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Hello Kitty cafe in Hong Kong! Kuromi & My Melody pop-up, One Piece anime exhibit.

My Melody & Kuromi Pop-up Café

Ready for a double-dose of cuteness? My spooky friend John Skeleton has a special report for you — about the Hello Kitty cafe (My Melody & Kuromi pop-up) and One Piece exhibition in Hong Kong.

pom pom purin yellow sanrio dog

Quick, the “Sanrio Star Chef Institute” only runs until September 14 at Langham Place mall in Mongkok… so I hope you make it there on time.

If you miss it, you can instead visit the permanent Hello Kitty Secret Garden cafe (address: 19 Ormsby Street, Tai Hang near Causeway Bay). The “secret” seems to be arriving early, since this is a small cafe that is specially packed on the weekends. They don’t take advance reservations, and patrons often must line up for hours to get a table.

sanrio star dining, langham place

Back to John, who braved the Sunday crowds to visit the Sanrio pop-up. “If you’re looking for cute character goods in Hong Kong, Mong Kok is the place to go. The cuteness doesn’t just stop with plush dolls and accessories though.”

kawaii hong kong museum

“Now at Langham Place, the kawaii invasion is in full swing, with a mini Sanrio village in the main atrium and Sanrio Star Dining taking over some of the stylish cafés in the upper floor.” (Address: 555 Shanghai Street, Mongkok, Kowloon, HK.)

little twin stars statue

As you can see from his photos, the mall is filled with your favorite Sanrio characters, past and present. The Twin Stars, popular in the 1980s, have made a comeback (probably because their retro-pastel color scheme fits with the current pastel-goth and fairy kei styling).

bad badtz maru restaurant

You know the 1990s revival is in full swing when you see Bad Badtz Maru, the angsty black penguin. For some reason, I always thought he was a crow.

kiki and lala hong kong

Kiki and Lala seem to be teaching a molecular cocktail lesson. All the Sanrio mascots appear in a food context, since this is a theme cafe takeover.

cute panda cake, bakery hk

As you ascend the elevators, the statues indicate there is cute food on the way. Panda cake rolls, anyone?

hana maru sanrio white seal

Hana Maru, the white seal from the Bad Badtz universe, seems to be directing the crowd into an orderly queue. Hong Kong locals adore Hello Kitty and friends, so this exhibition got an enormous attendance.

hello kitty secret cafe hong kong

It’s interesting to note that the usual star of the show — Miss Hello Kitty — is not the main focus. In fact, Kuromi and My Melody are the major players since they have their own temporary cafe here.

sanrio food exhibit, mong kok mall

These gates welcome you into the culinary institute of Kitty. Notice that her pink hair bow is topped with a chef’s hat, forming a vaguely phallic symbol.

hello kitty ice cream parlor

The kid’s face on the far left says it all. This is fun, fun, fun.

pink ice cream truck, hello kitty

Everyone can pose and take photos with the giant statues of Sanrio characters. The backdrops are designed for 3D interaction, so that you can pretend to ride an ice cream truck with Hello Kitty, or take the cone from her hand. (I went to a similar exhibition in Songshan Park, Taipei — photos coming up soon.)

ishiyaki cafe  ishiyaki+

Every section was packed with people, especially families. John and his friend ate lunch at one of the themed eateries, “a collaboration with ishiyaki+café, known for its Japanese stone pot (ishiyaki) dishes.”

my melody and kuromi cafe

He says, “While the food is normally worth the price, now you can find enjoy your favorite cuisine surrounded by My Melody and Kuromi.”

kuromi crepe, sanrio latte

“My latte, wrap, and scrumptious dessert were graced with the image of the mischievous Kuromi…”

hello kitty food, japanese

“… while My Melody was featured in the stone pot dish surrounded by fresh salmon sashimi.”

ishiyaki+ cafe, mongkok hong kong

“If you plan to visit, make sure you arrive well in advance, as the wait time was five hours when I stopped by! If you’re willing to brave the queue, ishiyaki-café’s My Melody and Kuromi pop-up café is more than enough to satisfy your craving for food, sweets, and extreme levels of cuteness.”

sanrio star dining

Langham Place also has a Little Twin Stars Pop-up Café at the moment. How creative are these decorations? I’d be tempted to eat the pastel Twin Stars macaroons, Kuromi berry tart and Pom Pom Purin pannecotta.

Remember that this Sanrio food fiesta closes on September 14 in Hong Kong, so get there stat.

one piece pirate ship

Mr Skeleton went to another quirky Hong Kong exhibition, this time starring your favorite Japanese anime pirates.

“Avast, One Piece lovers, and prepare to be boarded! One Piece Docks in Hong Kong’s Times Square!”

causeway bay times square clock

The Straw Hat Pirates seem to have left a souvenir on top of the Causeway Bay clock. Unfortunately, the One Piece ship has sailed, but you should still check out Times Square Mall for its ever-changing free exhibits. (Address: 1 Matheson Street, Causeway Bay)

Monkey D. Luffy, pirate king

My Pirate reports, “First appearing in 1997 in the pages of Weekly Shōnen Jump, Oda Eichirō’s beloved manga has spawned 74 volumes to date and has also become a hugely successful animated television series.”

one piece hong kong exhibition

“One Piece (ワンピース) is now a global phenomenon, and Hong Kongers are also in love with the story of Monkey D. Luffy and his quest to become the Pirate King.”

