If Studio Ghibli’s soft, natural and warm backgrounds are a big part of your aesthetic, then you might want to look beyond the studio’s native Japan. May’s Garden House Restaurant is bringing Totoro and the Catbus over to Bangkok, Thailand.
Named just like the youngest of the two protagonists of Ghibli’s 1988 classic My Neighbour Totoro, the restaurant is in the middle of the Sukhumvit district, one of the most exclusive and international ones in the capital. It’s also the first restaurant officially licensed by Studio Ghibli in the world- even Japan only has the one cafe inside the Ghibli Museum itself.
The restaurant is divided into areas, such as the Children’s Playground, the Orchid Glasshouse, the Boat Water Pool, a Library and two Halls for guests to wander through and take pictures. Ghibli memorabilia is everywhere, from the stained glass windows illustrated with scenes from the movie to huge Totoro plushies appearing behind corners.
The menu of May’s Garden House Restaurant features traditional Thai food and its Ghibli legacy is celebrated there as well. Totoro and the Catbus are the main characters of several desserts, all presented in the most social media-worthy fashion. The makkuro kurosuke, the tiny soot sprites that appear in many Ghibli movies, even get a Japanese azuki beans version of themselves served in a bath of matcha tea.
The restaurant even has its own original mascots, which appear everywhere on tables and shelves just like Totoro. Colko and Peeko were designed by Ghibli co-founder and producer Toshio Suzuki, and they represent one of the restaurant’s signature dished, the Chicken Wings.
May’s Garden House Restaurant always suggests making reservations for a meal, especially during weekends. To do so, you can visit their Facebook page and message them there.