tokyo.
Cafe Ron Ron: All-You-Can-Eat Desserts-Go-Round Cafe in Harajuku
The viral cafe is located in a quiet and peaceful backstreet in Harajuku, which is known as “Cat Street.” At first, we thought the Google Map was showing us the wrong way, as the tiny alley is such a big contrast to the bustling main street. This charming area is full of artistic cafes and independent fashion boutiques, which feels like somewhere you can go for stress-free shopping and a chill day out.
To avoid peak hours, we arrived at the cafe around 3:30 pm on a weekday. There were just a few customers at the spot, while there were 2 friendly staff ready to assist. After being shown a guidebook about the shop’s price and rules, you could buy a token from the machine at the entrance. (Note that the machine only accepts 1000 yen banknotes.)
Everything is written down clearly in the booklet, but if you have any questions, feel free to approach the staff, who could speak basic English. In short, the price is different for different genders, with 2,100 yen for females and 2,400 yen for males (tax included). It’s all-you-can-eat dessert buffet for 40 minutes, a complimentary bottled drink is included while there was a free flow of water, tea, and coffee. The staff ask if you have any dietary restrictions beforehand, which is very thoughtful.
After you have purchased your token, show it to the staff and they will lead you to your assigned seat. When it comes to seating, you might want to get the best spot where desserts coming out from the kitchen, which is located in the back of the shop. In our case, we got the seats located near the entrance, where only “leftovers” were available, but surprisingly we still never ran out of fresh choices so there is no need to worry about the seat!
Before filling up our bellies, we went to grab our free beverages from the fridge with around 7-8 choices. We chose the two pinkish drinks - peach soda and lemonade. Their taste was actually pretty OK in spite of the awful colors (for a drink) - fruity and not too sweet.
Let's start our dessert adventure!
Although every adorable plate that chugged by made us want to sweep all of them down, we were reminded by a sign that we couldn’t take more than 2 plates at a time for each person. Fortunately, we didn't have to worry about running out of options as the dessert train never stopped running!
First, we went for classic options like chocolate cake, Swiss roll, and pancake. Everything was in a mini size that fits perfectly on your palm and could be finished in just one bite! Their taste was pretty decent which was actually better than I expected, because pretty food usually doesn’t taste as good as it looks.
For puff pastry lovers, this multi-layered pineapple pie would come to your delight. While being buttery it was not too sweet and giving a flaky texture.
Macarons, the crusty sweet French dessert that famous with its candy look. There were several flavors available; my personal favorite was the green-yellow one (guessing it might be peppermint and lemon-flavored) which was minty and refreshing.
You could feel the holiday spirit from this little fruity Santa Swiss roll.
Aside from Western delights, there were also some traditional Japanese okashi like dango and mochi.
One of the highlights was these neko-themed desserts! These kawaii cat’s ears, tails, and paw prints will melt your heart at sight! I felt slightly guilty, but crushed these delicate-looking pieces, anyway…
A mochi with seaweed on top, which is quite a traditional Japanese style, and it surprises me with the cheese fillings bursting out inside my mouth.
It’s easy to get tired after overloading of sweets, luckily the cafe is considerate enough to prepare some savory food options including pasta, corn dogs, and meat buns.
Not sure if it’s because I got too tired of the sweetness, the taste of this mini burger was surprisingly outstanding with the juicy meat patty.
Grab some crispy potato chips to get over the soft and sweet mouthfeel.
The seafood doria is one of the rare hot food options to warm up your mouth.
Sometimes you will catch a surprise that makes your food hunting fun! There are options might look sweet from appearance, but turn out to be totally different from your expectation. For instance, this “vanilla ice cream” is actually a potato salad in a disguise of sundae cone! The spicy taste of the sprinkled pepper on top surprised me at the first munch.
After finishing every dish, you can conveniently stack the plates up like everyone does in a sushi place! The only difference is you don’t need to worry about the price (not like hundred-yen per plate sushi) so you can easily build your own tower. As you can see we have proudly built a twin tower!
While enjoying the food, the cafe’s aesthetic interior design has come to my attention. With a pinkish pastel-colors tone, the place is beautifully decorated with roses and balloons which creates a dreamy and fantasy atmosphere. Since it was just a few days before Christmas, I could feel the festive vibes while being surrounded by Christmas decor and music.
There are also two Instagram-worthy photo spots for those who want to capture their sweet memories here.
To be honest, it’s normal to get overwhelmed by the food in an all-you-can-eat situation, especially when most of the options have a similar taste. Nevertheless, I still think it’s worth a try for every sweet tooth as you can enjoy a wide variety of desserts at a reasonable price, while you don’t have to worry about being too full to try everything (thanks to the just-right portion). At the same time, I can’t help noticing that every customer looks contented and enjoying their time. You could observe people’s faces lit up when kawaii desserts come into their sight, that’s human nature to have a liking for visual enjoyment.
In a nutshell, Cafe Ron Ron is a place you can have a feast for both your eyes and appetite, while the joyful experience actually matters more than the taste - just imagine it’s like a trip to an amusement park (apparently a more affordable ticket!)
Lastly, here are some useful tips for your visit to Cafe Ron Ron!
1. Get the coffee!
The bitterness can somehow help to fight against the overload of sweetness.
2. Grab the savory foods when you see them!
They are in great demand among all the sweets, while they always appear together and you have to wait quite a while for the next batch.
3. Take photos only after the precious 40-minute all-you-can-eat time frame is up!
40 minutes passed really fast while there’s a restriction of the number of plates you could take at one time, so plan your time well! The staff won’t stop you from taking photos after the time has ended, as long as you are not blocking someone else’s way. Instead, they actually told me which spot and angle to take the best photo!
Maison Able Cafe Ron Ron
Address: 6 Chome-7-15 Jingumae, Shibuya City, Tokyo 150-0001
Opening Hours: Everyday 11:00 am – 7:00 pm