Did you know that, despite her ability to stay forever young, Hello Kitty is actually a 40-year-old lady? With her homely shape and wrinkleless face, this London-born Japanese bobtail cat is still one of the most beloved fictional characters around the world, liked by both children and grown-ups alike – particularly in Asia.
The feminine feline finally put down roots in Guangzhou a few months ago, as the first Hello Kitty-themed cafe opened in the Mall of the World. If cute could be personified, it would appear as Hello Kitty, and the decor reflects that with its clean whites and bright pinks.
One step inside and you will find yourself entering a fairytale garden of oddities: tables of every shape; waitresses dressed in maid costumes; and three large models of the cuddly cat herself. Naturally, it’s a magnet for kids, who run around shrieking in wild abandon, while older patrons snap away eagerly on camera phones. Incongruously, rock music plays in the background.
Originally, Hello Kitty was portrayed as a kind-hearted kitten who was good at baking cookies and loved collecting cutesy things. In keeping with its origins, the cafe sells deserts, soft drinks and accessories with Hello Kitty logos. But has it also inherited the cat’s culinary ability? We decided to figure that out ourselves by trying some of the place’s most popular desserts through the automatic, easy-to-use ordering system.
Coated by a thick layer of white chocolate, the heart-shaped Snow Kiss Mousse (RMB38) is a sponge cake filled with chocolate mousse. The softness of the cake, the airy texture of the mousse and the smoothness of the chocolate all make this dessert a must-try. If you are ambivalent about sweetness, order the raspberry mousse (RMB38), which is served in the shape of Hello Kitty’s head and covered by a layer of fresh raspberries, adding a bit of sour bite.
We don’t think anyone can withstand the temptation to try the green tea and strawberry cake (RMB58), a colorful dessert consisting of fresh red strawberries, white whipped cream and yellow custard sandwiched between two pieces of green bread. When the rainbow hues are so delightful, who cares that it tastes a bit plain? Mixing fresh mango blocks, smashed mango paste and jelly together, the mango jelly beverage (RMB38) is a pleasing treat for the simmering heat.
Sweeping away the saccharine (at least in terms of flavor), the house latte (RMB38) is slightly watery and will not impress die-hard caffeine lovers. Like so much of the cafe, however, its appeal is all in the presentation. On the coffee surface a miniature Hello Kitty has been imprinted on the foam, Cupid’s bow raised, ready to make fans of the uber-adorable fall in love.