I know I wrote in an earlier blogpost about the Hello Kitty Cafe at Changi Airport that I would never want to be back there again. Well, never say never, I guess. When my blogger pal asked if I’d like to meet her for lunch at the cafe this week, I agreed. After all, I was curious about whether there’d still be a queue outside the cafe even when there are no limited edition plush toys for sale, and whether the food is as bad as one TODAY journalist wrote.
To begin with, the queue was rather short, so unlike on Opening Day when there were probably a few hundred kitty fans awaiting their chance to get one of those “500” plushies on sale. There were probably some 8 people or so ahead of us, and my pal and I happily joined the queue. Just as we were chatting about her recent trip overseas, one of the Kitty cafe staff came by to inform us that the wait would be about “45 minutes”. He also helpfully suggested that it was much more bearable than the 4 hours that patrons had to queue just last week. And he kept reminding us to “BE PATIENT”. I felt like a kid in a kindergarten class, being told by the teacher to be patient, stand in line, and not move. And I wasn’t even fretting or misbehaving. I was enjoying my chat with my pal. WTH.
Instead of constantly telling very patient customers to continue being patient, that guy (I’ll call him J) should have probably offered each patron a small cup of water or a sample of their beverages or snacks. That’s good customer service. NOT extolling the virtues of being patient, or reminding us that others had to wait a much longer time before they could enter the cafe last week. (@_@) Also, he kept ushering people into the cafe with this phrase – “Welcome to Hello Kitty”. HUH? You mean “Welcome to our Hello Kitty Cafe“?
I just kept a poker face throughout, and thankfully got a table before that promised 45 minute wait was up.
My pal said that her food editor friend mentioned that the beef rendang is pretty good, but as she doesn’t take beef, we didn’t order it. She decided on an appetizer of nachos and I went for their dessert. You can’t go wrong with dessert, right?
In the description within the menu for this dessert ‘Rose, Rose I Love You’ is this line: “Just like the popular Chinese oldie, we are pretty sure this will be a hit with everyone.” Wow. I found the “homemade buttery orange sugee cake baked to moist perfection” dry, dull and boring. There’s no doubt the peanut buttercup gelato will delight fans of peanut butter, but the cake was an utter letdown. My goodness. It was served in such a small pot, but my pal and I could not bring ourselves to polish off the cake. 😦
Her platter of nachos was slightly more palatable. Though I cannot imagine why the pricetag is S$15.90 for nachos. There was just one nacho with a hello kitty “face” on it, but take that away and nothing on the plate is related to Kitty. And S$15.90 is BEFORE tax and service charge.
Here’s the best part: the Hello Kitty Cafe does not serve free water. Please purchase one of their beverages instead. Our total bill for just 1 appetizer and 1 dessert came up to S$39.31.
If you are wondering what you should eat at the Kitty Cafe, well, perhaps you should order the Cowabunga, which is wagyu beef and rendang. It costs S$24 before tax and would probably be the best-tasting item on the menu.
Rose Rose I Love You S$17.50
After tax and service charge: S$39.31.
In the ‘gift shop’ area, you can purchase a set of 4 Kitty postcards at S$16, coffee gift set at S$27.50, or a germination kit at S$34.50.
Customer service was not any better at the cashier counter. The lady, A, wanted us to stand in front of her instead of beside her though it was way more convenient for us to do the latter, and my pal (being more comfortable with Mandarin, did not immediately understand the cashier’s request). Would have been way more polite if A had said “please move to your right” instead of “can you move over here?” (@_@) And do offer a reason if you want people to do something for you. For instance, “please move to your right so you can sign off on the bill here” or “… so our staff won’t accidentally bump into you when they exit the kitchen” or something along those lines.
Finally… I will hesitate to say I’ll NEVER be back again since I might have overseas friends who are also Kitty fans and may want to visit the cafe when they come by, but it is as my pal said that day – this is good for a “one-time visit”.
Hello Kitty Orchid Garden at Changi Airport Terminal 3, #01-22. Tel: 6241 6127.