Food & Recipes

Who’s Ready To Try These Mayonnaise Cafes Opening In Japan?

Apparently some people really, really like mayo.

In a world of insane foods and even weirder places to eat them (bunny cafe, anyone?), this one takes the cake. A mayonnaise cafe is opening in Tokyo, Japan, because evidently some people like squishy, flavorless white goop ruining their sandwiches.

Okay, to be fair, Japanese mayo is significantly different from the sad, oily emulsion Americans depend on to destroy perfectly good egg salad. Japanese mayo is supposed to be more complex in flavor, and is often seasoned with everything from wasabi to basil and tomato. Additionally, Japanese mayo doesn’t contain sugar like its American counterpart, leading to a more savory flavor. Definitely a step above what we have here in the States, if you ask a mayo hater like me.

A common feature in Japanese street food, one brand of mayonnaise has a cult following: Kewpie Mayonnaise. The brand has opened pop-up mayo shops in the past, and the results were so successful that now Kewpie is launching limited-edition mayonnaise cafes in Nagoya and Tokyo.

Kewpie was founded in 1925 by Toichiro Nakashima, who studied food production in the U.S. Here, he discovered mayonnaise and upon returning to Japan, gave it his own special twist.

Kewpie Mayo, $5.98 from Walmart

According to Japanese outlet Kotaku, Nakashima hoped that mayonnaise would help people in Japan eat more vegetables, so healthy food will be a staple at these mayo cafes, which have Kewpie dolls and hanging mayo bottles incorporated into their decor.

Mayo features prominently in a number of Japanese dishes, including takoyaki (a ball-shaped snack filled with minced octopus and veggies) and okonomiyaki (a savory veggie pancake filled with everything from pork belly to pickled vegetables).

The mayonnaise cafes will only be open from March 1 to March 31 in Tokyo, and from April 3 to April 30 in Nagoya. But if you can’t make it, don’t fret—Japan has an entire mayonnaise MUSEUM about the history of the spread that you can visit whenever you please. If that’s your thing, I mean. I’ll keep living my mayo-free life.

And if these mayo cafes really are not enough for you, don’t forget to visit the restaurant dedicated to pickles that’s opening soon in New York City.