Published on Wednesday, 20 May 2015 00:00
Written by Cheryl Teo Kai Lin
Sanrio (the Japanese company that owns the rights to Hello Kitty) has made their most popular character's massive fan base in Hong Kong very, very happy by opening the world's first Hello Kitty themed Chinese restaurant. Sanrio teamed up with Chinese restaurateur Man Kwong to create an incredibly adorable Hello Kitty dining experience in Hong Kong.
“Hello Kitty is more popular in Hong Kong than in Japan,” said Kwong, who started negotiations with Sanrio in 2013. The official nod came through in April 2014, and since then, he has worked hard experimenting on hundreds of recipes and varieties of dim sum. Each dish was individually inspected, taste-tested, and approved by Sanrio executives. The final menu consists of 37 dishes, ranging from fresh shrimp buns to stir-fried beef and noodles.
Some of the dishes take intensive work to prepare – the buns for instance, require 17 different steps. The Hello Kitty shaped dim sum platters will have flour bows colored with beetroot, eyes dotted with squid ink, and skin made from high quality flour. Kowng said he wanted to stick to all-natural ingredients, as he is also the founder of a Chinese health magazine. From dim sum to fried noodles, all the dishes contain an element of Hello Kitty.
Apart from the dishes, the restaurant owners have also gone to great lengths to ensure that the restaurant's interiors appeal to Hello Kitty fans while still retaining a Chinese design. The windows, tables, chairs, dinnerware, teapots, and chopstick holders are all adorned with Hello Kitty motifs. The restraurant will officially launch on June 1; its expected clientele to be consist of lots of giggling young girls with a penchant for snapping photos of their food and uploading them to social media.
Hong Kong already has two Hello Kitty themed cafes, but apparently the cute icon’s popularity is so high in the island city that any new venue is a guaranteed success. The hard part is getting the approval of parent company Sanrio Co.
Maybe if Sanrio was alerted to how crazy Singaporeans are over Hello Kitty, to the point where grown men fight with each other for a spot in the McDonalds' Hello Kitty queue, they might just open one up in Singapore too!