The week before I left to Asia, it just so happened that a cousin of mine posted an article on her feed about a new Hello Kitty restaurant that opened in Hong Kong. What perfect timing! I’m not, by any means, a Hello Kitty fanatic. But I did grow up with her, as most of my female friends were crazy about her. I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to see and dine at a restaurant devoted entirely to this legendary Sanrio superstar.
Oddly enough, during the cab ride from the airport to the hotel, we just so happened to pass the Hello Kitty Restaurant. My tired eyes widened as we drove by it and I quickly pointed it out to my travel buddies. “Look! There it is!” I shouted. It wasn’t something that I was expecting to find so easily, so it was quite a relief. After checking into the hotel, we still had enough time to make it before they closed, and enough sense of direction to find our way there.
Tucked away from where all the action seemed to be, next to the freeway, and in what seems to be more of a quiet residential neighborhood, we made it just in time. We went from crowds of people and blaring lights, to walking through an underpass, only to get out into a dark, quiet neighborhood. And there it was, with it’s dark red glowing sign. It was as if we entered a whole new and bizarre world.
The restaurant is a decent size, with even what looked like a private dining room. And since it was closing time, there weren’t many people in there. However, you can’t help but notice that this place really is completely decked out in Hello Kitty. From the tabletops, to the chopsticks, to even the little ceramic thing that you lay your chopsticks on, were all stamped with some kind of kitty.
As far as the food, it was decent. At times it felt as if looking at fried rice shaped like the face of Hello Kitty was more enjoyable, but I suppose that was part of the reason for going. They even went as far as cutting red bell peppers into the shape of a bow for her “hair”, which was rather amusing. But by far I think the strangest thing was the single male diner seated next to us, who unapologetically feasted on dish after dish. It was hard to tell if he was in there because he was really hungry and it was the closest place he could think of, or if he was just really into Hello Kitty. It seemed like a little bit of both.
For the most part, the other diners definitely seemed to be more about the kitsch of it all, taking endless photos of the food, as did I. How can you not, though? It was like being in this fantasy world that Sanrio controlled. I was waiting to be taken through a door that would lead me to a supermarket devoted entirely to Kero Kero Keroppi! I just wish there would have been someone dressed up in a Hello Kitty costume serving us. Then, the experience would have been complete.