Address: F408, Shimao Dept Store, 3 Gongti Beilu
F408, Shimao Dept Store, 3 Gongti Beilu
Beijing's Hello Kitty-themed restaurant is as pink and adorable as you'd expect, with images of everyone's favorite Sanrio character on everything from the soap dispenser to the napkins. Food, unfortunately, is quite horrible, and very overpriced. A very expensive, very cute photo op.
Just went here tonight for celebrating Valentine's Day and I did not think the food was as bad as the CW reviewer mentioned. Maybe they have made the food better now. It is quite nice environment. But you need to book in advance as they are fully booked. Although today it seemed not man people, and there were empty tables. My wife really enjoyed the environment. The food is ok, of course not the greatest but fine.
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“They could serve poop, and we’d still love it,” we declared in the weeks before Hello Kitty Dreams opened. Unfortunately, it was a self-fulfilling prophecy. The décor at Beijing’s first Hello Kitty-themed restaurant will send any Sanrio fan into a state of ecstasy, but the atrociously bad food will dissuade even the most die-hard Kitty enthusiast from a repeat visit.
There are two lunch options: a ¥188 one-person menu, or a ¥368 two-person menu. The food is identical on both, with a few added extras for the couple’s menu. The fact that a selection of four yogurts came in adorable Hello Kitty bowls almost distracted us from the question of why one would serve yogurt as an appetizer. Still, it was better than the other appetizer, oddly textured shrimp loaded with mayo. Next a cold, grainy potato salad—we’re not sure we could have made it worse if we tried—and an unappetizing Caesar salad. The red potato with “beeroof” soup was an alarmingly purple, watery gruel. The beef tenderloin with wasabi sauce and pan-fried turbot fish mains were better, albeit airplane quality. The mousse cake tasted alright, though the fact it was shaped like Hello Kitty’s face definitely tampered with our judgment of the flavor.
But we still spent our meal in a haze of childlike excitement. The restaurant almost makes up in pinkness and cuteness what it lacks in any kind of culinary appeal. Hello Kitty is everywhere, from the soap dispenser to the napkins. The servers wear little girl-style pink dresses, and while a bit awkward, they are terribly friendly and considerate.
For now, Hello Kitty Dreams is a one-time experience, and a very overpriced photo op. But if the menu were only improved to the point where the food was edible, we might well become regulars.
Sienna Parulis-Cook, January, 2012