When I heard that a cute cafe from Japan, Aranzi Aronzo, opens its first outlet in Jakarta, I was so excited to try it. I consider myself very updated about Japan stuffs but alas, I had never heard about this at all. Apparently, this funny-named cafe comes from two characters created by two Japanese women (sisters) in 1991 and later became major hit in 1993, the rest is the history.
Like other cute or hip places that grow popularities through social medias, this cafe has gained so much attentions and suddenly becomes one of must-go places aka mainstream places. I had bad feeling about this since beginning, because of so many reasons: the first, it’s a Japanese cafe specializes on cute cakes (but they also have savory dishes too!) and Japanese cakes are simply NOT my cup of tea; second, it’s mainstream and I have so many examples of how mainstream stuffs are merely for eye-joyment only.
Aranzi Aronzo Cafe is located at the 1st Floor of Central Park Mall, just across The Duck King. The place is not big at all but there are some seats available and I can’t imagine how crazy it will be when it’s crowded. There is barely any space between chairs and I think they just try to fit as many tables and chairs as possible, which is ridiculous. If you happen to visit, I recommend you to sit in the round tables with more privacy.
Since today I also had a food tasting invitation in Central Park, I decided to come earlier and stopped by this cafe first before my appointment. I arrived around 10.30AM, expected to see queue or something like that, but I was lucky because there wasn’t any. All the round caged tables were occupied by guests (mainly groups of girls), who of course, took loads of pictures of the cute cakes. The glass display wasn’t exactly full and some spots were empty, but I guessed nothing was sold out yet.
The menu is surprisingly quite a lot, with selections of savory dishes like salads, toasty breads, sandwiches, etc, beside the cakes and drinks. Prices range from IDR 28K – 65K for F&B and since I was only there for the cakes, I didn’t order anything else.
Kappa’s Iced Japan Matcha Coffee IDR 38K
They have many variety of interesting drinks but my decision always goes to matcha-related stuffs when it comes to try original taste of Japanese cafes! The matcha coffee wasn’t disappointing at all, the matcha taste was strong: sweet with hint of bitterness, and the coffee taste was prominent without being over-dominant. It also comes in hot version and I can imagine it would taste even better, but today I just want something cold.
Kappa’s Green Tea Mousse IDR 55K
Another impulsive order, just because matcha is so identical with Japanese and I thought at least the matcha cake will definitely never disappoint. WRONG! This cake was not enjoyable at all, with bland, tasteless mousse with hint of matcha taste, just like that. It was pain in the ass trying to finish it, and in the end we couldn’t do it. Maybe it’s just us but seriously, this was horrible.
White Rabbit’s Vanilla Fruit Cake IDR 55K
The rabbit cake comes in 3 colors: white (vanilla), black (chocolate), pink (berry), and although I so much wanted the pink one, it wasn’t available so I opted for the white one. Presentation-wise, rabbit cake is the cutest one, IMHO, and I think it would have been better with smile. XD The cake was thick indeed and there are so many layers, one of them is fresh fruits like grape, peach, strawberry. The cake was chocolate and the texture wasn’t like typical Japanese cakes, but more to local generic fondant cakes -which, I dislike. The cake had strong cocoa aroma that is a bit unpleasant, but if I ate it with the fresh fruit slices, I was okay with that.
Monkey’s Caramel Banana Mousse IDR 65K
The monkey cake comes in two different flavors: banana or coffee. Actually I chose coffee but because of certain reason (which I will write below), I got this one instead. This cake was actually our favorite today because the taste was decent, fragrant and I just liked it. This is probably invalid comment because I am a huge fan of bananas and this cake is fulfilled with banana flavors.
Beside all those animals, there are also panda, yellow cat, horse, and also warumono (literally translated: bad guy) which looks like black evil or something. I fell in love in the first sight with the horse one but in the end I didn’t choose it because I wanted to save it for another visit.
Beside the counter, we can also see a small area where they display cute accessories and stationeries for sale, such as glasses, notebooks, pens, etc. Actually I am so much into cute stuffs and can’t resist those, but honestly I don’t see anything too cute about these designs. *sweat* I mean, the colors are not too attractive and the characters are a bit bland and emotionless, LOL! But again, it comes back to personal preferences and no hard feeling, okay!
Honestly, my first visit to this cafe was kind of disaster and it disturbed me a lot. I don’t mean to act like a brat but for me, service is one of the qualities that I observe whenever I go to restaurants/cafes. And here, I was disappointed because I didn’t expect to find such a huge miss, especially in term of Japanese cafe. I personally don’t know whether this is a franchise or anything, but I expected Japanese-style trainings for the staffs and of course, quality control.
Why I was disappointed today:
- I had to repeat my order more than 4 times to finally get my order typed into the computer and there was only me in front of the counter, and the staff who took my order said YES each time I mentioned my order. Focus, dude!
- When he (the same staff) brought the monkey cake to the table, I saw that he brought the light-colored monkey and I asked “is it the banana one?”, which he answered “Yes, it is”. Then I said “Oh, but I ordered the coffee one”, which he replied “It is coffee”. I was confused and asked “You said it is banana?!”, and he became confused too, then brought the cake back to change it.
- When I tried the monkey cake, it was clearly banana so I asked the other staffs what flavor that cake is: banana or coffee. They told me it was banana and one of the staffs approached my table apologizing and asking whether I wanted a right one for free. I was thankful to that staff but refused because I didn’t think I was gonna be able to finish everything anyway.
- Meanwhile, I tried to ask explanation about what frikkin’ cake that I was eating that time and the staff repeated the same thing: saying that both cakes are caramel and didn’t even answer my question. I knew that both cakes have caramel but the only difference is the flavor: banana or coffee. He didn’t seem to understand because he didn’t even know the cakes!!
- I asked him to bring the menu and he finally understood what I meant and again, offering for a replacement, which I also refused due to same reason above.
- I saw some probable “managers” or “person-in-charge” (this is my own guess so I didn’t know), they saw the incidents, but remained silent in the closed kitchen.
Conclusion: Bad system, less-informative staffs, and probably immature staff-training that caused all of these. I told myself, I certainly don’t wanna go during peak hours!
You know, I can’t say that the service is bad, because the staffs were polite and especially the second one, who kindly offered for a replacement, it was a very nice and appreciated gesture to please customer. But yes, informative staffs are one of the best qualities from good service points, so I hope they will really improve that. I don’t know if Aranzi Aronzo is just another “short” phenomenal trend, but seriously things like this can drive customers away and I for one, probably will think twice to come back again.
No hard feeling, just not my cup of tea.
*The Food Escape team are not paid whatsoever for writing this post.
Central Park 1F
Jl. Letjen S. Parman Kav. 28
West Jakarta 11470
Phone. +62 21 2920 0489