Japan's Dragon Quest fever

Day 2: Luida’s Bar

Last year Japanese bar chain Pasela opened a themed Dragon Quest restaurant in Roppongi. Luida’s Bar isn’t massive – we spent most of the evening negotiating our elbow out of other people’s noodles – but it packs in a whole lotta fan love. Greeted by Luida (decked out in a Quest smock) and a wall of replica swords, it becomes clear we’ve entered the Bizarro World version of Planet Hollywood. Sly Stallone would implode if he discovered this place even existed, let alone visited it.

DQIX’s bar theme is played non-stop, a happy, clappy, thigh-slapping number with a particularly infectious line in accordions. Infectious like Ebola. Koichi Sugiyama’s tunes were designed to work in minute-long bursts, not be piped directly into the skull for two solid hours. Now we understand why the players in Dragon Quest bars stare endlessly into the abyss repeating the same line of dialogue. They’re not stupid; they’ve just suffered a full-on Questgasm.

Although music may be the food of love (or irritation in this case), luckily some real food turned up and chomping sounds soon drowned out the psychosis-inducing loop. Eating was punctuated with chances to download DQ treats to your DS, which explained the shifty dude hanging around outside, waiting to drink in the wireless goods.

As for the food itself? Every dish is themed around Dragon Quest, and it’s probably best to let the pictures below do the talking. Needless to say, two hours later we were rocking a +10 belly.

Above: Spaghetti with tomato sauce, garnished with diced Funghouls – or mushrooms to normal people. Thankfully, a whole lot less toxic than the real thing 

Above: This meat lump is meant to be Cyclops’ club. Debate raged over what meat the lump was constructed from. Although looking like a turkey drumstick it tasted of ham. Either way: +5 meat sweats all round, with a bonus +5 if you were already packing the Mystical Flab of Lion Bar

Above: Quest’s grinning incendiary boulder, Rockbomb, is brought to life as a potato/nut croquette. The flaming butter fuse was nice, but the waitress misinterpreted our impressed coos as an invitation to serve an endless flow of the things

Above: Language barrier prevented full comprehension of this spaghetti carbonara. The sauce lump is meant to be a bunny tail – as worn by saucier warriors. As for the horn? Our waiter suggested ‘unicorn’, but there are no unicorns in Quest. The purple powder is just as mysterious and made our insides itch

Above: Fried crab claws from giant crabs. That is all

Above: A Healslime salad. The stand-in for our mystical tendriled friend? Jellyfish. A contradictory meat, for sure. Gooey and yet somehow gritty, it has the texture of Stretch Armstrong. Stretch Armstrong with a distinct briny tang

Above: Hefty tankards provide beery elixir – ideal for washing the taste of the Cyclops’ mystery meat from the palate

Above: Official Dragon Quest wine. Temporarily boosting funniness, the party suffers depleted stats the next day. Too much may also lead to +11 pulling your pants down in a public place

Above: Adorable Slime-shaped curry buns slowly perspire in a glass case. Can’t say if they were any good or not – we’d entered a meat-induced food coma by that point in the evening


  • protospasm - August 4, 2010 6:45 a.m.

    Isn't the Spaghetti Carbonara a tribute to the Bunicorn thingies? ... *resumes drooling over Slime-Curry Nikuman.*
  • philipshaw - August 3, 2010 12:07 p.m.

    Trying to get a trip to Japan for next year, so if I get I will make sure to visit some of these places in the feature
  • admjwt - August 1, 2010 5:23 p.m.

    i rly want to goto japan now. hopefully next time they release a dq game ill get go there. dammit japa. you get all the good stuff
  • EnragedTortoise1 - August 1, 2010 4:26 p.m.

    Dayum. I want to go there, if only to get a plush Slime Stack... and the T-shirts. Awesome. "Th-the slimes, they're..."
  • Clovin64 - August 1, 2010 11:39 a.m.

    I would have been too terrified to eat anything in that DQ themed restaurant. That Cyclops club meat lump looked very nasty (made from real Cyclops?).
  • ChrisAntistaTastesLikePizza - August 1, 2010 6:18 a.m.

    A long time ago I played some random game boy game on my cousins game boy colour. I remember having a ton of fun beating up strange creatures and adventuring. Many years later I saw something I recognised... a slime! I remebered it from playing on my cousins gameboy when i was little. When I played my first dragon quest game I didn't even know what it was. Love the series now that I know what it is. Slimes will always have a special place in my heart.
  • Robusken - August 1, 2010 4:15 a.m.

    Ds being as common as a phone? Id want to live in a world like that. Looks like you guys had a ton of fun. Starting to think if Pikachu would beat this all mighty Slime in a popularity contest.
  • idlemindkiller - July 31, 2010 11:15 p.m.

    Great read. ive got like 15 hours into DQIX and love it. just bought my daughter a copy so we can play together. one of my strongest childhood memories is my dad waking my brother and i up in the middle of the night because he was at the dragonlord in dragon warrior. Some epic shit for a four year old.
  • vorpalbunnie - July 31, 2010 11 p.m.

    this article is so true! akihabara has been dominated by giant corporate brands, slowly eating up the small stores i know and love! great article! Japan: One of the few places where 9/10 men over 40 own and use DS's daily. reCAPTCHA: of Fedor
  • JPorFavor - July 31, 2010 8:35 p.m.

    What an amazing romp.
  • Ultimadrago - July 31, 2010 8:03 p.m.

    I have all gold armor, completion and no one to tag with.
  • ericeraqus - July 31, 2010 8:03 p.m.

    the slime stack reminds me of dango...
  • Hurricrane - July 31, 2010 7:49 p.m.

    ...That is absolutlely insane
  • Cyberninja - July 31, 2010 5:19 p.m.

    wish i could visit and i am not surprised they are still playing 9 its a really good game.
  • AnonymouZ - July 31, 2010 5:15 p.m.

    Well, this was a good read. Tho i only lol'd hard at the floyd reference and nodded in agreement at the elbows and noodles statement.
  • db1331 - July 31, 2010 5 p.m.

    Great feature. I promised my wife I wouldn't buy DQ IX so she could get it for me for our anniversary next month. The wait has been killing me, and this just made it that much more unbearable. Also, that mug is sweet.

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