Hello Kitty cafe opens doors in Changi airport

Inside a Hello Kitty restaurant in Shanghai. Photo / Getty Images
Inside a Hello Kitty restaurant in Shanghai. Photo / Getty Images

Fans of iconic Japanese character Hello Kitty were out in force in Singapore's Changi Airport this week, as the world's only 24-hour cafe devoted to the famous feline opened its doors for the first time.

The Hello Kitty Orchid Garden Cafe, which is in the public area of the airport's Terminal 3 Arrival Hall, greeted more than 300 customers when it officially opened at 11.30am local time on Thursday.

Some of the most enthusiastic fans had been queuing since 11.30pm the previous night, eager to get a first look at the themed eatery.

One of them, Indonesian national Maureen Setyadi, said as the cafe opened this morning that she still hadn't slept but was confident "it should be worth the wait."

The cafe, which will remain open around the clock, is decked out with Hello Kitty pictures and memorabilia, and offers a range of food and drinks bearing the face of the character, created by Japanese company Sanrio.

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Menu highlights include Hello Kitty-shaped waffles and sandwiches, and a puff pastry pie adorned with her iconic bow.

It also has a retail section selling merchandise featuring the cat.

Plush toys proved particularly popular, with customers seen filling their arms with as many as they could carry as they made their way to the checkout.

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Singaporean national Jeanette Lee, 37, said she was thrilled with the launch of the new cafe.

"It's my birthday today and I like Hello Kitty a lot so I'm very excited that the cafe opens today in Singapore. There are other cafes but I haven't had the chance to travel and visit them so to have one here, near where I stay, is good," she said.

Today is not the first time that Hello Kitty fever has gripped Singapore.

In 2013, residents of the city-state queued for hours to get their hands on a special edition Hello Kitty stuffed toy on sale at McDonald's outlets. The same thing happened in 2014 when the fast food giant launched the Hello Kitty Bubbly World series of toys.


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