May's Garden House Restaurant: A My Neighbor Totoro Themed Dining in Bangkok
Fans of Studio Ghibli’s My Neighbor Totoro may now enjoy delicious meals at May’s Garden House Restaurant in Thailand. Bangkok is not just home to the famous husky café. You can find themed dining places like May’s Garden House Restaurant in the city as well. And being a fan of My Neighbor Totoro myself, I couldn’t pass up on the opportunity to visit the restaurant during my birthday travel this year. I had no companion, yes. But I had My Neighbor Totoro friends with me, so I didn’t mind eating out alone at all.
May’s Garden House Restaurant
May’s Garden House Restaurant in Bangkok is the first My Neighbor Totoro inspired restaurant licensed by Studio Ghibli to carry Totoro and friends. I have visited Shirohige Cream Puff Factory in Japan selling Totoro profiteroles. But I think that May’s Garden House Restaurant provides a leveled-up experience for My Neighbor Totoro fans like me.
I had to take quite a walk from Sukhumvit station to get to May's Garden House Restaurant. It's a good thing that I had my google maps with me because although there were a few commercial establishments along the way, I was still a little surprised to see the restaurant behind a gated compound.
When you enter the restaurant, Totoro himself will greet you. There’s a mini-museum on the left side where you can find signed Totoro figures. Studio Ghibli's Mr. Toshio Suzuki started the restaurant in Thailand after knowing the story of a half-Thai, half-Japanese woman called Kenyada.
Kenyada used to sell tasty chicken wings in her province. But she had to shut down her stall because of lack of customers in the rural area. Kenyada's nickname is May, which is similar to the main protagonist of My Neighbor Totoro, Mei Kusakabe.
My Neighbor Totoro
The great Hayao Miyazaki wrote and directed My Neighbor Totoro. It is an animated film telling the story of two sisters, Satsuki, and Mei Kusakabe, who just transferred to their new home as they wait for their mother's return from the hospital. There, they met their new friends— playful spirits, including the forest guardian Totoro.
Studio Ghibli released an English dubbed version of the movie. Sisters Dakota and Elle Fanning dubbed the voices of Satsuki and Mei Kusakabe. And fellow Filipinos, did you know that our very own Lea Salonga voiced their ill mother, Yasuko Kusakabe? Yes! She even sang the English version of the song, too!
May’s Garden House Restaurant Menu
May’s Garden House Restaurant impressed me with their menu. There’s a wide range of local food available for the main course. They went all out with the dessert selection, too. As expected, they also incorporated the characters of the animated film in plating the dishes.
I had a hard time deciding what to try because almost everything looked appetizing. I honestly didn’t eat that much food when I was in Thailand except during my Thai cooking class. But I couldn't help but splurge when I tried May's Garden House Restaurant!
For my main course, I got the fried rice with chicken worth 200 Baht. It looked pretty simple. But it was delicious. I had to ask for another fish sauce without chili, though! Because you know Thais, they love spicy food! It took me a while to notice, but even their plates and placemats are Totoro!
I ordered the Cold Hazelnut Cocoa Coming with a Peculiar Friend worth 250 Baht for my drinks. Isn't it cute? Of course, I didn't waste any time and immediately made Instagram stories while I poured the milk on the glass. The soot sprite tasted great, too! It complemented very well with the hazelnut taste of the drink.
For the dessert, I got Sleeping Totoro worth 300 Baht. Inside the menu folder, I found this short description: "A delicious Totoro covered in charcoal chocolate with a heart of raspberries is waiting for you to wake him up." And boy, must I warn you, even those charcoal chocolates were to die for, trust me!
I love the fact that they put a lot of effort into constructing the menu. Also, the desserts and drinks didn’t only look good in photos, they tasted great, too! I think it's what set May's Garden House Restaurant apart from other themed restaurants. Even though the dishes are a little on the pricey side, you can still say that it’s worth it. It would be safe to say that coming to May's Garden House Restaurant didn't only fill my eyes but my stomach as well.
Like I said earlier, even the paper mat and plates were My Neighbor Totoro inspired! The whole place screams Totoro that even the background music was the film's theme song as well. I don’t know about you. But it was the best 900 Baht I spent during my six-night stay in Bangkok!
May’s Garden House Restaurant Reservation
You can reserve a seat at the restaurant to make sure that you can dine at your preferred time. You may drop them a message on their email or Facebook accounts. I reserved my slot at the earliest time I could. And although I was alone, I was perfectly happy with dining with my Totoro friends. And for those who want to get something related to My Neighbor Totoro apart from their food, you can very well do it and purchase some merchandise from their store.
You can find May’s Garden House Restaurant at 18 Soi Lak Khet (Sukhumvit Soi 29), Khlong Toei Nuea, Watthana. You can reach the place by walking from Sukhumvit Station, Asoke or Phrom Phong Stations.