The Chinese capital city of Beijing is known for a lot of things including Tienanmen Square, the Forbidden City, incredible cuisine and a fascinating local culture. Despite all of this, many local residents and travellers from around the world are making a special trip to Beijing just to visit the city’s recently opened Hello Kitty Restaurant. The popular Japanese cartoon character is so beloved among Chinese people, that the restaurant is sold out on most days of the week. Prices are unusually high for the quality of food being served, but diners all seem to be happy to pay for the experience rather than the cuisine. Whether you are planning a trip to Beijing in the future or you just want to learn more about this cartoonish attraction in China’s capital, read on to learn more about the Hello Kitty Restaurant.
The company that licenses the Hello Kitty character, Sanrio, claims that this is the first officially sanctioned restaurant in Asia with a Hello Kitty theme. However, the character’s popularity is exploding around the world, and you won’t just find the pink and white cat in toy stores. Believe it or not, Hello Kitty airplanes are available for domestic flights in Taiwan, entire spas in Dubai are devoted to the character and construction is currently ongoing for a Hello Kitty theme park close to the Chinese city of Shanghai. If you are looking for a meal that focuses on Hello Kitty, however, there is no better place to go than Shanghai.
Prices and menu
An average meal at the Hello Kitty Restaurant in Shanghai costs 160 yuan, which is on the higher side for a meal in the city. The menu is a mix of Chinese favourites and Western staples, but there is no coherent theme to the dishes other than the ubiquitous Hello Kitty herself. Sadly, the food is nothing to write home about. While the chefs are certainly hard working, the ingredients and presentation appeal to a very basic palate. Rather than choosing ingredients that are tasty, the restaurant opts to pick ingredients that can be moulded to the shape of Hello Kitty’s face or dyed in shades of pink to match the character’s clothing.
All about the experience
Despite the less than fantastic fare, there are plenty of reasons to visit the Hello Kitty Restaurant in Shanghai. Young girls, especially those who already know the character and collect Hello Kitty souvenirs, will love the pink décor the themed outfits of the staff and the cute atmosphere of the eatery. Guests come to the restaurant in order to make memories with their children, to have a romantic meal with their spouse or even to have a girls night of good clean fun. Amazingly, there is an average of four proposals a week in the restaurant, and many women in Beijing claim that it is one of the most romantic places they can think of to get engaged.
Planning your trip there in the future
If you want to experience a meal at the Hello Kitty restaurant yourself, you will need to call ahead and book a table. Reservations are absolutely required, but you can usually get by with booking just a day or two ahead of your visit. When planning the dinner, be sure to leave room at the end of your meal for a Hello Kitty latte, which is one of the most creative and attractive menu items at the eatery.
Along with the Hello Kitty meal itself, enjoy a tour of the Hello Kitty store and be sure to pick up a souvenir or two from your visit to this charming and unusual restaurant.
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