Hello Kitty Sweets Café

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

I don't know if I've mentioned this previously, but the female population here seems to be overwhelmingly obsessed with Hello Kitty. This might be true for a lot of Asia, but I wouldn't really know. The first thing I saw when I walked into my room here was a Hello Kitty water cooler. Within the first three days of being here, I'd been into two different Sanrio stores touting Hello Kitty goods and had passed a Hello Kitty café. I was intrigued that people older than 14 would eat at such a place, but it seemed that most of its patrons were adults ... both male and female.

Well, my time finally came to experience the Hello Kitty Sweets Café (No. 90, Da'an Road, Section 1, near Da'an Road and Zhong Xiao East Road, Section 4). The day before my birthday (how suiting), we were looking for a place to kill time between my morning class and lunch, and we decided it was time to try the Kitty Café.

I have many things to say about this place, but first, the photos.

Kittys (yes, not "Kitties") hanging and awaiting their imminent deaths ... from a chandelier, natch.

A blurry photo, but I wanted to depict just how pink this place is.

A close-up

Hello Kitty custard

Okay. This place is not good, in any way, except maybe in pinkness. First of all, the service is absolutely horrible. I actually attempted to eat here once before and was greeted by the same unfriendly host. There is a $300NT ($10) minimum per person here, which is steeper than even some of the trendiest places in New York City (last I visited, Serendipity 3 from the film "Serendipity" -- home of the "famous" but highly overrated frrrozen hot chocolate -- had a $6 or $7 minimum per person). What's worse is that no, the dishes aren't terribly expensive, but much of the menu is not available before or during lunch, despite it being on the lunch menu! This happened the first time as well, which is precisely why we did not end up eating there. Additionally, there is no English on the menu, which I find pretty ridiculous considering I'm sure a good portion of its customers are tourists.

Next: the food. Not good. The only two things I found to be satisfactory were my latte and the French fries we ordered (the only appetizer available, but only on special order!!!). Everything else I tried was subpar, particularly the sundae-in-a-martini glass. The ice cream was both powdery and icy at once and the Hello Kitty chocolate looks totally unappetizing. 

The custard came as a complementary side to the chocolate bombe cake, and it looked much more appetizing than it turned out being. I assumed it would be mango-flavored, as the Taiwanese pretty much try to turn everything imaginable into something mango or passion fruit-flavored, but it was plain old egg custard-flavored, and pretty gross.

So no, we won't be back. And my friend, one of those avid Kitty fans, was not a Kitty fan for that day.

I also found out, upon Googling this, that Hello Kitty Cafés exist around the world ... I hope they are better than the one here in Taipei!

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