Imagine my delight when I found myself in Taiwan, home to a Hello Kitty maternity hospital, Hello Kitty café, a Hello Kitty hotel villa and even a themed airline, until they ceased operating. I counted down the days until we found ourselves seated at a pink, sparkling table at Taipei’s ‘Hello Kitty Sweets’ in the Xhongxiao Fuxing area of the city.
I’d heard whispers on the grapevine of this place a while back so here I was geared up for a much anticipated meal at my dream café. Walking in, this little gem, is everything I could have imagined and more. Candy pink couches bejewelled with faux crystals, rows of sticky sweet cakes, Kitty printed napkins, rhinestone bedecked logos on the walls and staff sporting Hello Kitty aprons.
They were lacking an English menu but had staff on hand to talk me through the options they could offer for a vegetarian like myself and said I could choose anything and they would whip up a meat free version. There were all sorts on the menu including Kitty burgers, spaghetti, gratins and salads. One of the most bizarre meals was what appeared to be a Hello Kitty loaf of bread filled with meat and a bit of gravy.
I opted for a mushroom pizza which, was just what the doctor ordered as I was at the pinnacle of my ‘home’ food cravings after a few months in Taiwan. Coffee was served up in a cute, little mug with a swirling Kitty face peeping out of the foam! The toughest decision was choosing which cake to sample. Everything from toffee apple pie to raspberry chocolate mousse, green tea Swiss roll and custard tart, all topped with a token Hello Kitty sweet or logo emblazoned onto the frosting.
The toilets were equally as exciting complete with an overload of dressing room style twinkling lights and a glorious magenta chaise lounge basking in the corner. The clientele was a mixture of bemused men with their giggling girlfriends, hyperactive kid’s chanting ‘Hello Kitty’, gossiping schoolgirls and over enthusiastic tourists like me. It goes down in history as my most bizarre and happy dining experience and I know if I’m ever in the market for popping out a baby I’ll be jetting back to Taiwan to the Hello Kitty maternity hospital then onto the café for cake afterwards.
Emma Bell is a British designer and creative consultant who uses international creative projects as an alternative way to travel. You can read more about her adventures in Taiwan on her blog, Emma-Bell.
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