REVIEW: New Winter Menu from Kinopio’s Cafe in Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios Japan

Okey-dokey, it’s time for the holidays, and it turns out even Mario and the Mushroom Kingdom celebrate Christmas! This year for the very first holiday season at Super Nintendo World, Kinopio’s Cafe is serving up a few special winter items that we just had to try. So grab your Power-Up Band and join us as we chow down on the latest grub from Chef Toad (or Chef Kinopio, as he’s known here in Japan).

The menu outside shows the new items as part of the Kinopio’s Cafe Winter Menu.

Super Star Hot Yuzu Lemonade – ¥600 ($5.71)

It can get a bit chilly in Osaka this time of year, so naturally you might want to warm up with a toasty drink as you dine! Kinopio Cafe’s choice is the Super Star Hot Yuzu Lemonade. Topped with whipped cream, a Star cookie, and a little jelly star, it certainly hits every note on the cute factor!

The rest of the drink is fairly average-looking, and sadly doesn’t come in a special cup. Personally, I wasn’t a huge fan of this one. It felt too watered down to be decent lemonade, hitting that unpleasant spot between watery and tangy that left me completely unsatisfied. Plus you’d better drink it quickly or that entire topper will melt into the rest of the drink!

Gratin Hamburger Steak with a Mashed Potato Tree – ¥2600 ($18.66)

This is the most expensive entrée on the menu right now, and quite frankly it doesn’t deserve such an honor. While the dish is certainly cute, looks can be deceiving.

The hamburger is surrounded by three sauces — a demi-glace sauce, tomato sauce, and a white sauce. Atop is an egg gratin with a foam Chef Toad stuck in the top. The burger patty is nice and juicy, cooked well-done with fairly good quality. The egg is also excellent, and adds a nice flavor to the burger.

The Christmas tree-esque potatoes are where things get disappointing. While topped with a delicious Super Star cookie, the potatoes themselves are some of the most tasteless and bland things we’ve ever eaten. It certainly takes a good picture, but cold potatoes with no seasoning is such a misfire. Couple that with the cold fusili noodles under the crust and it’s just overall a depressing addition. The cold sauces along the plate are no help either.

Bright side, it comes with your choice of rice or bread. We went with bread and were served a mushroom-like baguette and a dinner roll. Both were great, as bread in Japan usually is.

Tree Stump Chocolate Cake – ¥900 ($6.46)

Fortunately after that disappointment of an entrée, we had this delightful cake to turn our frown upside-down! This very rich chocolate cake is designed to look like a tree stump, presumably after it has been cut to make a Christmas tree. Atop we see the foam Chef Toad, a power-up chocolate (either a Super Mushroom, Fire Flower, or Super Star), candy mushrooms, white chocolate shavings, and two chocolate stick rolls.

The cake is covered with chocolate at basically every possible spot. The edge is a thick dark chocolate, the upper ring of the top is milk chocolate filling, and the inside has whipped cream, chocolate, and berry fillings. There’s also a plum at the center, the same one used in the Goal Post Cake. The chocolate and berry flavors come together to make that same iconic pairing they always have, and we’re absolutely here for it. It’s incredibly rich and flavorful, making for perhaps the best way to finish off your meal at Kinopio’s Cafe!

If you’re curious about the standard menu at Kinopio’s Cafe, you can of course read our review from the land’s grand opening last year, or watch the video below.

You can also take a tour of the restaurant on YouTube, including a look at the digital menus and special queue show with Chef Toad himself!

All of these are available presumably through the end of NO LIMIT! Christmas at Universal Studios Japan, and there’s plenty of holiday cheer coming from Super Nintendo World so stay tuned to Universal Parks News Today for the latest!

For more Universal Studios news from around the world, follow Universal Parks News Today on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. For Disney Parks news, visit WDWNT.