Hello Kitty! Changi Airport welcomes theme cafe

Many people queued for hours at Terminal 3 yesterday to be among the first to dine in the Hello Kitty-themed cafe (above), which is the world's first to be open round the clock. The cafe's menu (left) is Singapore-inspired, with dishes such as wagyu
Many people queued for hours at Terminal 3 yesterday to be among the first to dine in the Hello Kitty-themed cafe (above), which is the world's first to be open round the clock.ST PHOTO: JOYCE FANG
Many people queued for hours at Terminal 3 yesterday to be among the first to dine in the Hello Kitty-themed cafe (above), which is the world's first to be open round the clock. The cafe's menu (left) is Singapore-inspired, with dishes such as wagyu
The cafe's menu is Singapore-inspired, with dishes such as wagyu beef rendang.ST PHOTO: JOYCE FANG

Singapore's first Hello Kitty-themed cafe opened yesterday , drawing hundreds of people to Changi Airport's Terminal 3.

Some were in the queue at 7am, many hours before the 11.30am opening time.

The 84-seat Hello Kitty Orchid Garden Cafe, with Hello Kitty-shaped furniture, pays tribute to the popular character, part of Japanese company Sanrio's roster of cute creatures used in its toys, stationery, homeware and furniture.

First and second in line were Ms Maureen Setyadi, who is in her 30s, and Ms Jaden Ang, who is in her 20s. They made a trip to the airport at 11pm on Wednesday to check out the cafe.

"We are very big fans of Hello Kitty. We also queued for Hello Kitty plush toys at McDonald's," said Ms Setyadi, who is unemployed. She was given a plush toy and her friend received a postcard - gifts for being the cafe's first customers.

The cafe is also the world's first Hello Kitty-themed cafe that is open round the clock, and is located in the public area of Terminal 3. It has a retail section which sells merchandise featuring the cat.

The hot buy is a limited-edition plush toy - only 500 are available - designed for Singapore, with Kitty sporting two bows, one in pink and the other in red and white stripes, echoing the colours of the Singapore flag. It costs $49.90 and customers are limited to two each.

Devoted fans can also take selfies with a statuette of the cat in a photo-taking area.

Ms Mandy Liew, who visited the cafe with her husband, bought four of the plush toys, the maximum number the couple could buy. "I just love Hello Kitty so much. My cups, bedsheets and curtains are all Hello Kitty-themed," said the 58-year-old, who runs a tidbit shop with her husband. They have no children.

When asked if she was going to sell her plush toys, she said: "No, of course not. I will display them at home."

Engineer Anne Lee, 36, said she has been a fan since she was a child. She queued for four hours to get into the cafe, and said she has all the limited-edition Hello Kitty collectibles. She and her boyfriend snapped up four of the plush toys.

"I live in Sengkang and woke up at 6am to get here early," she said.

Dishes on the menu are Singapore-inspired, with offerings such as wagyu beef rendang. Prices of main-course dishes range from $15 to $24.

Many customers The Straits Times spoke to said they enjoyed the food.

Ms Ki Ki Leong, 33, a hawker assistant, said: "The food here tastes better than what's offered in other Hello Kitty cafes in Thailand and South Korea, and it is affordably priced. I will definitely be back."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 13, 2016, with the headline 'Hello Kitty! Changi Airport welcomes theme cafe'. Print Edition | Subscribe