Alice in Wonderland tea set @ Royal/T

Yes, I’m going thru my backlog of pictures…*phew*….

Back in March, I heard that Royal/T, the Japanese maid cafe in Culver City was offering an Alice in Wonderland tea set for the month.  Since Husband works down the street from the place and he worked on the movie, I insisted we go one day for lunch.

I’ll let the pictures do most of the…writing?

Outside Royal/T

Wall o' tea canisters

I know what I'm ordering...

Anime-ish Alice n' friends

Maid to order

It said "Drink me" so I did...

The complete tea set

Canapes were cut up into card suite shapes

These canapes were pretty good. The bread was a little crispy from toasting and all the toppings were flavorful. I’m always a smoked salmon fan. There was also an egg salad, tuna salad and one other thing I can’t quite recall.

I adored that little mushroom...and the macaron

The sign did say purple macaron but, as you can see, I ended up with a green one. It was vanilla flavored and really good.  There was a mini chocolate cupcake with a small “Eat me” sign, just like the big one on top.  The mushroom was a meringue, I think, and so cute.  They even painted the bottom with little stripes to make it look as mushroom-y as possible!  I was hoping for a Caterpillar to come along, sit on top of it with his hookah and ask “Whooooooooooo are yoooooooooooooouuuu?”

Why yes, I think I will...

This cupcake was vanilla flavored with a cream cheese type frosting and cinnamon. Looking at another version of the tea set someone else had ordered, they ended up with a chocolate one and a mini vanilla one. While the cupcake was moist, I found it had too much frosting.  But then again, I’m not a huge frosting person to begin with…

Husband ordered one of Royal/T’s beers and the Kobe beef burger sans the veggies.  Apparently, the burgers have gotten juicier since our first visit.  My little slider dribbled down my hand and Husband had a slightly messy time.  His coworker ended up having some juice fall in his lap.


Kobe beef burger

I’ve always had a great meal at Royal/T and this time was no exception. I really enjoyed the tea set and admired the attention to detail that was paid to the decoration and execution of it.  While it did satisfy my hunger, the amount of food didn’t fill me up. $25 was a little bit pricy for what I got, I think, but for the novelty and fun I had working my way thru eating it, I was okay paying the price.

Service this time around was a little better but still, lunch here can run over an hour due to waiting around for your order to be taken or food to be served.

4 1/2 NOMs for an awesome special tea set!
Royal/T gets an upgrade from 3 NOMs to 3 1/2 NOMs.  Service here can still improve and the prices, while not unreasonable, do fall on the high end for what you get.

8910 Washington Blvd
Culver City, CA 90232
(310) 559-6300
Royal/T Café on Urbanspoon

Royal/T – a maid experience

A while ago, I met up with the husband and M. again for lunch in Culver City.  We walked over to Royal/T which is themed after the maid cafés in the Akihabara district in Japan.

Royal/T is in a space that can be described as part eatery, part store and part art gallery.  There’s a store off to the side that sells shirts, dolls (the collectible expensive kind), and other random items, including a giant stuffed squid and its smaller leather twin.  All over the place is artwork – sculptures and paintings mostly from the Superflat movement.  There was even some naughty sushi.  And based on flyers, artists use Royal/T to show off their work and hold gallery events.

When we walked in, we were greeted right away by a waitress dressed in a brown and white French maid uniform.  Sorry boys, they weren’t the super itty bitty kind made by Leg Avenue.  We perused the menu which isn’t huge but offers a nice variety.  There’s about 12 different types of teas offered in hot or cold form as well as coffees, sodas and juices.  As for food, they have a selection of salads, sandwiches and rice bowls.  They also offer breakfast items in the morning.

M. opted for the Wagyu Beef Burger lunch set.  Dan went for the Grilled Flank Steak Sandwich sans tomato and I ordered the Spicy Tuna Tar Tar (tartare?) lunch set.  The lunch set came with a side dish and we both went with the cucumber salad.  Since it was a Japanese eatery, we thought the cucumber salad  would be more like sunomono.  Instead, we got something that was more Greek – cucumbers with red onion and feta cheese with an olive oil dressing.  It was good but out of place.  As for the entrees, Dan liked his sandwich.  M thought the burger was a little dry.  My Spicy Tuna was quite good and I was happy with it.  It wasn’t particularly spicy but the fish was fresh, the tuna to avocado ratio was decent and the baguette was nice and crunchy.

As for drinks, I went with the Marocco Mint (I think they mean Morocco?) iced.  Instead of the sugar packets, they bring you simple syrup, which I loved.  It’s just an easier way of sweetening up your drink without having to deal with paper packets n’ grainy bits.  There’s also a container of sugar cubes on the table if you don’t want simple syrup.

Obviously, there was some Engrish items on the menu.  And our waitress was definitely not American and had a little trouble with her English.  Also, I don’t know if she was new but service was a little slow and hard to flag down.  But overall, the experience was nice.  It wasn’t very crowded, the food and drinks were good and reasonably priced and there were interesting things to keep our eyes occupied.

I don’t think we had quite the same experience as we would have if we were in a true Akihabara maid café, though.  From what I understand, there’s definitely more cosplay involved at those joints.

I give Royal/T 3 NOMs.

8910 Washington Blvd
Culver City, CA 90232
(310) 559-6300
Royal/T Café on Urbanspoon