Tapping on its fervent fanbase in Singapore, the highly-popular HoYoFest is back once again with all of MiHoYo’s titles all in one place. This year, the themed event is held at the Flipper’s outlet in Bugis Junction, and will first be led by the Genshin Impact iteration from 28 September to 9 October.
Similar to past years, The Tears of Themis and Honkai Impact 3rd decor are poised to follow after, with the former taking over from 12 to 23 October, and the latter from 26 October to 6 November. What’s different this time is the increased inclusivity – the halal-certified status of the renowned Japanese soufflé pancake chain means Muslim fans of its games can now get to enjoy the food as well.
As expected, reserving seats for the café can be quite a challenge, but the system was thankfully robust enough to handle the large waves of bookings on the day itself without putting fans into a virtual queue. If your preferred slot is taken up, there’s a tooltip to suggest the next available time and date for the group size you’re looking for.
Before you head in, be sure to catch the Teleport Waypoint near the entrance of Hotel Intercontinental, where there are photo opportunities with standees of popular characters, such as Zhongli and Raiden Shogun. A bustling atmosphere awaits inside the café, with standees of Genshin Impact characters, official game posters, and HoYo Fest-related visuals decorating the space. Ambience music from Genshin Impact’s soundtrack was also played occasionally, which added to the overall atmosphere.
Be sure to walk around and explore the café as well, as there is yet another photo opportunity area at the back, near the mall’s entrance. Here, props are provided in a box by the right side, so you can pick them up and pose with the big in-game poster as a vibrant, geeky backdrop.
With HoYoFest being a fan event, it was nice to see the community coming together to have small moments within themselves, and we spotted a few groups playing the game and pulling for characters while waiting for the food. A neat touch was how well the staff were briefed on the game – you’ll be greeted with Katheryne’s iconic phrase “Ad Astra Abyssosque” once seated down. This immediately sets up the mood that you are eating inside the world of Genshin Impact, especially once you pick up the menu to view the food.
Looking at the beautifully designed menu, much effort was taken to plate and present the food as closely as how it looks like in the game, down to the positioning of the garnishing. Ordering requires you to scan a QR code to access the cafe’s ordering site, which was quite clunky. There was no way to see the summary details of your order, such as the quantity of drinks that came with the sets. Digital menu aside, the food items didn’t disappoint.
Just like how The Good Hunter is known for their Tea Break Pancakes, the signature dish of Flipper’s is actually their soufflé pancakes (S$22). These pancakes are not your regular pancakes – thick, soft and fluffy, they simply melt in your mouth as you chew on them.
The Adventurer’s Breakfast Sandwich (S$22), meanwhile, consists of Eggs Benedict with ham on toast. The eggs were perfectly cooked and the egg yolk oozed out very nicely, but the dish would have been more flavourful with a thicker cut of ham.
The Crispy Potato Shrimp Platter (S$22) was decent but not really recommended. It might be one of the grander looking menu items as it is plated intricately. However, the combination of mashed potatoes and shrimp was nothing fantastic. Finishing the dish quickly comes highly recommended, as the moisture from the potato will seep into the potato chip, making it lose its crunchiness. It would be a nice touch if the shrimps are deveined as well.
If one feels like eating light, the Mint Salad (S$15) is a good one to opt for. Although the dish in game originates from Wanmin Restaurant in Liyue, Flippers took a very unique approach to this dish, using sweet chili sauce as the dressing for the salad, instead of a super spicy real-world alternative to Jueyun Chili. The sumptuous dish also has chunks of crab meat, which enhanced the overall texture and flavour.
The Rice Pudding (S$15) comes as one of the more adventurous options. It tastes sweet and comes with a hint of cinnamon, making it feel like sweet rice porridge. This dessert dish isn’t bad per se, but will definitely not be everyone’s cup of tea, especially since its thick, soupy texture can get a little cloying after a while.
If you are looking for something both meaty and savory to quench your appetite, look no further than the Katsu Sandwich (S$22). Taking a bite of the sandwich, the soft avocado and the sauce swirls the flavor around with the crispy chicken patty, with each bite tasting delicious in the mouth.
The drinks (S$12 each) are a must have, simply because each comes with a themed coaster, which can also be kept as a keepsake. Of the three, we preferred the Wolfhook Juice the most, as the burst of citrus that came with blue pea, lemon, and soda struck a good balance between sweet and sour, making for a refreshing drink.
Lastly, the biggest objective for anyone looking to visit HoYo FEST 2022 would be getting hold of some exclusive merch. Located just outside the cafe, the merchandise area is only open to customers who have an entry ticket, which is obtainable after the bill is settled. Upon entry, each customer is allowed to buy 10 items, but no purchase of repeated items is allowed. If you are really keen on purchasing the merchandise, which are mostly badges and acrylic standees, you should aim for a slot at the start of the day, when the merchandise is restocked.
As such, it might be a good idea to settle the bill upon ordering, and immediately head to the merchandise area to purchase your desired items – the HoYoFEST-exclusive standee, as well as some of the merchandise featuring popular characters, tend to get sold out very fast.
All in all, it was a good experience, and we felt this edition surpassed the previous HoYoFest, mostly due to the increase of quality of food. It was a good choice by HoYoverse to choose a place which was already reputable for their food, as it really made this themed food adventure into a gastronomic experience.
SnapSniper is an avid geek who is both a huge fan of games and an even bigger Star Wars fan.