Dining in a Barbie World in Taipei

Taipei is known for a number of things. From the beautiful historic temples, the iconic Taipei 101 tower observatory, and you can’t forget the famed night markets to name a few. 

Aside from these tourist favorites, I also grew pretty curious about some of the themed restaurants I’ve been hearing about. It’s not everyday you get a chance to dine in a stuffed toy themed restaurant, an underwater themed one, a prison cell, an airplane, hospital, toilet, Hello Kitty… YUP. They’re all in Taipei, and the list goes on. 

So along with my sister and mom, I got to visit one of the more pleasant themed restaurants in the city, The Barbie Café located in Zhongxiao East Road, Da’an District. 

I grew up modeling for Barbie in Manila as a kid, and used to often be adorned with Barbie apparel and products from head to toe, so it was one grand nostalgic setting for me being surrounded by Barbie logos, dolls, glitters and A LOT of pink everywhere again. 
I went through the clear glass Barbie Café sliding doors with the excitement of a 5 year old entering a life-size dollhouse. However, my expectations with regards to the food wasn’t set too high as to not get crushed by disappointment. After all, I think most would agree that it’s more of the novelty of dining in a themed restaurant that makes the experience. 
Ambiance is the first thing you’ll notice in every establishment, and plays a big role in setting moods. I was quite delighted that the interiors the café were executed with tact and just the right amount of playfulnesshowever, people allergic to the sight of pink may probably want to reconsider before stepping-in.
A number of Barbie’s photos hung on the walls along with crystal wall-lamps that added a touch of class and warmth to the place. Cushioned chairs were adorned with the iconic Barbie head silhouette, and in the inner section of the café, wide walls of vintage and couture Barbie sketches await you. I’d personally consider it as art creatively translated. 
My Sister and Mom’s Barbie Doppelgangers!
Meanwhile, the menu offered typical café dishes with a fusion cuisine of sorts. It was dinner time and we were informed by the servers clad in pink (Well, that’s a surprise!) French maid outfits that a chunk of their entrée selections have to be availed as a set. They did offer other main à la carte plates, however these weren’t exactly their specialty dishes. So we decided to avail of the dinner sets that came with soup, salad, and a tiny brownie dessert all on the house, your choice of appetizer and entrée , as well as a drink with orange juice, sodas, tea or coffee to choose from. 

We ordered two dinner sets to be shared by the three of us since we were still quite full from our earlier foodventures’ in the streets of Taipei. 
For our entrées, we tried the Mushroom and Truffle Risotto and the Chicken ‘Jewel Box,’ and for the appetizers we chose the baked potato and the roasted chicken glazed with berry sauce dish. 

Complimentary bread slices were also served to go with our soup of the day bowls. The bread was actually quite good… chewy with crunchy ends, with Barbie’s head silhouette pressed on the surface for branding of course. Unfortunately, the soup of the day was corn and crab soup that tasted like ‘Nido soup’ anyone can just make at home. For the rest of the dishes, we were quite pleased with the taste, presentation, and serving size which was great for sharing, especially the ‘Jewel Box’ that came in the form of a thick Barbie bread cube filled with creamy chicken chunks and vegetables.


Chicken Jewel Box with Veggies

The on-the-house brownie dessert wasn’t exactly the sweetest ending to our dinner set, however their other more colorful specialty desserts looked absolutely divine. 
The dinner sets were priced at a range of 400 – 500 NT that would be at around 600 to 750 PHP per set. I guess that would somehow be the standard rate in experiencing the novelty of dining in the first and only Barbie Café in the world. Overall, I’d say that isn’t bad at all. 

Oh, and if you think things couldn’t get any Barbie-er that this, they also have an area that resembles a life-size Barbie doll box for guests who wish to be their own Barbie dolls and have their photos taken. Other local customers at that time were young and middle aged couples, groups of friends and even families. 

Clearly their market doesn’t only cater to little girls.

I highly suggest this place to fun-loving people who wish to have an unconventionally unique dining experience! This was easily one of the highlights of our Taipei trip especially when we broke into singing along with “I’m a Barbie Girl” by Aqua that played at the background.
Here’s a mini gallery of the rest of our evening at the café.
“Life in plastic, it’s fantastic!”

Cheers and Happy Travels!