Head’s up, Studio Ghibli fans! There’s an officially licensed Totoro restaurant opening soon, and it’s not even that far from Malaysia!
May’s Garden House Restaurant in Bangkok will be the first Totoro-themed restaurant officially licensed by Studio Ghibli.
Before this Thai establishment, the only Ghibli dining experience open to the public was the Straw Hat Cafe in the official Ghibli Museum in Tokyo. There, you can enjoy a rotating menu of items inspired by your favourite Ghibli films. May’s Garden House Restaurant , however, is the world’s first official restaurant dedicated solely to the beloved star of My Neighbour Totoro.
Why Thailand? It’s a story as sweet and touching as a Ghibli film itself.According to Rocketnews24, Ghibli producer and co-founder Toshio Suzuki was inspired to open a restaurant after one of his visits to the rural Thai village of Pak Thong Chai, where he met up with an acquaintance– a single mother working to provide for her young children and extended family in the by selling chicken wings in a humble stall.
Suzuki immediately fell in love with her food, and the little village also reminded him of his childhood in the Japanese countryside, as well as the lushness of Totoro’s Forest. Touched by her struggle to keep her stall open, he worked to open a restaurant in the city where she could continue serving her tasty chicken wings, even naming it after her and designing the restaurant’s two mascots.
Now, the restaurant is set to open officially in June in Bangkok’s Sukhumvit district! With Studio Ghibli’s blessings, Suzuki’s charming Ghibli touches, and Italian chef Federico Colpi overseeing the development of the menu, the restaurant promises to be a delight for both Ghibli fans and people seeking a taste of charming village life and authentic food. Here’s a look inside:
So if you can’t make it to the actual Ghibli museum and cafe in Tokyo, why not hop on a flight to Bangkok?
A: 18 Soi Lak Khet (Sukhumvit Soi 29), Khlong Toei Nuea, Watthana Bangkok, Thailand
T: +66 2 034 9127