ワンピース japanese manga

“I visited Times Square to relive these favorite moments with Luffy and his crew, and an 11-meter-tall replica of their pirate vessel! If you’re brave enough to face the lines (up to 90 minutes!), you can even board the vessel for a one-of-a-kind photo opportunity.”

one piece docks in hong kong

“Inside Times Square there is more pirate mayhem to be found, including life-sized statues of One Piece’s most memorable characters, and massive displays of the many figurines available.”

Battle Frankies, Franky Shogun

This little boy seems more enraptured with the toys than the gargantuan Battle Frankies, a type of battleship.

one piece collectibles, figurines

“Don’t forget to check out the Marketplace, where you can find a wide range of One Piece goods.”

reindeer one piece, Tony Tony Chopper

“And be sure to get your picture with everyone’s favorite anthropomorphic reindeer, Tony Tony Chopper.”

Eiichiro Oda characters

Photography is allowed — unlike in Japan, the attitude towards photo-taking is more relaxed in Hong Kong. Regardless, this statue seem to be crossing her arms to say “forbidden” (or “dah-meh”) in Japanese.

shonen jump statues

Hong Kong always has funny, kawaii exhibitions — most are free, and open to the public. When you visit HK, make an effort to find out what’s currently on (most take place at PMQ, Langham Place, Times Square, and Tsim Sha Tsui terminal).

hong kong rubber duck floating

Remember when I saw the big floating rubber duck, and when John sat with 100 Doraemon statues? Or when I saw Chinese comic book characters on display in Kowloon Park?

japanese manga museum

We also posed for photos at a Batman display — I’ll put those up soon too.

Tony Tony Chopper statues

Thanks to John Skeleton for the photos and guest post on my blog! Stay tuned for the news about where I’ll be next… hint, I’ll be in three very different cities.

Who is your favorite Sanrio character? Do you watch or read One Piece?

33 Comments

  1. Posted September 10, 2014 at 11:41 pm | Permalink

    kuromi all the way!

  2. Posted September 10, 2014 at 11:45 pm | Permalink

    Beautiful

  3. Posted September 10, 2014 at 11:46 pm | Permalink

    MUSTT GOOOO

  4. Posted September 10, 2014 at 11:55 pm | Permalink

    What a nice place…. Make me want to go Hong Kong.

    • Posted September 13, 2014 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

      A must see city

  5. Posted September 10, 2014 at 11:58 pm | Permalink

    Time to go to Hong Kong! <3

  6. Posted September 10, 2014 at 11:58 pm | Permalink

    I want to go now!!!

  7. Posted September 10, 2014 at 11:58 pm | Permalink

    !!!!!

  8. Posted September 10, 2014 at 11:58 pm | Permalink

    ah we love it

  9. Posted September 11, 2014 at 3:52 am | Permalink

    Kuromi is my favorite! Hug you.

  10. Posted September 11, 2014 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

    Great photos! Can’t wait to go to Hong Kong and see all the cuteness!

    • Posted September 13, 2014 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

      Hong Kong is cuteness overload!

  11. Posted September 11, 2014 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

    Asia rules at everything.

  12. Posted September 11, 2014 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

    Cool story babe.

  13. Posted September 12, 2014 at 2:26 am | Permalink

    なんだこれwwww

  14. Posted September 12, 2014 at 5:15 am | Permalink

    beyond awesome
    cheers

  15. Posted September 12, 2014 at 5:15 am | Permalink

    KUROMI CHAN!!s

  16. Posted September 13, 2014 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

    Wow I would be in heaven….

  17. Posted September 13, 2014 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

    awesome blog! Totally hooked, especially pre-Tokyo research trip

    • Posted September 13, 2014 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

      Glad to hear it’s helpful

  18. Posted September 13, 2014 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

    umm hello heaven!

  19. Posted September 13, 2014 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

    We <3 your photos and as we always say…there is NOTHING like a #scottishfold #cat Purrrrrrrrrr =^.^=

  20. Posted September 14, 2014 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

    I havent had time to try this cafe yet….TT

  21. Posted September 14, 2014 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

    there are alqays many people, i tried to arrive eariler with me friend to wait, but still not more seat….TT but tried the litttle star cafe which is located same place as Kuromi cafe. Its taste was not bad

  22. Posted September 14, 2014 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

    CUTE

  23. Posted September 14, 2014 at 11:55 pm | Permalink

    My favorite character is Badtz Maru. He was like the predecessor to Grumpy Cat. I love that the cafe has a section featuring him.

    I used to watch One Piece, but I haven’t had as much time to keep up with anime. I was surprised to see how popular it was outside of Japan (Taiwan had a bunch of One Piece merch when I visited last year).

    • Posted September 18, 2014 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

      Yes, it’s so cool to see Badtz again! I also posed with him in a Taipei exhibit, stay tuned ;)

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