Hello Kitty Dreams, Hello Awesome Reality

“You ever feel like you’re stuck in a wind-up music box?” Michelle asked. The walls were pink. The waitresses were dressed as dolls. Piano keys tinkled softly. There were balloons and glitter and an off-season Christmas tree. We were trapped in a music box.

That’s how Hello Kitty wants you to feel.

Welcome to Hello Kitty Dreams.

Chefs wear toques under Kitty-dressed walls…

Surfaces are pink or padded or bedazzled or glow…

And little girls pose dutifully over and over again.

The frilly Antoinette cuteness only gets cuter from there. His ‘n Hers Kitty-cupped cappuccinos, flecked with powdered likenesses.

A greasy chicken curry watched over by a plonk of Kitty-rice. Eyes of bean, nose of corn, bow of strawberry jam. (What culinary kawaii kitsch!!!)

And the strawberry mousse? Completely Kitty!

“Where do I start,” worried Michelle. “The ear? The bow tie?” She plunged into the cheek, a triple-stroke of chocolate whisker. Soft sponge deliciousness! And those plates? To die for!

The wonderful Sienna wrote in City Weekend, “They could serve poop, and we’d still love it… Unfortunately, it was a self-fulfilling prophecy.” I was sad to read this. But on returning to Beijing, I was thrilled to find their act was perfected. This meal was glorious. Sure, no Maison Boulud… but what do you expect from a Japanese cutesy cat in a Chinese shopping mall?

At least it was better than the ads made it look:

Hello Kitty Dreams Restaurant, Shimao Mall, Gongti Beilu, Beijing, China.

Almost all of these photos were likely taken by the glorious Michelle.

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