For most eating establishments, exceptional service is often what turns first-time diners into regular customers.
But a peculiar type of pop-up cafe that totally opposes that very notion has astonishingly amassed enough popularity for fans to demand its return.
Say hello to Tsundere Cafe.
It’s organised by SubaToki Cafe, a local business specialising in Japanese-themed cafes, and customers can enjoy meals while voluntarily being assaulted with insults and rudely attended to by Japanese maids and butlers – all in the name of good fun.
After a hugely successful first run in February, Tsundere Cafe is making a comeback to Singapore on Jun 9 at Luminos in Woodlands.
In a Facebook post on Tuesday (March 13), SubaToki Cafe mocks “foolish” customers for thinking they have survived the worst and that they “won’t be having it easy” with new features to be announced in the coming weeks.
The Japanese term “tsundere” stems from the idea of a hostile and disdainful individual eventually becoming more accommodating and friendly towards another person.
Customers are told to expect being ignored and disrespectfully treated by the cafe’s staff.
At worst, the maids and butlers may throw menus and slam trays on customers’ tables. A little mercy is still granted as they’ll ensure no physical harm is caused.
In addition, the cafe features a “gacha” or lucky draw, where customers randomly pick a special service at a price of S$2 ($1.53).
Requests for a particular service will cost S$5.
Its list of cringe-worthy services includes feeding, massage, “dekopin” (forehead flicking), games and Polaroid photos.
Tsundere Cafe also has its own set of house rules such as entry by reservation, cash only payments, no personal photography and prohibition of errant behaviour.
Customers aren’t even allowed to rebuke or scold the staff in response to their abuse, for better or for worse.
Tsundere cafes are considered common in Japanese pop culture but seen as extremely unorthodox out of Japan.
Despite the bizarre concept, Singaporeans are surprisingly enthralled enough to warrant a second iteration.
Perhaps it has even uncovered the hidden masochistic side of some.