Think Finland and images of a cold place, polar bears, Nokia phones, blonde hair, blue eyes, F1 drivers, Arctic Circle, Lapland and Santa come to mind. One other thing to come from the Scandinavian country is the Moomins; a family of white fairy tale characters with large snouts resembling hippos who live in Moominvalley and have appeared in a series of books, comic strips and animations on TV and in film.
There are a handful of Finnish restaurants dotted around Tokyo but I guess its the Moomin Cafe & Bakery which is the most famous one. It’s located within Tokyo Dome City theme park which is where my girlfriend and I went when we visited Bubba Gump Shrimp restaurant a couple of years ago.
I kind of wanted to go for the Moomin rice plate just for the photo opportunity but in the end I did what I often do in these international restaurants and just order the dish with the name of the country in the title. With that in mind, I had the Finland Plate (1500 yen) which was a little expensive for what it was but it did include a drink and all-you-can-eat bread. Not just any bread though as this included a wide range of breads freshly produced in the bakery which is adjacent to the cafe.
Having had to line up outside for a short time I entered the place which was full, mostly with young families and young-at-heart girls with an interest in the Moomins aspect of it. The staff are dressed up in some kind of costume with the guys wearing top hats too so I guess it could be considered a bit of a theme restaurant. The cutlery is Moomin-themed too and each table has a fluffy Moomin character placed at it watching over your meal. I only had a small Moomin on my table which was of course more than sufficient for a man of my age who knows very little about the Moomins! For the kids though it’s great and there are even some life-size one’s using up a whole chair at some of the tables.
The bakery is next door and features no-end of Moomin shaped and themed breads, cakes and biscuits as well as some other souvenir merchandise.
Moomin Cafe & Bakery is at Tokyo Dome City LaQua 1-1-1 Kasuga in Bunkyo-ku and the nearest stations are either Kasuga (Toei Mita and Oedo lines), Korakuen (Marunouchi and Nanboku lines) or Suidobashi (Chuo-Sobu and Toei Mita lines).