REVIEW: Mario, Luigi, and Peach Inspired Pancake Sandwiches & Character Drinks Debut at the NEW Mario Cafe at Universal Studios Japan
The Mario Cafe is finally ready to welcome its first Guests at Universal Studios Japan! But of course, you might be wondering how you’ll decide which Mario pancake sandwich to eat, or whether to sip on the Peach or Luigi special drinks. Well fear not, because we had the chance to try them all today, and we can tell you what deserves your hard-earned gold coins! So without further ado, enjoy our special sneak peek!
The menu is located on three colorful blocks above the counter.
You have a few options to satisfy your sweet tooth! The two foods are each representations of Mario and Luigi’s caps! The Mario cap is a strawberry shortcake pancake sandwich, while Luigi’s is a grape no-bake cheesecake.
If you’re feeling thirsty, you can also get a Fruity Italian Cream soda themed to one of the three main mario characters—Peach for the Princess herself, strawberry for Mario, and green apple for Luigi.
The two sandwiches also come in appropriately themed containers with the two plumbers’ overalls on the outsides.
Super Mushroom Sipper
The Super Mushroom sipper is available for ¥1800 ($17.10) along with purchase of a soft drink.
The sipper also comes with this awesome strap, which features iconic characters and items from the Super Mario franchise, including ? Blocks, 1-Up Mushrooms, Fire Flowers, Goombas, and Yoshi eggs!
But the real question on everyone’s mind is “How does everything taste?” Well you don’t have to wonder—just read on to find out!
Mario’s Hat Pancake Sandwich (Strawberry Shortcake) – ¥700 ($6.65)
The very, very red Mario cap sandwich, as we mentioned earlier, comes in a special paper holder with a Mario overalls pattern on it.
There’s also a special white chocolate piece that says “Whose Cap?” on the side. The answer—right on the side of the container. It’s Mario’s!
The sandwich is basically overflowing with whipped cream, and in fact it can be difficult to keep those strawberries inside until you eat them.
At the very bottom, there’s also some strawberry jam and custard. Be careful that your sandwich doesn’t split like ours, or it might spill out as you take bites.
I’ll be honest—things can get messy with the pancake quickly since it’s very dry and splits easily. But thankfully it doesn’t carry an offensive taste. As a matter of fact, the entire experience was quite enjoyable without being overly sweet. The strawberry jam and custard go together quite well, complimenting rather than overpowering each other. But beware the whipped cream, because there’s an absolute metric ton of it as filler, and it doesn’t have any real flavor, just serves to fill in the space. Nonetheless, the Mario Cap sandwich doesn’t disappoint by any means. Give it a try when you visit the Mario Cafe!
Similar to his older brother, Luigi’s sandwich is very, very green and comes in a special paper case themed to his overalls.
The outside is covered in whole and half grapes as well as star sprinkles.
The key difference between the two packages? This one has Luigi on the side!
Just like the Mario sandwich, there’s an ungodly amount of whipped cream separating the exterior fruits and the limited cheesecake filling inside.
The problem with both of these sandwiches is really only the sheer excess of whipped cream, when more space could be used on a second layer of fruit, or a bit more filling. That being said, the cheesecake filling in the Luigi sandwich is quite savory and rich, striking all the right notes that good cheesecake should. On top of that, the grapes used on top are fresh and juicy, definitely not thawed. Combine those together with the lack of an overwhelming sweetness seen in the Mario sandwich and that makes the Luigi Cap Sandwich my personal pick of the two.
Mario’s Strawberry Soda – ¥600 ($5.70)
Universal Studios Japan really went all in on the “Mario equals strawberry” idea for the Mario Cafe. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it easily makes the Mario options the sweetest of every choice.
And although it’s a bit hard to see with red-on-red, the back of the cup has a Mario silhouette with “It’s Mine!”, answering the question emblazoned all over the cup.
For some extra selfie moments, you can take a picture of yourself sipping on your Mario drink with this cute paper moustache attachment!
The drinks all come in three layers—bottom with syrup, fruit chunks, and tapioca, a middle soda layer, and the top, with a cherry, drizzle, and a heap of extremely thick whipped cream.
One thing to note before you drink any of these is to remember to stir it! Every drink comes with a spoon, so use it to eat the very, very thick whipped cream, then stir your drink before taking a sip! I made the mistake of not, and I got a mouthful of lightly diluted but sickeningly sweet strawberry syrup. It was sweet to the point that I was wondering why it was in Japan, since Japanese people aren’t usually fond of extremely over-sweet treats like Americans are. Fortunately, stirring it makes it more palpable, but still highly sugary. On the bright side, the strawberry-filled tapioca pearls and little strawberry chunks are an excellent addition, even if there’s a little bit too much sweetness in the first place.
Luigi’s Green Apple Soda – ¥600 ($5.70)
Just like Mario, Luigi’s drink comes in a cute themed cup along with a slightly different moustache cutout. The main difference is that the flavor here is green apple.
Luigi’s green cap and glorious moustache are the highlight on this cup! Fortunately there’s enough of a shade contrast between the drink and the designs on the cup to allow for better visibility of our favorite green plumber.
Luigi’s moustache is much quieter than Mario’s, with a single dip in the middle rather than a ruffled design. Whichever you choose, the bright side is it doesn’t need to be shaved off!
Luigi’s Soda is actually my favorite of the three I tried. While it does have the same issue of syrup balance as the other two if you don’t stir it ahead of time, the tangy green apple flavor allows it to stand out by being less extremely sweet than the Peach or Mario sodas. But I think of the three, this one is the most crucial that you stir before drinking. If you don’t, the green apple syrup’s tang will have you puckering up for a while. The apple diced chunks inside are a perfect balance between hard and mushy, rounding out the flavor well alongside the green apple tapioca balls. If you can only get one drink at the Mario Cafe, your best bet is on Luigi!
Princess Peach Cream Soda – ¥600 ($5.70)
The neat thing about each of these drinks is that they come with these cute straw toppers. The other two come with moustaches for some cute selfie opportunities while you sip, but this one came with Peach’s crown for the more royal approach!
And instead of being “Whose Cap?”, the cup is covered left and right with “Whose Crown?” But who could ever mistake Princess Peach’s iconic crown.
As for the taste, I wouldn’t necessarily call this (or any of the three for that matter) “soda”. It’s sweet, almost too sweet, with a concentration of peach syrup at the bottom that doesn’t seem to stir well despite any attempts otherwise. The real challenges are the whipped cream on top, which is too thick to be stirred in, so you’d best eat it with the spoon. And beware the cherry! It may look like your favorite maraschino cherries, but it’s not! It’s a regular, tangy if a bit bitter cherry with a pit inside. On the bright side, the bottom of the drink is covered with delicious diced peach bits and peach juice-filled tapioca balls to help get that mistake taste out of your mouth.
Feeling hungry yet? Well you can try any and all of these from October 16th at Universal Studios Japan in Osaka! And be sure to stay tuned to Universal Parks News Today for complete coverage of Super Nintendo World and the rest of the Universal realm worldwide!