First Hello Kitty cafe in Singapore to feature locally inspired menu
SINGAPORE, April 22 — The very first Hello Kitty-themed cafe in Singapore is all set to open next month, and its managers say it will be an experience with many firsts for fans of the beloved Sanrio character.
In an interview with TODAY, ABR Holdings, which owns and operates the new Hello Kitty Orchid Garden Cafe, revealed that the eatery will be the first Hello Kitty cafe in the world to be open 24 hours.
The new eatery, which is situated in the public area at Changi Airport Terminal 3, will be decorated with fresh flowers in the style of a garden cafe, and feature a locally-inspired menu. (They are also aiming to be the world’s first Halal Hello Kitty cafe).
It boasts of a dining area with a capacity for about 90 people, a take-away sales counter, as well as an area where diners may pose for photos with two life-sized 3D Hello Kitty models created in the likeness of the Singapore mascot.
There will also be a special retail corner, featuring Kitty-inspired custom-roasted coffee, custom-blended teas in souvenir packaging, custom-made soft toys, post cards, as well as special gardening kits. Hello Kitty Orchid Garden will also feature the Sanrio character wearing two bows and a flowing purple dress, in keeping with the cafe’s orchid theme.
Andrew Khoo, chief operating officer and director of business development and operations, food and beverage division at ABR Holdings. said the company is putting added emphasis on its menu, adding that he wanted the eatery to be known for its food, in addition to its famous muse.
Its locally-inspired dishes, for example, include wagyu beef rendang, as well as an orange sugee cake for dessert. Besides all-day breakfast, the cafe will serve dishes such as Eggs Benedict with smoked duck and salmon; and chocolate and hazelnut gelato with graham crackers. All main courses are, of course, Hello Kitty-themed, and prices range from about S$15 (RM43) to S$24.
“We made a very conscious choice to make sure that our menu offers enough variety, but isn’t overly large. We want to make sure that we are able to bring out the food in a very fast and efficient way,” said Khoo, adding that there are plans to add new food items and merchandise to its menu and store every few months.
“The way that we tried to position this is more of an elevated experience, like Hello Kitty has grown up,” said Khoo. “That is a very intentional strategy, to make this cafe more adult-oriented, more family-oriented, so you get a bit more of an elevated ambience. Members of the public — and not just Hello Kitty fans — who want a different experience, can also enjoy the ambience.
“It’s a more sophisticated Hello Kitty cafe.”
While fan interest in the cafe has been overwhelming online, Khoo said there are currently no plans to build a second Hello Kitty cafe just yet. “The idea is to launch this, and to launch it successfully. But no cafes will be alike, and this will be a complete one-off, in terms of the interior design, the finishing, the decorations, the food, and the merchandise,” he said.
“If we were to do another cafe, it would be something different.”
Singapore’s cafe joins other Hello Kitty-themed cafes and restaurants around the world in cities such as Taipei, Hong Kong, Bangkok and Seoul.
Hello Kitty Orchid Garden will open its doors for business on May 12 and have an official opening ceremony in June. — TODAY