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Sunday, November 18, 2012

Hello Kitty Dreams

Talk about the absurd.

Welcome to Hello Kitty Dreams, a Hello Kitty restaurant licensed from the Japanese company Sanori that created her located in the Sanlitun (Chinese: 三里屯) area of the Chaoyang District in China's city of Beijing

Check it out! Look at the photo... not a smile anywhere! Hello Kitty can be excused, perhaps, as she never presents her mouth, but the young lady outside the restaurant that just might be the happiest place on the planet that Disney doesn't own yet--she look downcast, to be polite. Perhaps she failed to realize that on this particular day she would be immortalized for the world to see her in a too short pink dress and that she had told all her friends she actually worked for the Volkswagon Group.

Sigh. Let's go inside and take a look at this place. I would expect that if any Chinese person actually entered a Japanese-themed restaurant at such a time when the two nations seem ready to go to war over a bunch of islands no one except the media and its politicians had ever heard off, well... Little Brother is watching, and he's going to tell mom... I mean, Mao. Who the hell is running China? Oh yeah. Xi Jinping... he just took over a couple of days ago. 

I wonder if he knows about this place? 

Hello Kitty Dreams... OMG. Thank you Caroline. Kiss-kiss. 

I think Hello Kitty is an amusing concept. It has a loyal and devout fanbase that loves to spend money... for example, there's Eva Air in Taiwan that has five Hello Kitty airplanes. Dubai has a upscale Hello Kitty spa, where I imagine women dressed up as Hello Kitty lick you with their rough pink tongues, and scheduled for opening is a $200-million Hello Kitty theme park in Anji... which I looked up and is actually in Shanghai. 

So... a Hello Kitty Dreams restaurant in Beijing does seem appropriate. I swear... if Japan and China do amend their ways, it will be because of this mouthless white pussy cat. I'm talking about Hello Kitty and not Caroline who sent this story my way. I'm pretty sure Caroline has a mouth.      

Let's take a look inside the restaurant.... because we're here, that's why.  
 
Opened in December of 2011, a good month for old Andrew, Hello Kitty Dreams was a big success when it opened, as it was taking reservations days in advance. Wow. No fooling?

Now...  like me, you might expect that the vast majority of visitors to Hello Kitty Dreams would be young girls who like cute things, but apparently, like me, you would be misinformed. Couples. Adult couples. I can inlay assume these couples are into CosPlay and go home and take turns raping each other dressed up as Hello Kitty.

Says Ted Chen (Is Chen a Chinese name?), the restaurant's manager: "The most exciting thing is when couples come here to propose.

"Men think that this will be a memorable place for the proposal, and so far all the women have said yes."

According to restaurant chief executive officer Sarah Wang (Is Wang a Chinese name?)--she's a 25-year-old actress and singer who has far too much money--that her idea was for the restaurant to be geared to female customers aged 15-35.

Hunh. (Is that a Chinese name?) I was still way off... even on the front part of the age.Whatever. No matter what Caroline and I or perhaps even you think about this, it's making money hand over paw.

The 70-seat restaurant is covered in Hello Kitty... stuff... yes... that's the correct word. Wang has had the place stuffed with everything Hello Kitty, including: sinks and mirror, dolls, toys, cat-shaped dining booth and, as you have seen in the photo above, staff dressed in appropriatly pink Hello Kitty-inspired work outfits... like the chefs below.
 
Has no one any shame? I mean.. I'm weird, but I draw the line at dressing up a a cartoon character to get a job. I suppose that's why I did seven years of post-secondary education to earn the fabulous riches I make now. Okay... that's a bad example. I suppose I would dress up as Donld Duck - my favorite of all time - mostly because he doesn't wear pants... but that's okay... he's in the navy, and who doesn't love a man in half a uniform?

Says Wang Bing (Now that's a cool Chinese name!) who has been working there since the place opened: "I had other options for work, but I chose this job because I find Hello Kitty really interesting. My friends don't think it's weird that I'm a guy and work here; they know it’s just my job."

Good for him. I kid. I would take $5000 a year just to do voice-over animation because I think it's cool. 

So... Wang Bing... what's the food like?

Apparently it's an eclectic melange of Asian and Western cuisine, though if you listen to the fod reviews for the place, it's not a good melange.

Really? How could you screw up soups, sandwiches, pizza and pasta? Curry? What the hell is that doing there? Meat dishes - okay... but here's the rub... and we're not talking about spices on the meat.

Here... take a look at one of their dishes at Hello Kitty Dreams:


That's a cheese-baked chicken chop. I have never heard of a chicken chop, but then, I'm satisfied with a burger from the golden arches. For $9 or so, you get the chicken, pasta and tomato sauce that looks like it came from a dry can of Chef Boyardee (minus the meatballs), veggies (cherry tomatoes, snow peas and what I assume are a carrot slice and a cucumber slice shaped with the likeness of Hello Kitty's beautiful mug featuring her iconic hair-do. There's even French fries... which if you count them--you can actually count the number of fries rather than the calories--there are three.

Oh yeah... these meals are not made for men like me.  

But what the Hell is the Hello Kitty writing made out of? Paprika? That's my guess. No clue. 

Oh well. They do have hamburgers... hopefully whatever animal they made the hamburgers on doesn't go extinct.  They also have ice-cream. That's tough to screw up... I've even made ice cream once and it was good. I ran out of cream and used mayonnaise, and it still tasted good on my spam sandwich.

Who's kidding whom? If China would ever let me in--this blog is banned in China according to my friend Cathy who was there earlier last month--I would go there and at the very least try the food and the washrooms.I'm curious to see if there's a gaijin-sized litter box filled with pink clumping gravel.

Anyhow... for all you Japanese folks... once China annexes you and you become Chinese and are forced to give up your names like Kenichi and Emi to become more Chinese as Ken and Amy, well... you, too can head over and try to get a reservation at Hello Kitty Dreams.

Is this actually Japan's way of following Machiavelli's The Prince.. the Italian version of Sun Wu's Art of War? Take over a country from within... like what Canada is doing to the U.S.? Do you know how many Canadians are in Hollywood? All of them. Lorne Green on Bonanza. Captain Kirk. Wolverine. Need I say more?    

For me... please say hello to your new Chinese master... Hello Kitty. She was Japan's... now she's also China's. And Taiwan's (same thing) and Dubai's. What the hell is Dubai doing with a Hello Kitty spa? Oh yeah.. the whole tongue bath thing.

Cheers
Andrew Joseph

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